Gavin’s “drinking” problem

For the past year or two,  Gavin has been aggressively taking in fluids throughout the day.  It was to the point that he was constantly asking to refill his water bottle. 

It would honestly get annoying at times because it was like no sooner was his water bottle filled, than he chugged it down.

We never really concerned ourselves with it because he couldn’t always have been doing something worse, right?

Gavin’s autonomic specialist has out him on strict fluid intake restrictions.  This is because he is in medications to retain water, so they don’t want him taking in too much. Gavin is allowed 2 liters of fluids,  per day.  Those fluids can be water or gatorade. He’s not longer allowed things like juice or pop,  but that’s actually a better practice anyway.
We have a water bottle measured and marked.  He needs to fill and finish drinking that water bottle, four times each day.

Wouldn’t you know it,  it’s like friggin pulling teeth to drink now. 

This has become another power struggle. Why does everything have to be a goddamm power struggle?

These health issues of his are serious and it’s hard enough to manage life when he’s cooperative,  let alone when we have to battle for every inch of progress.

I don’t understand why he’s doing this. Before,  he was drinking way,  way more than this and would get angry if we dared try putting the breaks on how much he could drink.

Sometimes I just want to scream.

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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 @lostandtired  @Mary Franzen Costello  Since I am a nonparent, feel free to ignore me completely 🙂 But I wonder if there is anything that Gavin could be given control over, separate from his actions? Maybe there is a plant he can care for, or something he could choose to put in his water (lemon or lime wedges – something healthy). What Mary said reminded me of people who develop eating disorders- often they regulate their intake (or refuse to regulate) as a measure of control over their lives. Maybe if Gavin had one small thing that he could always control, it would help him deal with the things he can't control (like getting sick on a long car ride). 
Or maybe he would just take this to a new extreme – you would know better than I.


Maybe he is not as thirsty now that the meds make him retain the fluids? Does he have to drink all that or just up to that amount and not over?  There is a difference and could help you not stress so much.


@MariaHall that's a good point but he wasn't even on the new meds. He has to take it that amount to keep from passing out.


I am wondering if it has to be four times a day, maybe splitting it between six or eight (every two hours or so)? That way it could be "well, as soon as the water is gone, I can turn the tv back on"  Maybe earning a reward like 5 extra minutes of electronics or personal time with Mommy. (the mom one works EVERY time here) All I have to say is "only boys who take their meds (for instance) get to go get groceries with Momma later" or any kind of anything that has to do with one on one attention from one of us. I sure hope something works for him. I know that this is a power struggle, we deal with that a LOT here. My son has to be in control of everything. We do a lot of choices (within our control) like at snack he will want candy and we will say "would you like ONE mnm and an orange or two mnms and a yogurt. That way he still feels like he is getting what he wants (candy) AND we are getting what we want (healthy). Or we will say, YES. You can have candy. As soon as you eat these carrots, you may have those skittles. or however many baby carrots you eat is how many mnm's you may have (but we set out a certain amout of carrots that is the limit) Sorry most of this is about food, but like gavin and his liquids were, is how food is for our son. Good luck, dear. I know it's frustrating.


 @JennyPattonFury It's not so much a thirst but something that was taken to the extreme. Gavin never does anything halfway. We had to increase his fluid intake awhile back because of the Lithium he is on. He needs to be properly hydrated while on that medication. Gavin took that to the extreme and was constantly wanting to refill his water bottle and get a drink. 
That's how that got started.
Now that we learned that we have to strictly limit his intake, it's like pulling teeth to get him to drink 2 full liters of water a day.
This is just one of those Gavin'isms as we like to call them. 🙂 


 @lostandtired we know about those :-), except we call them "jackisms" at our house!  like the lights have to be off at night when we are downstairs, but if we try to make him go to bed "in the dark" it is a fate worse than death……or the radio that has to be on whenever we are driving, but if it isn't shut off the minute we pull into the driveway a meltdown ensues.  blah


@JennyPattonFury aren't the "isms" fun 🙂


I am sure that a lot of it IS a power struggle thing, but I will say that his insatiable thirst probably was a symptom of something- wonder if part of it is that the physiological drive to drink is now gone since the medication change?  just thinking….


too bad you can't take it away from him, I bet he would drink it then.  But, that doesn't always work latest post:


 @Carlyoung I know right. It's a power struggle and a frustrating one. 🙁

Mary Franzen Costell

This poor kid. No control over anything, now he's even told how much to drink. Could you trick him by taking away the measured bottle and putting a pitcher filled to the correct amount in the fridge that he can use whenever he wants? Of course if that doesnt work hell have to down the whole thing before bed. Sigh.
does he care about rewards at all?


 @Mary Franzen Costello  Gavin clearly has no control over any of his health related issues. I just don't understand the way he thinks. I would think living would be a pretty good reward. I mean , what he has going on is pretty serious and his cooperation is needed in order to keep things as balanced as possible. But you're right, it's all about control. 


just a thought, has he had his blood sugar tested? drinking lots sleeping lots and mood swings can be a sighn of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes i only say this because 2 of my children have been diagnosed with this and the first symptoms we noticed was heavy fluid intake and weight loss, probably not but felt it was worth pointing it out 🙂


@suzey they check all the time. Thanks for asking though. I appreciate it. 🙂