Monday, January 26, 2015

Sibylline Spydra

Centuries ago,
Concurrent with the 50th Olympiad
Not long before the expulsion of Rome's kings
An old woman
"Who was not a native of the country"
Arrived incognita in Rome.
She offered nine books of prophecies to
King Tarquin
And as the king declined to purchase them
Owing to the exorbitant price she demanded,
She burned three and offered
The remaining six to Tarquin
At the same stiff price
Which he again refused
Whereupon she burned three more and
Repeated her offer.
Tarquin then relented and
Purchased the last three
At the full original price
Whereupon she
"Disappeared from among men."

Friday, January 23, 2015

In Iambic Octameter

originally published 5/7/11

Embrace ye not the deceivers
And pay the liar no homage;
Tear off the linsey-woolsey suits
Of the sheep’s clothing worn by wolves.

Milquetoasts take warmth and soft comfort
In lives of quick and sure safety;
But heroes do not hesitate
To pay Freedom's steep, hoary price.

Friends, citizens and countrymen,
The moment of truth approaches:
On that day's dark, awful dawning,
Which way do you think you will choose?

the 2008 ad campaign

The definition of SCION

  • a detached living portion of a plant (as a bud or a shoot) joined aerially to a graft
  • aristocratic descendent
    • scion of a railroad empire

Merely some fractured fairy tale?
Or could it mean something much more?
See for yourselves, and then discern.

They always go green in the end.

* * * * * * * *

this post shall serve as preamble
to one sibyl's sober portent

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mom & Dad love Ben & Liz

We love these two people more than any words can say, and pray they are safe with family, rather than endangered by their dysfunctional EPCDHS representative/caseworker Teryl Vogler.

Kids, we love you so much and pray the Lord to protect and deliver us.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ben Ten

Happy 10th Birthday 

Benjamin Chad Leslie Lawson


chuck e cheezin' it

Keep On Keepin' On

With Yo Badself

Monday, April 14, 2014


"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.
But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean."
Maya Angelou 

the taste in my mouth that comes after being wrongly accused by those who would bear me false witness is horrible and gangrenous

I forgive those who would conclude or consider that my son’s illness is all in his head, or worse yet, that I somehow deliberately sickened my son

but I shall never forget that awful aftertaste in my mouth, hard though I might try to swallow…

or the faces of our accusers, though my tears blink to wash their memories away

Thursday, April 10, 2014

No never-events

So I can already hear your quizzical tone:, say, you wanna maybe share your latest linguistic invention with the rest of us?  Lay it on us already -- wtf is a "never-event", you wacky eccentric bitch?

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After having read the whole report, and marveling at the crazy value it enjoys as a enjoys as a tool -- nay, a sledgehammer -- for anyone remotely contemplating a claim of medical malpractice, any question of who to thank for this li'l gem cleared up faster than a splash of Visene on a dry blodshot eye.  Verily and most deservedly do all acclaim and accolade reflect and echo the bon vivant author that conceived it, penned it and gave it its first utterance: that Juggernaut of creative genius and enlightened braintrust that is the United States Department of Health and Human Services. 

So, you see, Friend Reader, that a "never event" is a blanket term for an error of so great a magnitude, and at the same time, so utterly preventable that even the powers that be can make no apology for event that simply ought "never" happen -- in other words a boner, a blunder, a gigantic fuck-up of such magnitude that even those charged with its cover up consider inexcuseable, an event that just should not ever have happened; hence, a "never event."

See now how the term's syllables roll so easily off the tongue.  I admit to having found comfort in the Department's acknowledgement of how common the incidence of never-events among the indigent poor suckers who fill its trial-by-error learning labs, languishing in pain and suffering dehumanized detatchment, breezy condenscension and the bored, incurious glance of the medical professionals they themselves have vetted; a great big calcified mass that coalesces to form a gigantic undead monster that lumbers and shambles along in a jerky slow-motion.  

<p  style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;">   <a title="View ADVERSE EVENTS IN HOSPITALS: NATIONAL INCIDENCE AMONG MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES on Scribd" href=""  style="text-decoration: underline;" >ADVERSE EVENTS IN HOSPITALS: NATIONAL INCIDENCE AMONG MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES</a> by <a title="View Spydra Webb's profile on Scribd" href=""  style="text-decoration: underline;" >Spydra Webb</a></p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="//" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="0.772922022279349" scrolling="no" id="doc_43024" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Monday, April 7, 2014

Humbly now

Humbly now, come I before thee...though without apology for aggressively advocating for my son; my attempts to do so assertively have up to now have been all been quite sadly for naught.

