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!

Friday, April 3, 2009

This May Be a Wash, or Worse

I don't know where to start because a lot has happened in the last 24 hours.  I'll just say that Caroline has already decided she doesn't like this school, or any school for that matter.  She has given up hope that she will ever be able to go to any school because of the fear that she will embarrass herself and have to leave, lose friends, etc .  She in general is acting hopeless about her future and gets angry when we try to assure her that she does have a hope and a future.  The school has offered for her to go only half days next week with no homework, but she says she has already been making up stories about herself to the other kids, and feels like a fool (tall tales a very much a part of bipolar disorder).  

Yesterday culminated, after I had to pick her up after only being at school for about 45 min, in her packing her bags and running away.  She took pics of our family, her med box (she knows that they are very important), and took off on foot and walked down through a very bad part of town (murders and shootings daily) for several miles, traipsed around the coffee shop area on the other side, make her way over to another part of town after visiting the zoo.  She was gone for about an hour and a half.  We had called the police, but thankfully someone spotted her before they did and I was able to get her in the car and take her immediately to her psychologist.  We tried to process what was going on in her head but it was hard--she seemed not to understand or care about the danger she was in. The psychologist said when Caroline left the room that she felt strongly it was time to consider a long-term residential treatment program.  I actually agree this time.  If she refuses to do school, there isn't much else we can do. 

I was completely nauseated when we couldn't find her, just numb as I printed out photos for the police to help find her.  I think I've had the last straw.  She is just driving everyone crazy and we are losing time.  Bill believes the school could still work for her, but I think she is convinced it won't.  

In the mean time, my husband's dad has been deathly ill, in and out of the ICU and rehab facilities for 8 weeks now.  The stress of Bill being gone a lot during these weeks of Caroline doing poorly has pushed me to the edge.  I begged him not to go this weekend.  He agreed, but of course if his dad takes a sudden turn for the worse again, he will go up there with my blessing.  

We are going to CA next week to see both family, Sea World, and Disneyland.  We so need a vacation.  Just to play together and swim with the dolphins.  Caroline may not be at her best, but I'll just give her Ativan if I have to.  If she goes to an RTC, it would be right after that, after we line up funding because it is about 11,000 to 20,000 a month!  Insurance would pay for maybe 90-120 days of it, but we would have to find the rest.  An ideal stay is 6 to 12 months. There are some groups that you can finance through .  We'll do anything to help her get back on the right track so we don't lose her to despair, drugs, whatever.  She is at a critical juncture and we have to act.

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