I Practically Live in the Bathroom

Maya is struggling with some bladder issues. Her bladder issues have become a big strain on our family. She is going ALL THE TIME. Seriously, I mean ALL THE TIME, as in every 5 minutes or so. This has been going on for about 5 weeks now. We practically live in the bathroom both at home and in public restrooms while we are out (gross!). To say that this is a trying time for me as a parent is an understatement. I literally feel like I am going to go insane some days if this doesn’t stop soon.

When it first started I had immediately thought she had a bladder infection and called her pediatrician. Off we went for a pee in a cup appointment only to discover that her urine was clean when strip tested in the office. Two days later the culture test also came back clean, no infection. The pediatrician thought perhaps she had some sort of irritation in her urethra from the public pool, or new soap, or something along those lines and suggested I give it a week or so to see if it resolved itself.  Time did not resolve the issue, and if anything it was getting worse, she was going more often.

Her main symptoms were extremely frequent need to urinate, sometimes she would go (often only a few dribbles since she was trying every 5 minutes), but often times she couldn’t go at all. It was the times she couldn’t go that were the worst. She would completely meltdown and throw hysterical fits because she felt like she had to pee but nothing would come out. However, this was (is) only happening during the day, at night she is fine, no bladder issues, no bedwetting, everything is normal.

So, since time had not resolved the issue back to the doctor we went. The doc did another test on her urine, both in office strip test and culture test, and again both were negative. I had secretly hoped for a positive because then at least there would be an actual problem with a relatively simple solution.

At least we left office with some what of a diagnosis this time. The diagnosis…daytime overactive bladder or pollakiuria. The unknown, whether it is physiological or psychological. She was prescribed ditropan to help relax the muscles of her bladder and urethra. The type of overactive bladder she has often affects kids her age for a short period of time until they grow out of it and return to their normal peeing routine. The hope is that medication will help her get over the hump, that it will help control her bladder’s muscle spasms until her body can do it again on its own.

Since we don’t know for sure if the bladder control problem is physiological or psychological we don’t know for sure if the medication will work. Pollakiuria can often be triggered by stress and since Maya has several new stressors in her life right now, a new sibling and the prospect of starting preschool soon, to name a few, in all likelihood it is psychological and not physiological.  In which case we have to wait until she stops being stressed out before the bladder control issues will go away.

She has been on the medication for almost 2 weeks now and I’d love to say it has resolved the issue, but sadly, it has not. It has helped, and some days it almost feels like we are back to normal. But, most days she is still going ALL THE TIME. She is still acting like it is desperate that she go to the potty RIGHT THIS MINUTE, and then not actually going. It is still only affecting her during the day. My fingers are still crossed that the medication helps her, especially before she starts school later this month.

My hope is that we can both remain somewhat sane until this issue is resolved and that one day I no longer have to live in my bathroom and can go out with my child again without having to spend half my time rushing her to the bathroom. Right now my sanity is holding on my a very thin piece of thread, a very thin piece.

Anyone else ever dealt with this with their own children? I’d love if you’d share any tricks you learned that may help us get through this.

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2 comments on “I Practically Live in the Bathroom

  1. Well now that I read this I think Sydney had the same issues around the time that we moved into our new house, I thought the same thing as you, bladder infection. It eventually went away and she is back to normal bladder function now. The only problem we have now is that when she has to go she waits too long and when she has to go she feels the need to constantly ask to go, I tell her at least 5 times a day that she can “just go” whenever she needs to go, that she doesn’t have to ask.

  2. Oh Lisa, so sorry you have to contend with this and a new baby all at once. I agree with what they said about the stress creating something like this. It could be any of those factors, moving back home again, a new baby, new school coming up. However, just wanted to share with you that my youngest sister went through this at around the same age – three and a half. It was the days before ultrasound, so they had to do that drink that shows all the bladder and kidneys up. She used to cry when she couldn’t go but felt like she had to. I’m not sure but I think I remember that it actually hurt her when she tried. Anyway, long story short, her x-ray or whatever it was, ended up showing that the end of her urethra had not expanded with her as she grew. It was so narrow it was backing all her urine up and causing her to have problems going, but also to have a full bladder and not get rid of it. They did a very simple surgery and she never had a problem again. I’m sure this isn’t the problem, but if it carries on despite the meds, maybe you should ask for an ultrasound or further testing. I think it would be reasonable, to rule anything else out. My nephew had something similar and he ended up with some narrowing of his kidney which was developmental – but he was six when they found it and his Mom spent years with him and fear around using the bathroom or wanting to use it all the time. Just wanted to mention these two things, in case it doesn’t resolve. An ultrasound wouldn’t hurt to rule out anything structural, as with my sister it was only discovered when she started growing older and it caught up with her.

    Hopefully it will all resolve in and of itself, but in the meantime, hugs to both of you. She’s had a lot of changes in her little life and kids can often hide those things so well. Hope you both get some peace and resolution soon.
    Tricia : )

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