We all know I'm not the perfect mother, or perfect person; I can get uppity, and at times run a temper that terrifies; my anger easily and all too often preempts any and all attempt to demonstrate a more contemplative restraint -- hasty, hot decisions always rent through with doubt and rue when my later and cooler head prevails.  Forgive me the wrong things I've done and might could still do in my desperate effort to save my son Benjamin's much beloved life.

The misdiagnosis of his illness as the result of childhood retention disorder is a wrong conclusion I cannot abide...and the bitter anguish I feel each time it's suggested that it's in any way behavioral is poison unto me...and a heavy burden I'd wish upon no mother.  In short:  I knows my son...and dem's fightin' words.  Fight I have, and driven wedges, the likes of which I only pray I'll one day see loosed.

I just so love my Benjamin -- so much, so so very much; he, who has always been and will always be a child of God -- so sweet and so bright: his mother's heart's delight.  Fight for him I am; fight for him I will...and readily do I risk my own life, liberty, and reputation to champion that good and fine young man.  God grant me to do so -- thoroughly, bravely, honorably and upright -- all...just as he deserves; the very best and very least I have to offer him.

* * * * * * * *

From: Melinda Lawson 
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:12:48 -0600
To: Jesenia Dominguez
Cc: Terry Vogler
Subject: Update on Benjamin Lawson


On the night of April 1st, Benjamin felt the urge to stool; sitting on the
toilet, he passed a very large and bizarrely-shaped stool (which I did 
photograph just in case).  It was the first time Ben has felt the urge to stool
and/or stooled on the toilet in at least a year, and he has not stooled at
all since.  I would think this to be a plain indication that the diagnosis
of behavioral withholding/retention is wrong (as I have maintained all

You've told me that Dr. Barrios is unable to review the results of the CT
scan done at Childrens Hospital Memorial, which I find to be most
unfortunate…as an off-duty radiologist reviewed the scan with me and
pointed out that it shows a large, seemingly calcified mass in or around
Benjamin's descending colon, starting just beneath his spleen, and
crossing over into the right side of his abdomen.  The endoscopy images
appear to show that the mass was pierced during an unsuccessful placement
of a transpylori feeding tube.  

Further, an ultrasound study and several x-rays showed a "moderate to
large amount of free fluid in the peritoneum", the source of which was
never identified.  The CT scan that presumably resolved the free fluid is
the very same that shows the large abdominal mass.

Moreover, no one seems to be concerned that Benjamin tested positive for
Helicobacter Heilmannii.  I do not fault Dr. Barrios in not perceiving the
significance, as there are few human studies involving this zoonotic
bacteria; however, animal studies have shown conclusively that h.
heilmannii causes gastrointestinal mucosal lymphomas.  

Benjamin has recently reported feeling "the hard thing in [his] stomach"
pressing up against his belly from within, and the sensation of "the back
of a knife scraping" him in the area of the umbilicus.  When Benjamin
flexes his abdominal muscles, the mass is easily palpated in precisely the
areas indicated on the CT scan.

To be perfectly honest, I believe that the free fluid in Benjamin's
peritoneum resulted from the administration of an enema; again, this would
indicate colonic perforation.  I am so afraid that inflating his colon
with air during the colonoscopy will cause his bowel to rupture, forcing
stool throughout his peritoneum, and resulting in his nearly instant
fatality due to sudden, acute peritonitis.  

Jesenia, if my communications thus far have been unpleasant, I apologize;
it's just that I truly fear for my son's life.  I am not a physician, but
I have researched this matter carefully, and feel there is sufficient
justification for one final abdominal CT scan before going forward with
the colonoscopy -- especially since he just passed that large,
unusually-shaped stool, and particularly because efforts to clean him out
with oral laxatives to date have been 100% unsuccessful.  

Please; I understand the danger of overexposure to radiation, but at this
point, would sooner Benjamin glow in the dark than possibly die just two
weeks from his 10th birthday with my oft-stated concerns having gone
unheeded.  Please, please, please -- I would so much prefer sheepishly
saying "I'm sorry, I was wrong" to sobbing "I told you so."

