It’s funny how that words means different things to different people. For Indigo, it means not being a bed wetter at night. For Indigo, it meant being able to do the things her friends talked about without stressing and keeping herself awake all night worrying she would have an accident. For her, right now, it means overnight camp – six days of it.
Indigo was our easy kid to potty train. Hell, she saw her sister without diapers, and pretty much followed suit. It was awesome. We were warned repeatedly by her pediatrician that night time wetting is a whole different gig. It was not a case of “training” as much as it was development. In short, she had to grow out of that baby habit of falling asleep and not really letting anything wake her up – even her bladder screaming at her.
Our pediatrician with both girls reminded us of this fact. She told the story about her sister wetting the bed until she was almost 13 years old. She told us how the conception was that she could be trained. So while the alerting pad woke up the entire house, her sister slept through the signal that she was having an accident. Eventually she grew out of it – not was trained as some would have them believe. So each set of parents were told this story. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Realize it’s its own milestone. And be patient.
Despite our patience and our not making a big deal out of it, she hid it from us. Our rule was if you have an accident, strip the bed and toss the sheets and all in the washer. Then shower. No big deal. Except, to her it was a big deal. To her she felt ashamed even if no one was shaming her. To her, she struggled. And periodically we would have to go into her room and help her find everything she was hiding and wash it because it can’t be hidden away really – the smell.
We tried everything. We got her kid sized pullups. She would use them about 50% of the time. We would be special sheets on her bed to save the mattress. She would take them off and not put them back on. She wanted normal. And all of these things were far from it.
Then she would stress about sleepovers. She would keep herself up all night just to make sure she didn’t have an accident. Her overnight at camp for school this year was a carefully strategized event of how she could keep herself dry without telling everyone. She fretted instead of having fun. It was hard on her.
When we were planning summer camps this year, she expressed a desire for an overnight camp – but she knew she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t keep a facade up all week. Upset, Indigo expressed it all to G who immediately called the doctor.
The doctor had been a part of this struggle. A few times, a urinary infection was partially responsible. So testing to make sure it was gone coupled with occupational therapy was ordered. And some interesting things were discovered. For example, Indigo, my little daredevil with incredible balance was missing some motor skills and muscle development in her legs. And since it is all tied together, exercises were ordered. It all seemed to help but nothing solved it. This is my kid who would sleep through a fire alarm. We were still up against the developmental issue.
So, finally, it was agreed that medication was the next step. It was time to make her “normal”. It was time to control this thing she has not been able to control – and remove it from the equation. It was time for the drug route.
I love her pediatrician because, like us, she didn’t want it to be the first solution. And like us, she saw the pain this was causing my almost 11 year old. She wanted as much as we did to make sure Indigo could go to camp. So drugs it was. It was time to toss in the towel and go this route. The kid’s happiness was greater than the rest of it.
And it worked. Indigo knows the limits of her drugs. She can take them, but then she cannot drink water afterward. No water until morning. Why? It can screw up the drugs and her kidneys. This is one of the major reasons we were all avoiding it.
So Indigo at overnight camp this year is awesome. I have my fingers crossed that it all goes well – and the drugs work well for her. She needs this badly. She needs normal. She needs to be free of worry about this item she cannot control yet. I want her to have fun instead of stressing. I want her to have the normal experience she craves.
While I would never think or wish my kids were normal, in this case, I truly hope she finds it at least in this space. It is time.