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!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Disappointing Visit

Much to our dismay, Caroline was dropped down a level at Meridell the day that Bill flew out half way across the country to see her. He found out about this after he arrived at the hotel and was about to drive to the RTC. The level drop meant that he was unable to take her off campus at all. Needless to say this was a huge blow to both Caroline and to Bill. He is very angry still about this, which I share. He managed to keep her as busy as he could on the bare-bones campus. There really isn't much to do there beyond the pool table, the basketball court and the pool. He had to make a big effort to make the weekend fun for the both of them. Gone were the plans to take her to Austin, to get her nails done, to go shopping, to go out to eat. She really needed that time away to be refreshed for the next month and she didn't get that. Bill even applied for a three hour waiver on Sunday, but her counselor there denied it by phone. But the next day, Monday, she is back up to the level where she could have gone off-campus, twelve hours after Bill left. Is that not ridiculous? We had more faith in Meridell to be accommodating to parents who are coming from a long way away and can only come once a month. We feel slighted. I mean, come on. During previous hospitalizations, there has been a law of dimishing returns with Caroline, where if she begins to really struggle with homesickness and cabin-fever, her behavior takes a dive to the point of no return. All behavior modification becomes a moot point. We really hope this doesn't happen. Bill said she handled the blow as best as she could. He didn't talk negatively to her about her counselor or about Meridell, which would have been counter-productive. I may fly out in two weeks to take her off-campus myself. I'd like to charge it to Meridell, though I know that won't happen.

On a positive note, Caroline told me something on the phone that I found to be very encouraging. She asked if I remembered when she was younger and her older sister would have friends over, and they would be in her room, and she would do everything possible to annoy or anger Elizabeth: knocking on her wall, on her door, initiating conflict, etc. She said that she realizes now how obnoxious that was and she feels bad about it. I related that to Elizabeth. I hope she can see that Caroline won't always be "the enemy." Elizabeth actually asked if she could go out to Texas to see her next time. I think mainly she wants to see a place she hasn't been before, but maybe she really wouldn't mind seeing Caroline. I am not sure we can afford that right now. Maybe we can't afford not to, I don't know.

Happy 4th!

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