In conclusion, and with all of my trust, honor and respect, I beg you to
authorize just one abdominal CT scan of my son Benjamin Lawson before
moving forward with the colonoscopy.  If you should refuse, there is
nothing we can do but pray for a positive outcome, and wait and see.

Please advise; I await your response.

-- Melinda Lawson

Friday, March 21, 2014

H. Heilmannii & Hell at Childrens Hospital Memorial

a few pre-emptive warnings before you start reading this post:  
i am not a doctor.  
helicobacter heilmannii infections are rare, and little is known about them.
what i share with you now is just what i know from 1st-hand experience and from online research.  Don't read this article if you are shy or uptight about poop and/or pooping.

Not to be a party pooper, cuz this picture is funny...but close contact with pigs is the number one source of non-h. pylori gastric infections in humans. .  

Our son acquired this bacteria from a stray kitten we'd taken in, and domestic companion animals are the number two source of this bacteria.

Helicobacters are spiral-shaped bacterium that occur naturally in the stomachs of many animals.  When humans catch this bacteria, its called a "zoonosis" (that is, trasmitted from animals to humans).  

Insidious and fastidious, this bacteria survives the acid bath of the stomach, and colonizes the mucosal lining of the  pyloric antrum (the bottom of the stomach).  Once it sets up camp there, it can spread to the pancreas, kidneys, gallbladder, liver, intestines, lymph nodes and will even compromise the heart, lungs, and spine. Early symptoms are commonly misdiagnosed as constipation and dyspepsia (indigestion), and the average length of time for misdiagnosis is three years.  By the time unmistakable lymphoma symptoms appear, it's stage 4 cancer and usually too late. 

* * * * * * * *

We have four children, ages 22, 18, 9 and 8...and we raised every single one the exact same way.  We potty trained them all the exact same way; they all were potty trained between 18 and 24 months, and they all "toileted" normally. 

After toileting normally for four years, our 9-year-old (who was then six, and half-way through the first grade) suddenly began soiling his pants.  We were stunned, and couldn't for the life of us figure out what was going on.  We asked him; he shook his head, not understanding himself what had changed.  

The very first thing I thought was constipation, so I went and bought some Pedialax and gave it to him.    As I recall, it stimulated a bowel movement, but that was the only time any oral laxative did.  

When the soiling continued, I started to think it might be behavioral.  "Are you too shy to raise your hand and say you need to go to the bathroom honey...?  Or maybe you're so busy watching something on T.V., or in the middle of a game or something...too busy having fun to get up and go to the bathroom??"  

But he said, "No.  I don't feel like I have to go to the bathroom...but I do feel like there's something *stuck*."

Back to the Pedialax.  No response.  I decided to try the alternate route, the suppository one....which was met with considerable trepidation and reluctance.  Resistance, actually.  But it did stimulate a bowel movement.  

"Honey...has anyone hurt you, or touched you down there," I asked him.  He looked at me with big wide puzzling eyes.  "Huh?  Why would anyone do that?"  We stood there for a moment, looking into each the other's eyes...his eyes, all green and innocent.  That wasn't it.

Time for the doctor.  We went to our family doc, and told him what we knew.  "Well, it sounds like constipation," we were told, and it was explained to us how that can sometimes just happen.  Give him some Miralax, mix it up in some water or juice, he won't even taste it.  But give it to him every day, and  you should see a change.

So we did.  Nothing.  But there was a soiling every day.  I just could not figure it out.  He started wearing pull-up pants, much to everyone's dismay.  Not only are those confounded things expensive, but he was positively *mortified*.  

"Honey, when you does it feel?  Like, all of a sudden, do you have to go?  Do you not have time to get up and go?"

"No, I don't feel like I have to go.  I never know that I've gone until I suddenly feel it against my skin."

Puzzling, I asked him, "But don't you push?"

"No," he said.  Worry amped up within me.

Back to the doctor, several times; an ultrasound showed lots of gas.  We were advised to continue with the laxatives -- it takes and time and consistency; it could take up to six months to see improvement.  

Intermittent pain in the upper right quadrant of his abdomen...sometimes it felt like stabbing, sometimes it felt like punching.  Occasional gassy episodes that would distend his stomach and cause considerable misery.  Looking back now, I guess it was around this time that he stopped passing gas; I actually can't remember the last time I heard him fart.  

