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!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Too Much Trileptal?

Caroline sounded down on the phone today, and kind of foggy.  She kept forgetting things she wanted to say.  The doctor at Meridell now has her on a 1300 mg dose of Trileptal, her new mood stabilizer.  He believes that most docs don't increase Trileptal to high enough doses to really be effective especially with angry outbursts.  The only problem is that Trileptal gave Caroline marked drowsiness several years ago when we tried it and she would sleep every morning in class.  I will be interested to see how she is responding when I go out to see her in ten days or so.  School starts up there in a week, and obviously if she falls asleep in class for an hour every day like she did, the Trileptal will need to be decreased.  She really needs the structure of school.  We could tell that without that daily exercise for her brain, she was beginning to slide behaviorally.  She has had a more difficult time staying on level, or moving up for that matter.  This is a child who simply needs regular mind and body exercise.  She kind of implodes without them.  

She was asking about whether or not she would be coming home to the same house.  We have been talking about moving for a while now, and due to the falling home prices, our plans were delayed while we figured out what we wanted to do.  She said she doesn't want to come home to the same neighborhood, which has not been a safe place for her, but that she wants to at least say goodbye to her room.  I understand how she feels.  I don't completely want to leave my cozy house, but I also wish I could just snap my fingers and presto we were in a different house and neighborhood.  Life is more complex than that, at least for us right now.  Throw in that our oldest really wants to continue at her present high school because of their course offerings and friendships and has been quite vocal about it.  She says everything revolves around Caroline, that we have to move because of her bipolar sister who ruins everything.  

The truth is, our moving isn't all about Caroline, only partly.  We've got lots of other reasons to relocate.  Doing so won't be easy for us after sixteen years of planting roots, but we feel like the needs of our family dictate moving.  Ugh, I hate this.  Now I feel rootless, unsure that I will like living anywhere but "home."  It's only fifteen miles away or so, but it feels so much farther than that.  Our small city has wrapped it's fingers around us with its web of relationships and memories tied up with favorite haunts.  Longest I've ever lived anywhere.

But it's not like I ever see any of my friends during the week anyway, except for my neighbors on my street, and then only now and again.  With my kids being older, I don't even hang out at the pool anymore that much.  I really only see people I know on Sundays at church, so that won't be any different.  Having a bipolar kid to contend with precluded my getting to go to the mid-week women's bible study, or meeting up with a friend for coffee.  Our schedules are so different.  So really, seeing my buddies happens on the weekends or evenings, maybe.   Life was so much more connected when I had little kids.  There were a lot of stay at home moms in my neighborhood and we hung out all the time, the kids all playing together.  Now, the kids are all in school and the moms are all at work, or busy with whatever, like me.  

I need some momentum.  Maybe some new music to get me going.  Having my younger girls at camp in two weeks will help.  I forgot how unproductive summer is with everyone underfoot.  

My quote for the day, (or my whole life) courtesy of Sara Groves: "Something's changed inside me.  Broke wide open, all spilled out, til' I had no doubt, that something's changed... And I cannot fake it, and I cannot make it, and I can't afford it, but it's mine." (Something Changed from Add to the Beauty.)

No comments: