About our Daughter

I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 17, 19, 21, and 23, and wife to the greatest husband on earth. God has given us a special child to raise one who was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder at the age of seven, though she showed signs of it from the age of fifteen months. She also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (sensory seeking), Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder-NOS, all typical comorbidities for a bipolar child. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running (finished her first marathon in October of 2014!), and reading and writing her own books. I will share with you the many joys and sorrows we have faced and will face in the future with the hope that you may find better understanding about this mental illness caused by both chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain. I desire that you will be encouraged by this blog if you are also dealing with a bipolar child. Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey.

How Did You Know She Was Bipolar So Young?

I wrote a long explanation of how we came to this bipolar diagnosis in a child so young under my post of March 19th of 2009. If your child or a child you know bears similarities, please seek out a good psychiatrist and don't wait for "things to get better." Often they will simply get worse, and the longer a child is unmedicated, the more damage their brain can accrue. Early diagnoses and treatment are key to providing these children with a chance at a successful life later as a teen and an adult.
Never change, start or stop a medication without the approval of your child's physician!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Health Insurance: The Other Necessary Evil

I am venting here.  We are trying to find the very best Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for Caroline that we can possibly find, one that has specific criteria that are important to her health and to us.  Some of the best ones are far from us, like in Texas, and Colorado, Wisconsin or Georgia.  We are willing to fly out there if that is the best scenario for our daughter.  Tricare, our health insurer, has an approved list of RTCs that they will pay for.  Some of our preferred RTCs are on the list, but our psychologist just told us, having dealt with Tricare before, that they will probably only approve the one closest to us, which we had already struck down based on what we saw on the website.  We really would like to take her to a place that has brain-based therapies such as neurofeedback and brain imaging based therapies, and equine therapy, which is so helpful to her and calming.  I am just mad that we are bound by someone else's opinion in some office somewhere who doesn't know our child.  The one in our state doesn't have horses and looks undesirable compared to some other RTCs.  I guess we'lll see.  This will be about a two week process now.  And we don't want to see her once a week actually, which Tricare requires, because we now feel that she will make better progress if she realizes we are not able to take her home every time we go up there (big problem before).  One great RTC in Texas only wants family visits every 8 weeks, which sounds  about right to us.  I mean, WE need a break too.  Her family is tired and exhausted and we need her to be cared for by others for a spell.  


Jeanette said...

My Dear Friend,

With all tenderness to you and your family, and with love in my heart-- Carolyn's safety, your safety, your other daughters' safety, and her out of control behavior are the major factors right now, not whether the RTC has horses.

If the bill is $11,000 a month or more, you need to choose a facility now that your insurance will cover, and not carry a debt burden that will cripple life for the rest of the family. You can always change facilities after several months or a year of treatment. But you can't wait several months or a year.

Your family has been suffering for a long time; your eldest is actually afraid of her sister. Your husband is the only person who could actually restrain her in fits of rage, and he needs to go to his job, and have a clear mind to work on some pretty important issues. Your daughters need their mother.

Your posting about lacrosse sticks and axes are truly horrifying. You know that she needs a safe structured environment with medical people who can control her environment, make sure she takes meds, do therapy daily, etc. She can no longer have the decision making ability to: get up late, going or not going to school, taking an ax to your car, or taking off on a stroll through town without even leaving a note.

I hope you know that I do not say this to be harsh; I know something about broken hearts. You can recall the experience I had with my son, and no news or contact for 6 years.
Do what you must for Caroline, for yourself, for your other children, and for your husband. Please.

domandkat said...

AMEN SISTER!!! AMEN! You need therapy too - retail therapy. Of course thanks to the large sum required for the one, this might have to be in consignment stores and CHKD, but then one can always get one's manicure at a friends house - food and coffee and a good gabfest required :-)

Love ya!

momofbpchild said...

The main thing about the choice of an RTC is that she needs occupational therapy, as well as no roommates, a non-hospital setting (something free-standing with lots of outdoor activities). We know her needs and not every RTC offers the same thing. Some will have a focus on talk-therapy, others are more medically based with a strong handle on psych meds. So ok horses would be very nice (equine therapy is extremely helpful to kids with the kind of problems Caroline has) but there are other important criteria. We have all ready seen the result of taking her to the nearest facility and it was a disaster because their approach to psych care was archaic. She came away with some serious PTSD issues she didn't go in there with. We completely agree that she needs a highly structured setting and intense behavioral therapy, which we cannot provide here.

momofbpchild said...

Thanks Kat. I like retail therapy, or especially Changes therapy in the spa. Not too often, but very nice.