Bed wetting, although infrequent, can be a very upsetting side effect of chemotherapy. Some drugs increase thirst, while others disrupt normal sleep patterns, both of which can make bed wetting more likely. Lots of IV fluids at night are a problem for some children. When the bed wetting is caused by drugs or IVs, time will cure the problem. Once the drug or extra fluid is no longer necessary, the bed wetting will stop.
There are also psychological reasons for bed wetting during chemotherapy. The trauma of the treatment for cancer causes many children to regress to earlier behaviors such as thumb sucking, baby talk, temper tantrums, and bed wetting. Punishment for this type of bed wetting only adds to the childs trauma and rarely solves the problem. The following are veteran parents' suggestions:
• Double-sheet the bed. Put down one plastic liner with fitted and flat sheets, then put on top another plastic liner with fitted and flat sheet. During the night, simply pull off the top sheets and plastic, and there are fresh sheets below.
• Keep a pile of extra-large or beach towels next to the bed. Cover the wet spot with towels, and save the bed change for the morning.
• Give the last drink two hours before bedtime, to allow the childs bladder to totally empty right before bed.
Prednisone caused my child to have nightmares and frequent bed wetting. I felt if she could sleep through the night, the bed wetting might stop. I told her she could sleep with me for the month that she was on prednisone, but that after that she would move back into her own bed. It calmed her to sleep with me. The nightmares and bed wetting decreased, and she moved back into her own bed without complaint when the time came.
Adopt an attitude that lets the child know that bed wetting is "no big deal." There should be no shaming or punishment.
If your child is extremely distressed by his bed wetting, ask him if he wants you to set the alarm for the middle of the night in order to help him get up to go to the bathroom.
Alex was potty-trained during consolidation. He would get major hydration with the high dose-methotrexate, but he never had an accident. We brought his potty with us to the hospital and kept it right next to his bed. If he had to go during the night he would just get out of bed and go. It worked out really well, and you can empty it in the morning.
When my daughter started bed wetting, I didn't think it was the drugs. I thought long and hard about any additional worries that she might have, and I realized that because her dad had emotionally withdrawn from her during her illness, she might be worried that I would do the same. So I told her one night, "You know, I just realized that every day I tell you how much I love you. But I've never told you that no matter how hard life gets and no matter how mad we get at each other I will always love you. I love you now as a child, I will love you as a teenager, and I will love you when you are all grown up." She started to sob and hugged and hugged me. She has never wet the bed again.
My teenaged son wet the bed whenever he was given antinausea medicine prior to high doses of chemotherapy. He was so embarrassed. I stayed with him every night at the hospital. He was so groggy that even if he woke up in time, I had to help him out of bed and support him while he stood, half asleep, to use the urinal.
My son wet the bed before, during, and after the three years of his treatment for ALL. We just kept him in diapers at night. He would absolutely flood the bed while on prednisone. After he completed treatment, they put him on a drug called DDAVP to help cure the bed wetting.
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53 Minutes From Now, You'll Know Exactly How To Stop Your Child From Wetting The Bed...Without Drama Or Discipline. It's one of the hardest problems families face and can be very tough on a child's self esteem. When one of your children is a bed wetter, it can be a very sensitive topic. Even though it's a normal part of growing up, siblings can still give them a hard time.