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, May 11, 2009

Actually, No

With Mother's Day just behind us, I had a thought about something that happened on Sunday.  Right after the church service ended, a friend who sat in front of me wished my Happy Mother's Day, and commented that it must be really hard for me this year, because of Caroline's situation.  Actually, no, I replied, it's been great.  Sadly, I really have to say that I am enjoying not having her around right now.  I feel guilty saying it but I am so much more relaxed, our home is so much calmer, and there isn't that constant anger component that she brings into our lives. We love her tremendously, don't get me wrong, but this feels so nice, to be a "normal" family, with "normal" problems, like where to get a prom dress hemmed at the last minute, or why did you put your best nightgown over the gerbil cage last night because they shredded it.

I have so many friends whose families are pretty normal.  Maybe an ADHD kid here, maybe some learning disabilities there, or sibling rivalry, but nothing that would make you want to jump off of a cliff.  I have at times felt like jumping off a cliff, ok maybe just getting in the car and never coming back, when hope seems nonexistent and you have nothing left for the next minute, day or week.  Those are the times that feel like hell, as if God is nowhere, and you are left wondering why He allowed you to have kids at all.  I mean, didn't He know this would be impossible?  That my worst side would show most of the time because everything she does pushes me to the edge?  That my husband and I wouldn't know what a date night is, for years?  
That my other children would develop their own psychological issues because of the chaos?  Life is so unfair, isn't it?  

Yet, we must push forward, and trust that the end will be better than the middle, and that God does exist and does care, and has a plan.  I'll take these small breaks, this time of being able to breath finally, instead of holding my breath all of the time.  I'll take the regular business of life, and know this is only a season of quiet for now.  Relative quiet.  Can't be too quiet with kids chasing each other around the house or backyard squealing happily, or not so happily, especially when the raising of caterpillars is at stake.  

A dear friend called me on Mother's Day and left the sweetest message saying I was the best mom ever, and I was so touched.  I am not all, but sometimes when God gives you lemons, you make lemonade or you sink into paralyzing despondency.  I appreciate her encouragement.

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