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, October 11, 2009

Great Parent-Teacher Conference

On Friday we met with Caroline's two teachers for the first parent-teacher conference. We didn't think there would be any surprises, and there weren't, thankfully. Her mid-quarter progress report was good: three As, three Bs, and one C, in Spanish, which we are not too concerned about. The teachers both had glowing remarks about Caroline's behavior and work effort. They said she is a wonderful example to the other kids with her attention to detail and her seriousness about her assignments. One even said they wish they could take a piece of her and put it in every kid! So we are not only relieved that she is doing so well, we are overjoyed with her experience at this school. They are seeing the real Caroline, not the bipolar-distorted Caroline. We have warned them that she may have a period of time where she isn't so great, and to let us know if they see a patterning developing of either mania or depression/anger. They had no idea that she takes seven bp meds right now, which, along with her supplements, adds up to 22 pills a day!

I can't believe how good I am feeling now with the stress of homeschooling our youngest off the table. I really felt like I was completely falling apart. I guess I can only handle so much stress--Caroline would be enough, and I have three others kids to care for! I know what my limit is now, and I am promising myself that I will be kind to myself and not stretch myself that thin again. Lesson learned.

Our pastor puts these amazing quotes in our bulletin each Sunday. They are often truly gripping and poignant. I thought I would share one of them with you:

"Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God's plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God's love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out his wonderful plan of love." Eric Liddell (1902-1945) Olympic gold medalist, missionary to China, subject of Chariots of Fire.


Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog about two weekds ago when I was researching Merridel. I live on the outskirts of Austin about 20 miles from Merridel. I could not believe all the things you said. It was like you had cameras in my home. I read it from beginning to end and forwarded the link to my daughters father and several freinds.

My daughter is 14 and has BPD. I also have two other children (9 yrs and 2 yrs) each with special needs of their own. I am a single mom so it can get very stressful. Reading about all the driving and appts was so true. I work full time and feel like I am always having to leave early for this that or the other doc appt, school appt, etc. In this economy it scares me to actually take that kind of time off work, but I have no option but to make sure my children have all their needs met.

After touring Merridel I couldn't bring myself to place her in an RTC. It was just more than I was emotionally prepared for. However, I have made an appt with Dr. Hageman and am hoping he can get her med regulated. I have taken notes on the meds Caroline was switched to and the brain scans they did. I am going to talk to Hageman and see if we can get those tests without having to be in RTC. Surely the local hospital or radiological group has the same equipment.

I want you to know that your blog has given me some hope. Especially after seeing how much better Caroline is doing and that she can and does succeed. I also have learned alot. Please know that God made you a gift to the others of us out there that are struggling.

I would love to discuss more offline. You can contact me at nicknick_n_3@sbcglobal.net

domandkat said...

On that note, want to have lunch with me some Wednesday when I'm practically across the street from you?

Megan said...

Sure! Lunch on Wednesday, maybe next week?

Corrie Howe said...

I'm glad the conference went well and you can feel good about Caroline and her teachers. I loved the quote from Eric Liddel.

Accidental Expert said...

Wow! Wonderful news on the conferences.

I homeschooled my son for a short period of time in 4th grade, but finally gave it up. I was a wreck and could not handle the behavior. I felt huge relief when he went back to school.

With 4 kids, you've got enough on your plate. Enjoy your time and contrats again on the good words.