 His little sister began outgrowing him, mainly in weight, but almost in height as well.  

Doctor again.  Stool samples all came back normal, which I still can't understand, because it was anything but.  Dark, muddy-looking and noxious-smelling; all I can say is that is smelled literally poisonous...

People would smell it on him, and look at me like both he and I were crazy.  It was difficult and awkward to explain, since I didn't know myself what the hell was going on.  Occasionally, kids would make fun of him, and he would endure it silently.  

The episodes of gassiness were terrifying; sometimes, it appeared he would explode, and he wouldn't be able to stand upright.  When it happened, I'd take him to urgent care, or to the emergency room.  Again and again, we were told it was constipation and sent home with directions to take laxatives, with no one paying any attention when I told them the laxatives weren't stimulating a bowel movement.

Back to the pediatric gastroenterologist specialist.  We were directed to sit him on the toilet for five minutes at a time, three times a day, the same times, every day.  Because, as the doctors have told me, it's really very common for kids who have long been potty trained to all of a sudden begin withholding their poop...retaining their poop, because one time they passed a big poop, and ever since they've been too scared to go poop, so they hold it.  Then that poop turns into like a big poop rock and stops up the whole show.  Ok...if you say so; but nothing like this happened to any of my other kids, or to me or my husband; in fact, I never personally knew of anyone with this issue.

They did tests for Cron's disease, and allergies for gluten, lactose, this that and the other.  

All of it, negative.  We were at our wit's end.

Early one morning, I went to check on him.  He was awake.  "My stomach hurts," he said.  I just didn't know what to do.  Then, he said, "Mom, what is this?"  He took my hand and placed it on his stomach.  I felt a large lump, and pulled my hand back.  We looked at each other in the darkness, and I was glad he couldn't see the fear in my eyes.

Back to the doctor.  No lump was found.

He had a gassy episode in September, and I thought he might die; he became so pale, and couldn't stand up straight.  It lasted for three days before it was over...and afterward, he and I spoke.  "Baby," I told him, "you're in the fourth grade now.  Fifth grade is next year, and then you'll be in middle school.  Kids can be really mean in middle school.   Let's make a promise to each other:  the next time it happens, we're going to the emergency room...and we're gonna stay until they figure out what's wrong.  Deal?"


So, at the end of January 2014, it happened again.  And we went to the emergency room.  They did an ultrasound, and told us there was too much stool inside of his colon to see things clearly.  "Is it possible that he's been sexually assaulted," they asked.  Absolutely not.

They sent us home with a gallon of Go-Lytely, and told us to have him drink it until he pooped.  I looked it up online to see how soon it was supposed to stimulate a bowel movement.  When he had polished off half a gallon and six hours later still hadn't pooped, we went back.

More tests...a CT scan, an MRI.  The results, I was told, were abnormal, but no one told me in what way.  He was admitted to Childrens Hospital at Memorial.  They put an iv in his right hand, and a nasogastric tube in his nose, which he immediately vomited back up.  

They put him on a clear liquid diet.  I asked if I could eat, and was told "No."  They didn't have the funds to feed not even one of the family members, not even if that family member was staying there, not even if the patient himself wasn't allowed to eat.  I complained, and they sent the hospital social worker to speak with me...a stupid little bitch named Helen Israel.  She reiterated the "we can't afford to feed you" bullshit.  I told her it was nonsense...and that I was a writer and would be writing about this.  Promise kept.

Days went by spent trying to empty out his colon, with him receiving laxatives for several days on a drip.  Nothing.  No poop, though he kept on vomiting, and his condition grew obviously worse.  I told them the laxatives weren't going to work, and it took them almost a week before they believed me.  

"Well, what has worked," they asked me.  "Milk and Molasses enema," I answered.  So they did it, and the volume of results were staggering.  At this point, they'd had him on a clear liquid diet for six days.  Finally, he was empty.  Food was reintroduced, but he still wouldn't poop.  They told me he had a giant rock of poop inside of him that needed to be manually disimpacted by a surgeon.  

"I'm scared," he whispered to me.  We both were.  I mentioned it to one of the nurses..."Pokerface" is what I called her.  "We'll send one of counselors in, they're very adept at helping kids with their anxiety."

