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 18, 2010

Leaning Toward Homeschooling, Theological Questions

I think it is time to decide what we are doing come September with Caroline. Not knowing if we are going to be staying here or not, or whether or not we can afford private school for her, I have decided to homeschool her temporarily until we have it figured out. She absolutely does not want to go back to her old private school. She has gone from pretty manic to pretty depressed right now. I am wondering how much the 150mg increase in the Seroquel may be contributing, or the Ciprofloxin that she is on for the UTI. Tonight we begin to titrate down the seroquel, hopefully to 400 mg again. Or maybe this is just the common pattern that mania is followed by depression.

She wants to move somewhere else and start over again where no one knows her past indiscretions. She is quite haunted by the things that she did in the past while manic, and her reputation has followed her, unfortunately. The poor girl. She longs to be accepted for who she is right now, not who she was before she went to the RTC. My heart breaks for her. I want to start over too for her sake. A new job, a new town, a new school, a new neighborhood, a new pool, and even a new church, though we would be very sad to leave our wonderful pastor and friends. But she can't seem to make inroads with the middle school kids because of her past. She is so very lonely that it just doesn't seem fair to make her keep going when it only reminds her of her aloneness.

So many changes ahead. I am overwhelmed by them, until I remember that God is in control and has a plan-- "It is well with my soul."

Our pastor's sermon today was on the problem of suffering and what we do when we are faced with serious trials. The age old question is "If God is loving and sovereign than why do good people suffer?" The answer to this important questions depends on one's world view. I think that there are basically three different views on suffering: "God doesn't exist, so everything is random and has no meaning" "God exists but is distant, not too concerned with us, and just kind of lets things happen as they will, maybe he will answer your prayers, maybe not," or "God is good, loving, personal, and sovereign and all of our trials do have a purpose, which is mainly to draw us to Himself instead of depending on ourselves and our own abilities, or inabilities, to make life work. There is joy in the journey and in the end, He will make all things right."

I know that many of you who read are not of the Christian faith, and honestly, I am honored that you would read this blog, and please know that the intention of my blog is purely to share our struggles and triumphs so others may be encouraged, not to convert anyone. But I am of the last persuasion, that this world is full of struggles, but not without purpose, in the hand of a loving, all knowing, all powerful God. I do believe that God cares about us and our daughter, and has a good plan for her life, but not without valleys. Right now I can see that Caroline is struggling to believe that God cares at all. And if I were her, I am sure I would be questioning too. Not many fourteen year olds have experienced such devastating events as she has, which have also led to social isolation. I want her to know that even when she can't see God's purpose for any of this (I don't either a lot of the time) that He does care, He will carry her, and there will be many joys ahead if she trusts in Him, keeps taking her meds, stays in school, avoids the wrong crowd, and sets goals for herself, like playing college lacrosse. We are looking ahead to high school and probably more trials, perhaps worse, I don't know. But we are committed to her and we believe that God is too.

5 comments:

Anna said...

Megan,

I think it will be good for all of you to get a new start. I am also concerned about how you will maintain your own health and energy while homeschooling. You need to plan breaks for yourself. Plan for time away and plan for days when you can not follow the plan!

Is there another mother in your current area that might take over for you one day a week and visa versa?

E squared said...

Anna - I agree completely. Megan please be sure to give yourself time if you do end up going the homeschool route. You deserve time off/down time!! <3

Megan said...

Anna, and E squared, I appreciate your concerns, I really do. I have concerns too, believe me! I am signing her up for a day of homeschool classes at a church. She will take Algebra 1, Spanish II, Literature, and Writing. We will be doing the rest at home with the use of an online program. So I will have that day without her, and also Wednesday mornings when I will be at a women's Bible study which I haven't gone to in years. You are right about needing time to myself and I intend to be intentional about it! Thank you!

Erin said...

I know I am commenting on an old Blog but this one certainly hit close to my heart- My daughter will be starting school Tuesday- last year it was a nail biter to make sure she finished with enough days so we didn't have to appeal in any way. Her first year of high school and her first year of depression and mania-triggered by antidepressants- we knew nothing of bipolar---- boy- those were the days! I wonder if we won't soon be homeschooling or online high school (thanks for the links) soon. Also- the question of faith, my daughter is experiencing a "dark night of the soul" where the faith that she held onto for so long, feels so distant. Don't we all experience this? I truly believe that God will allow her to feel Him again in time. If we grow through suffering then our beloved bipolar children will certainly be blessed in the end.
Thanks again for this blog- I am reading through them all and so happy to have found moms who are feeling the same things I am.

Megan said...

Hi Erin. I am so sorry that last year was so bad. The first year of onset and diagnosis is so hard. Homeschooling doesn't work for every family or every child, especially a special needs child, but sometimes it is the best answer. I am trying it this year with a pretty stable kid, but I know that later in the fall her mood will shift, and that things could get a lot more challenging.

The spiritual aspect is so vital, I am convinced. If a person who experiences such heartache has no hope that God cares for them at all or has a good plan for their future, then they will much more easily turn to other things to fill the void, like drugs, alcohol, inappropriate relationships. Although Caroline has had great struggles, and some really bad experiences that could potentially scar her for life, I think that our support and unconditional acceptance of her, and our insistence on regular psychotherapy since she was seven, and constant assurance of God's grace for her, has helped her to stay sane in the midst of difficulty and to cling to faith, sometimes very small. Keep assuring her of God's love for her, that trials are the refining fire to help us trust Him more. She might resist but I am reminded of the verse that says if we train our children when they are young, they will not leave that path when they are old (Proverbs 22:6)I think part of the training is just teaching them to have faith when life seems dark.