When Little Man was 4 months old, he had a very bad case of constipation. Because his sisters both had issues with constipation, especially Curly, I wasn’t terribly concerned at first. But when it went on for more than 2 weeks, I was concerned and mentioned it to his doctor at his well checkup.
We had just introduced some rice cereal into his diet and attributed some of his issues to that. But when he began showing more serious symptoms after getting his immunizations and developing a fever, we ended up at a children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
After a very long weekend of some very invasive and disturbing examinations, we were sent home without answers. The tests were somewhat inconclusive. We did discover that Little Man is a carrier for cystic fibrosis, but the doctor was leaning towards Hirschprung’s.
You can find out what Hirschprung’s disease is in this post.
When the biopsy was done, and he was diagnosed with Hirschprung’s, we were actually relieved. It was something that could be addressed and taken care of in a surgery.
The surgical procedure was a “pull-through.” The last 20% of Little Man’s colon was removed and the remaining healthy tissue was “pulled through” his abdomen and joined to the base of his colon. He was in the hospital for a few days post-op and we were blessed to have the opportunity to have a room at the local Ronald McDonald house which was really wonderful for our rest. He had an amazing recovery and has continued to do well to this day.
The last 20% of the colon is sorta the storage unit for your body’s waste, where the moisture is drawn out of the waste and then eliminated from the body. Because LM does not have this portion of his colon, it is unusual for him to have constipation, let alone hard stools. That can make for some very interesting and smelly diapers, but now that we are moving into potty training, that will change. Thankfully, he is a vegetable eater! He does really great with veggies and trying new veggies. Since we have switched over almost entirely to lactose-free milk or almond milk, the risk of constipation is very low for him. Keeping his system healthy is important, and it helps us keep the girls healthier.