Twenty minutes before the procedure, Helen Israel showed up with woman that looked kind of dyke-ish.  I thought it was the anxiety counselor, but I was wrong.  She was a case worker with the Department of Human Services, and started asking me all of the questions that social workers ask right before they're about to take your kids away.  That was the moment I started tape recording all of the encounters I had with anyone while still at the hospital.  She already knew all of his medical history, which inflamed me more...moreso when she kept asking me questions she already knew the answer to.  I've already been through the DHS gauntlet before, and it was obvious they were trying to set me up for a medical neglect case.  She wouldn't go away until I promised to apprise her of his after-care and follow up plan.

After the manual disimpaction, the surgeon called me and told me that she was startled to find very little stool in his colon...and what little stool there was, it was all soft.

But they wouldn't repeat the MRI and CT scan; refused to do any of the imaging procedures they had told me were too obscured by poop to see anything clearly, not even any xrays.  He kept on vomiting with that nasogastric tube, so they decided to feed him through a transpylori tube.  But they couldn't get it down -- his pyloric sphincter was spasmed shut.  

"Stop the presses,"  I wanted to say upon hearing this.  Because we had maintained from the beginning that the issue was in his small bowel.  

But no.  They were going to get that transpylori tube down by hook or by endoscope if necessary.  But while they were down there, they didn't explore and look around.  I saw a couple of pictures that were taken, and saw that they had noted "lesions on the pyloric antrum."  Whatever that was.

We must have seen a gazillion doctors, nurses, technician, etc., and had to tell the same damn story to every single one of them.  They kept looking at my caucasian-looking kid, and then back at me, triple-checking our bracelets.  "Are you mom?"  It totally seemed like they were more interested in the black woman pretending to be this white kid's mom...and the last thing they wanted to do was pay attention to what we were telling them.

I stayed with him the entire time, and watched as he grew sicker and sicker...thinner and thinner.  He kept on vomiting, which by now was a thick green slick of bile.  He ended up throwing up the transpylori tube.  At that point, they decided he needed to receive nutrition via PICC line.  When I asked what it was for, they told me it was for long-term nutrition.  We had already been there for almost two weeks.  "How long do you anticipate he'll be here?" I asked.  "At least five more days," came the answer.

The picc line was placed with X-ray for precision, and the surgeon told me it would lead straight to his heart.  That was at 1:00 pm on Wednesday.

Early Thursday morning, around 1:30 a.m., a nurse came in to flush the line.  My son had complained of pain in his arm, and when the nurse started to flush it, he began to cry.  She rolled her eyes in bad temper.  "Does he always act this way," she asked impatiently.  "No," I answered, "But he's been through a lot, and he is anxious."  She looked at his record, and saw that he had been given Ativan previously; put in a call to the on-call doctor, and received the go-ahead to administer the Ativan.

She attached the syringe to his PICC line and started to push in the Ativan.  He began to scream that it was hurting him.  She continued on anyway, ignoring his cries, and pushing it in fast.   Within twenty seconds all of the Ativan was in.  My son looked at me, his eyes as big as quarters, his pupils as big as dimes...and opened his mouth to say something; a large splash of drool spilled out of his mouth, at least a cup, and he suddenly stuck both of his hands deep into his mouth.

"Oh my God," I said "You overdosed him!" I said to the nurse.

"I did not overdose him," she snapped.  "He's received this much Ativan before."  

"Yes, but that was through an iv in his right hand...this is the first time he's recieved anything through his PICC line,"  which went through his superior vena cava and straight to his heart.  I looked up "Ativan overdose" on my phone, and saw right away that he was experiencing those symptoms precisely.  

Benjamin looked at me, and said, "Mom...I've forgotten how to speak English..." and he began speaking in total gibberish, interspersed with sudden coughing attacks, and he tried to remove the PICC line from his arm.  Another nurse entered the room and put her arm around me, leading me out of the room and into the hallway.  "If you don't calm down," she said, "you will be prevented from returning to your son's room.  Please get out of the way and let us do our jobs."

"But she almost killed him,"  I said.  "I'm calm, I'm going back into the room so that if he dies, I know what happened."

