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, September 4, 2009

First Week of School

I haven't written in a while because instead of getting up in the morning and grabbing time on the computer before my kids are up, I have been trying to get into the "school routine" which means computer time comes later, and sometimes that's at night when I am toast, and I just want to collapse into bed, instead of writing on my blog.

But this week has been a good one as far as Caroline's first week of school goes. We had a smooth transition to the new routine, and she seems to be just fine with everything. Of course, that could change, but we sure hope it won't. She has already made a new friend, who I have been told by the principal is a good choice for a friend. Her class is made up of ten kids, and only three of them are girls, including Caroline. They are doing some placement testing to determine where everyone is at in writing, reading, spelling and math. I like the fact that they ability group each major subject.

The only hiccup was that this morning my husband, who normally makes sure Caroline is up for school on time, slept in because he didn't have to go to work today. For some reason, Caroline forgot to set her alarm, and so it was about 7:00 before he woke her up, and school starts at 8:00, so she kind of freaked out and was ranting and raving about how she would never be ready in time. This is our kid who never spends time in front of the mirror primping, or straightening her hair, or fussing over what she is going to wear. She just normally throws her clothes on, which she picked out the night before, eats a quick breakfast, and she's off. Bill was having a very hard time reasoning with her about how she was creating a crisis for nothing. I came downstairs and could see that he was losing it with her tantrum, and I told him I would handle it. She went to lay down on the living room couch, and I sat down and told her she was being completely self-centered and needed to straighten up and stop torturing everyone. I left the room, and she came into the kitchen a moment later, completely calm and apologetic. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't.

So she went off to school and had a great day, except for the fact that her back is really giving her a problem again, and she has been complaining about it enough this week that I did take her to the pediatrician. He said to take her to a chiropractor and a massage therapist. We took her to get a massage, and the therapist said that her back was the tightest one she had worked on in a long time. She said her muscles up and down were all in tight knots and she could hardly do anything because it hurt Caroline too much. Her recommendation was to take her to a chiropractor the next day, and to come back for another massage session in a few days. Only problem: our insurance doesn't cover chiropractic or massage, so we would be looking at five or six hundred dollars a month out of pocket. We are not in the position to do this, so we called the pediatrician back and said we wanted a referral for the physical therapy place she went to before almost a year ago when this problem first occurred. They gave us a referral, but it wasn't to the same doctor, but to a p.t. place unknown to us. My husband got really mad, because I did ask for this doctor specifically (the pediatrician had given us the original referral last year) and they didn't get this part, even though I left a detailed message twice. He drove down to the pediatrician's office and stood there until he got the right referral. What a pain! At this point, her back is too messed up (again) for her to engage in fall sports, which is such a disappointment. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Yesterday a woman tried to frame me for "damage" done to her car in a Costco parking lot. There were two tiny specks of paint missing from her rear bumper, specks the size of these letter I am typing, which she said I was responsible for because my front bumper was touching her back bumper. I knew I didn't bump her car when I pulled in (she was backed two feet into my space and the Costco video of the parking lot showed that I didn't move her car) and later when I looked at the pictures I took, it was obvious that my license plate wasn't high enough to have chipped those two tiny bits of paint from the bumper. She was just looking for money I think, and I was convenient. I was sooooo upset that she wasted an hour of my time accusing me of something that I didn't do. I don't get people like that at all. No sense of grace or priorities.

I just had to vent about that.

I am gearing up to homeschool my two youngest starting on Tuesday. One of our subjects will be "communication skills." They have developed terrible habits of relating to each other and to us, and we are determined to "retrain their brains." With Caroline having so much more self-control, we now turn our attention to the two imps who have gone under the radar so long. My oldest is finishing her third novel for her AP Language class, and she also starts on Tuesday. I can't wait until everyone is in their routine so I can feel like I am in control again. Yes, I am a control freak of sorts, and there is something about a daily schedule that makes me feel much more secure inside.

Speaking of daily routine, before Caroline went back to school, I was having to write out her daily schedule on a big white board in the kitchen because it was driving her crazy not to know what she had going on every hour. Once I had everything written down, her mood improved a lot.

We are having to decide whether to pick up with seeing Caroline's previous psychologist, whom she saw for six years, or stay with the one she has had through the summer via phone conferences, and now in person. We love them both, and so we are quite torn. I think we will still with the present psychologist because our family saw her over the summer and she has been doing some great work with our other three kids in family therapy. However, I am thinking that I still want to have her previous psychologist involved somehow, because she is such a dear friend to us, did an amazing job, and has gone the extra mile for us time and again. Perhaps I will see her just for myself.

I just remembered that we had another hiccup this week with Caroline refusing to go to the social skills therapy group again because she declares she has learned all the social skills she needs to know, and just wants to be a "normal" middle schooler, not one that has to go to these "therapies." We can't force her to go by throwing her in the car and making her go in, but hopefully she will change her mind. I think she was a little turned off by the fact that she was the only girl there, and the only one that talked. Maybe I should have asked earlier if there would be any other girls in the group, and waited to sign up Caroline until there was.

Off to bed!

1 comment:

Corrie Howe said...

Wow! I just came across your blog today. This is the first entry and I plan to "catch up." You do have a lot going on. I'm glad that you like worship songs (one's not on the radio). We listen to a lot of worship songs on the radio, but our church also does a lot. I really admire our worship team leaders. They write some incredible songs. We are blessed that will make CDs of the team's music if asked. Listening to them often helps pick me up from a hard day/week.