For the past month or so since we’ve been aggressively treating Zoe with laxatives, per the recommendation of our urologist and GI doc, we’ve seen noticeable progress. And exasperating setbacks. She will go three or four days with no accidents. Hallelujah! Then she’ll have an accident because she didn’t want to interrupt the teacher to say she had to use the bathroom, or she sees another camper going into the bathroom in her class and doesn’t realize she can go to another bathroom elsewhere in the building. Or, she doesn’t feel like going to the bathroom. This is rare, but it still happens. Or, what’s happened most often most recently and is driving me berserk, is that because she has had so much success listening to her body and her improving bladder and colon health have enabled her to clearly get the signal that she needs to pee, she has decided she’s all better so she no longer needs to listen to her vibrating alarm watch or reminders from her parents, teachers, or counselors.

I get it. I understand why she would think that now that she can listen to her body, she doesn’t need to listen to anything else. But although her body is doing better, it is still not a reliable source of information all the time.

We have had so many talks about this. I fear that if we have another talk, she will completely stop listening.

Tomorrow she has the first of three schedule appointments with a physical therapist for pelvic floor rehabilitation. She will also begin taking medication for overactive bladder that her urologist believes will put a stop to the accidents. A possible side effect of the drug is constipation, which would of course counteract its benefit for Zoe, so if that happens we can’t use it. But it may not happen.

Yesterday we went to the pool so she could show off her newly learned swimming skills to her dad, and we could enjoy the hot afternoon in the cooler water. And there was a cookout at the pool. When we arrived, she went the bathroom since she knows that’s the rule. It was break so she played in the baby pool for 15 minutes. Then they blew the whistle and she jumped in the big pool with her dad. Then they blew the whistle again because Zoe pooped. They had to clear the pool, clean it, and close it for an hour. I grabbed Zoe and ran to the bathroom to clean her off. We rushed to the car and sped home. Zoe was hysterical because she hated to miss swimming and the party. I was mortified because we had caused the pool to empty and interrupted the afternoon plans of dozens of families. I was so angry at Zoe, although it probably wasn’t her fault. I let Randy take care of her so I didn’t unleash my emotions at her. It’s likely that too much laxative was causing the loose poop. We’ve reduced her dosage. Every day last week when we went to the pool, she got out on her own initiative to use the bathroom. I didn’t have to remind her, and she didn’t have any accidents there. So yesterday was a surprise, but an unfortunate and upsetting one.

Our urologist says this happens at this pool all the time. And last week at our pool some poor little kid threw up in the pool, and the same thing happened. Life is messy. And frustrating and embarrassing. Here’s hoping things get better this week.