Re-entering the room, he lay on his bed stock still.  The nurse who administered the Ativan walked out of the room in a huff.  Ben looked at me, and he looked just like Reagan in the Exorcist...turned his head to me super-slowly and outer-worldly.  "I hate Ashley..." he whispered.  "Who's Ashley," I asked him.  "The nurse; she told me that if I didn't shut up and calm down, she would have me tied down to the bed."

Since then, I've learned that Ativan is to be administered over two minutes...pushed in slowly because it's thick and hurts.  Instead of sedating Benjamin, it had the opposite effect, he was wired and awake until 6:00 a.m.  When he finally fell asleep, I began to weep quietly.  He told me later that he dreamt zombies had surrounded our house and were trying to get in.  We don't watch zombie movies or let the kids play any zombie games...and it was all just too weird.

Well, at 8:00 the on-call doctor walked in with a big old smile on her face.  "Wow, look great!  You look like you're feeling so much better!  I think you're ready to go home!"

Are you joking.  "What do you mean," I asked.  And she told me that they had determined it was all in his head and could be handled on an out-patient basis.  As soon as he stooled once, we could go home.  

" was the PICC line so necessary if he's now ready to go home?  I thought he was going to be here for at least another five days?" I asked.

In the two weeks we were at the hospital, he had one bowel movement...a small, soft light-colored turd that smelled like who-would-have-thought-it.  Smelled just like this stray kitten we had taken in three years earlier; I could never forget that smell.

And just like that we were discharged.  We left the hospital, but before close of business, I had already consulted an attorney.

We were both so glad to be home.  I mentioned to my husband that Ben's poop smelled just like our cat's first poop.

Over the weekend, I kept on researching.  "lesions in the pyloric antrum," I typed, and then hit return.  And all that came up was about h. heilmannii infection in cats.

I made an appointment to meet with our family doctor, and asked to have Ben tested for h. heilmannii. He didn't question me for a moment...and when the nurse called the next day and told me the test came back positive, I was elated.  "I've been a nurse for 20 years," the nurse told me, "and I have never even heard of this.  I had to ask the doctor how he knew to test for it, and he told me 'I didn't; his mother did."

At our appointment, I let pointed him to the hard lump in Ben's upper abdoment.  "Why, that's not stool," he said.  "It's a mass on his small bowel."  

He referred us to a pediatric surgeon in Denver, who took a real quick look at him and told me she thought it was constipation.  I wanted to deck her.  And then we went back home, making another appointment with the specialist...who also said it was constipation and prescribed laxatives.  He was the one I wrote the Dear Doctor letter to -- funny, I haven't heard back from him yet.  

And here were are.  I'm certain the mass is growing bigger, and that the idiots at Childrens Hospital Memorial worsened it when they shoved the transpylori tube down.  I desperately need someone to look at his MRI, CT scan and xrays and point out all they may see...because going to this and that doctor, telling them our story, and having them conclude it's constipation and recommending laxatives is not helping anything.  There's not even enough study about h. heilmannii for them to know exactly what to do, and to be honest, I just want a very good surgeon to cut him open and take the alien stuff that I know they will find OUT OF HIS BODY.

But the mass, which is at his duodenum, is quite clearly what has been causing his constipation...and the longer it goes with these busy doctors explaining it away dismissively, the shorter my son's life span becomes.

Friends, when doctors don't know what the heck is wrong with you, they'll tell you it's Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Cron's disease, Celiac disease, gluten allergy, lactose intolerance, food allergy...and that will be their best guess.  But the time for guessing is long past.  If a doctor can't do more than guess, what good are they?  

Whatever you do, don't believe the "childhood fecal retention syndrome" guess.  If your kid has been pooping regularly, and then suddenly stops doing that -- it's very indicative that something major has suddenly gone wrong.  Since when do you know of anybody getting stressed out and deciding, "I'm gonna hold in my poop; that'll show my mom for making me do my homework."  Yeah, right.

if you suffer from an gastrointestinal/digestive disorder that shows no improvement with standard medical treatment, and you happen to own a cat, dog, ferret or pot-bellied pig with which you regularly snuggle, don't fall for the ibs/cron's/celiac/lactose intolerance/gluten and other food allergies basket of best-guess causations...and whatever you do, balk at the "childhood fecal retention syndrome" bullshit -- ask your doctor to blood test for h. pylori and h. heilmannii...because that could be the very real cause of your symptoms.