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, May 1, 2009

Down to the Count

Caroline leaves for the long-term residential treatment center in two days.  Well, less than that, more like 36 hours.  I am experiencing new feelings of sadness about her having to leave the circle of our family.  As dysfunctional as it is at times, it is a tight circle where we have always valued each one of our daughters.  Life will be a little empty without her, as it always is when any one of them is away for more than a few days.  This is definitely the best thing for her and for us, but it will be hard.  

Whenever she has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital in the past, I initially think I will get so much done while she is there, but that never has happened.  Instead, I enter this zombie mode, numb with exhaustion from events leading up to the hospitalization and grief that her life is so unfairly hard.  I don't become energized and industrious, but walk around in a fog.  I really hope that I can snap out of that this time because truly I have so much to do.  We need to paint our house, organize, fix the flowerbeds, and everything else that needs doing to put our house on the market.  We want to be in a new school system by September 1st, even if that means a contingency contract.  

I remarked to her today that she may not be coming back to this house that we have lived in for six years now, and how did she feel about that.  She didn't really say that she would be sad,but seemed ok with it, considering how small her room is, and how messed up some of the relationships with our neighbors have been.  I hope to be able to surprise her with a room painted in her favorite color with new bedding--a fresh start.  

I bought her a journal today to give her as a present tomorrow at her last family dinner for many months.  I am making her favorite meal and she wants cherry pie.  I think we will be quite sad tomorrow night.  I can feel my heart going in that direction.  I insisted that Elizabeth, her older sister, be there at the dinner, even though I know that being with Caroline is that last thing she wants to do.  Too bad, this is important.  

One thing I have definitely felt is this slow relaxation of my whole self, slowly, starting in my head and spreading out to every part of my being in the last two weeks.  I think it is because the responsibility of schooling her has been lifted off of my shoulders, we know she is going to be getting great help, and so I have been so much less stressed out from 8 to 3, just going about my business and letting her relax too.  I have been in this straight jacket of stress for so long, that now that I feel it coming loose, I have a new peace in my soul I haven't felt in years.  A taste of normal, maybe?  I'll take normal daily stressors, like homework, and laundry, and bills, anytime over bipolar rages, or running away, or trying to bandage up a wounded soul.   


The Mom said...

I am so glad I am not the only one who feels this way. I am completely paralyzed by anxiety and grief. It is good to not feel totally alone.

The Mom said...

I am so glad I am not the only one who feels this way. I am completely paralyzed by anxiety and grief. It is good to not feel totally alone.