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 6, 2009

What I Know So Far

Many have been wondering how Caroline has been doing at Meridell, and I apologize for the silence.  Truthfully, I have been sleeping a lot during the day, and night.  I think after she left, my body called it quits.  Being constantly hyper-vigilant most of the time around Caroline is more exhausting than I probably even know.  I just can't seem to get up and going since Sunday, no energy whatsoever.  Poor Bill has taken up the slack, so now he is exhausted.

The hand-off to Meridell went very well.  Caroline did not even cry when Bill left.  She seemed chipper on the phone that night with me, and Brandi her therapist there, has reported that she is doing well thus far.  She went to school the first day she was there, which was surprising to us, and went the next day as well, but then got over-stimulated and had to leave early.  They will be adjusting her academic regimen and scope and sequence based on the testing they will be doing and her sensory needs.  

We did have a great phone conference with Brandi yesterday (Brandi talks just like one of my dearest friends so I liked her instantly),  just telling her whatever we felt she needed to know to understand how Caroline thinks/responds and why, and also about her self-esteem issues, the hard things she has been through this year that completely put her in this pit of despair.  She took down notes the whole time and said to please call her anytime, and that she wanted us to know that they would keep Caroline very safe there, after she heard about a recent hospitalization where she was not safe from herself or others.

Her little sisters have expressed sadness that she is gone, the youngest saying that she was her favorite sister.  I need to clean her room out, since my Mom will be staying there next week.  I haven't really gone in there.  

We will have weekly phone conferences with Caroline, Brandi and Caroline's psychologist here starting next Tuesday.  Then, the last weekend of this month we will fly out to see her and have more consults with her psychiatrist and therapist there.  She gets to call us on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  I think the next week will be harder than Caroline is showing right now.  Lots of adjustments to make like following a strict schedule.

We are looking forward to seeing the results of the brain imaging and advanced EEGs.  I have been reading a lot of recent research on the CABF website about how the bipolar brain has differences in structure and blood flow and electrical activity.  Their brains definitely show signs of atrophy in the grey matter governing emotions, impulse control, etc.  Something about smaller amygdalas, where they just found that kids with autistm have unusually large amygdalas.  There is so much they are learning about these brain-based disorders, and the genes that have a role in them.  Now if they can just find a cure!

On to laundry.....more tomorrow.

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