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!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Phone Conference

On Tuesday morning, Bill and I had our first phone conference with Caroline's psychologist at the Residential Treatment Center, along with her psychologist here in her office.  The first discussion was about the results from the CEEG with evoked potentials. What that means exactly is complicated but basically they looked at her brain's electrical activity in response to stress, and they found abnormalities in the conductivity of signals between her left front temporal lobe, which has to do with emotion and executive functioning, and the part of the brain that governs reasoning and impulse control, the higher thought processes.  So what happens is when she gets upset, she gets stuck in a seizure-like state because the frontal lobe isn't sending proper signals to the part of her brain that would help her think through a problem and strategize, and find a way to cope.  So that is why she freaks out so much and seems unable to do anything but hyperventilate, rage and meltdown without an ounce of self-control no matter where we are.  The doctor asked permission to put her on Amandatine, a drug used primarily for Parkinson's disease.  This electrical misfiring is not directly related to being bipolar at all, the neuropsychiatrist said, but is a separate brain problem.  He feels if he can get those signals to get to where they need to go with the help of this med  that she will be much better off in all of the other areas with which she struggles.  

Her psychologist at Meridell also related that she was doing much better compared to the previous evening.  Caroline said that after her meltdown the night before, she received a very encouraging letter from our pastor, which was very comforting.  She said she is carrying her Bible around to remind her of God's love for her when she is stressed out.  That is good to hear.

 One of the things that she is having the most trouble with is her sleep.  She is not sleeping well at all, which we wonder if it is because of the stress of it all, or if they have changed her sleep meds, which we would not be happy with if they did not consult us.  Sleep has been a major issue for years and she has been sleeping well on her present med mix for months.  

She says that she keeps losing points on this rewards system because she is so tired in the am that she just wants to sleep, and so misses some of school and gets points deducted.  That does not sound fair to us, especially when her new med makes her doubly sleepy, and they give it to her am and pm. 

Also they are giving her the pm meds right after dinner, which means she will be wanting to sleep within half an hour, thus missing the evening activities.  We've got to talk about that too.

She sent the sweetest letter to us today, including individual greetings to each sister, even telling her older sister how much she loves her.  The letter started, " To My Beloved Family, I want you to know that you guys are always in my thoughts.  I miss you, love you, and I hope to see you guys soon..."  Pretty sweet.   She can be so sweet and affectionate, but that all but disappeared this year.  I hope that does come back while she is there.

Unfortunately, our dogs ate her new gerbils yesterday.  Murderers.  We won't be telling her about this, you can bet.  Before she comes back, we'll just slip in some new ones and hopefully she'll never know.  Our dogs are in BIG trouble. 

1 comment:

domandkat said...

Dogs eat gerbils? I think your dogs need the therapy - they are sounding like cats! I mean, what dog worth it's salt would even think about eating a mouse let alone a gerbil!?!?!?