It will be TMI I assure you. But in the nature of honesty here and the intense need to share with the world all I have been through in the last two weeks, I must divulge...it all...
Ok so rewind 8 months when we meet our sweeties in DRC. My pediatrician had given me a parasite treatment to take with us assuming one of them would have some bowel issues. Sure enough, both did. I remember John and I debating on whose was worse and deserved the treatment more. Maran's killer spray poops earned the award and she got the round of Alinea. Then we come home and of course I looked up an international adoption pediatrician in our area and went to him instead of our beloved pediatrician because surely he would be specialized in this. They sent us home that appointment with 3 vials each child to collect stool samples checking for parasites and bacterial infections from Salmonella to typhoid to girardia. All negative. I remember thinking... there's no way. With what is going on in their lower regions, there is no way they are negative! Fast forward 5 months and it is still bad. Smells like you've never smelled, colors like you've never seen. After Maran getting nervous about her "green and red poop" we proceeded back to my beloved pediatrician. Apparently to get the full spectrum of a scan for parasites in stools you have to take samples from several different bowel movements. So she sent me home with 3 vials and one smear per BM for 3 times. That is 9 vials and 3 smears. I thought it was insane. Digging in poo that has not been submerged in water (it makes a difference folks) is a whole notha level of disgusting. Wheeler would come in and I would have Levi's pajama pants tied over my face with my Popsicle stick in hand. "Mom, why ya playing in that stinky poop?". Great Question Wheeler, it must be because I am an awesome mom and I love hunting for bugs in poopoo! :)
Now, when nature calls, it calls quickly. It doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing, there is no waiting. So one day we are all four swimming, completely soaked in the pool. Levi is loving it, I'm going under (which is always a big bonus for the kids), we are all jumping in. Then it comes. "Mommy my poopoo is coming!" Oh no you didn't. So I can't leave Levi out by the pool unattended so I trudge the two of them in as we drip all the way upstairs to my "lab" in my bathroom to get out the toilet hat and wait for her to go. Oh just a false alarm.
These were my days. And because going poo in a white hat that sits on the toilet is new and fun, there were several other false alarms too. Whew finished it finally and got a call 2 days later. "Well we have an answer to what's causing the problems!"
Turns out Maran has an Amoeba. I had no idea you could get one of those, but apparently if you submerge your bottom in contaminated water these little guys can swim on in to whatever orifice they like. So she said the good news is its treatable with 10 days of crushing a pill 3 times a day and then followed by 10 days of antibiotics 3 times a day. Then we need to retest with the 9 vials because it is only 90% effective the first treatment.
Great, I thought. That's doable. Oh wait, what was the bad news.
The bad news is the amoeba is transferrable through bathtime. Anyone that has been in the bath with Maran for a long period of time (especially for repeated exposures) is susceptible to this traveling into their bodies as well. Lovely. This is not in the international adoption books folks ;).
So that means, 3 vials, 3 separate stools for our three remaining children. That is 27 vials of poop I needed to collect over the next week before Reese left for camp. So needless to say the collection issues heightened with more false alarms, gas masks, questions, etc. There was a day that we were at my moms and Reese who only had a few days before camp had to go so we could not miss. There was a tupperware and ziploc involved.
And the time I was bathing the kids and Reese had to go so she went "by herself" in the container in my bathroom, forgot to tell me, and left the container in my sink until dad found it several hours later. Febreeze was involved thereafter. Every few days I would make my delivery of my progress to the Lab at the pediatrician. So tomorrow I will make my last deposit for the child who kept forgetting to tell me he had to go and went without me collecting. Thank heavens that is over. I didn't think 41 stool collections in a year would be in my skill set but now it officially is. I have all sorts of tips and tricks, warnings and shortcuts. Who knew one could get so skilled in such a task?
So just a few more days until we see who else has made friends with our pet amoeba.