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, September 12, 2010

How Can We Fix This Problem? And a Weird Dream...

The forgetting-to-take-her-meds problem? She forgot to take her meds yesterday morning, which was not discovered until the evening, because I was at work, and Bill was juggling taxi rides for Mae, Jane, and Elizabeth all day for their various activities. She was high as a kite by this morning. I even gave her half-doses last night of the meds she missed on top of her night meds, and she was up half the night. This morning she was belligerent, sassy, laughed when she shouldn't have (at her own meanness), and Bill and I were freaked out because this was the worst we have seen her in a very long time. She had been so stable, and then wham, she is out of control. She took her morning meds this morning, again with a little more thrown in, and she came back down this afternoon. I am just worried that this may carry over into Tuesday and she will have to miss her homeschool classes. I do not want a repeat of last year when she went manic in October and was kicked out of the classes she had just started at another co-op.

We have her meds all laid out in a big pill box, quite visible. She knows when she is supposed to take them, and I have a timer on my Ical and on my Blackberry. I just bought her another watch so she could have her personal alarm, but she promptly lost it like she lost the previous two. I was in a hurry to get out the door yesterday morning, so I put the box in front of her, and told her to take her meds before she left the table. She didn't. I guess I should have called her to double-check, but it seemed so obvious. I think that is part of the disorder, is the disorderliness of their thinking processes. She is very forgetful.

Anyway, hopefully all will settle down quickly, and we can get on with business.

Husband still doesn't have a job. I am more than a little nervous, as his last paycheck is this Wednesday. He is looking into unemployment benefits, and we may eventually have to tap our Roth IRAs and 401ks, which is a last resort. He is kind of down these days, feeling a little lost in this whole process.

I had a really bad, vivid dream last night night about a mad scientist type of guy who was trying to kill my kids, one by one, as I did all I could to outwit him, defend them, hide them, fortify our house, etc. I was winning, but exhausted. Does this sound like an analogy?


Anna said...

My advice is to watch her take her meds as long as she will cooperate. The price you pay when she forgets is too high.

The docs never told me this. They said she had to take her own but they never paid the price.

Donna said...

Ah this was the worst age. The age of non-compliance. For us it last from 13 - 17. Not a fun time. Anna your right the dr's don't pay the price we do.

Fighting for my Children said...

hugs. Hope she gets back on track soon.

Stefan said...

You may want to try a locked automatic pill dispenser:

e-pill medication reminders work well for may bipolar patients.

Faith said...

I'd think some of that is her age. My son (12) would probably do the exact same thing, even with it sitting right in front of him. He's not bipolar, but I wouldn't rely on him to be consistent with taking meds (or whatever) on his own--especially if the price of him forgetting is so high.

I may be speaking of things I don't really understand, but that sounds like something I could see my son doing on any given day.

marythemom said...

We've tried a lot of things, but unfortunately some of this is just the nature of the beast! Basically we find the only 100% effective way to be sure she took her meds is to put it in her hand with a glass of water. *sigh*

Still if it makes you feel any better you can do what I do, and enter the World's Meanest Mom Competition and go for Best Costume award! http://marythemom-mayhem.blogspot.com/2010/05/worlds-meanest-mom-award-best-costume.html

Mary in TX

domandkat said...

I don't like wearing a watch either. Still don't wear one to this day. I've tried - about as many times as I've tried to learn how to knit - and it just doesn't stick.

Gave Em a 1000mg Vitamin D today and she had such a good day she wants one everyday! She's had a tough time adjusting to public school with all the students and trying to make friends - she ends up in tears frequently. I know, I know - she's not got the difficulties that your one has, but all those vitamins make a difference even when you don't! I'm up to about 3000mg a day myself- esp. on gray days!

I had a weird dream too about my favorite cousin and how out of touch I am with him. In the dream he died from some lethal chemical he'd come in contact with at work - and he lived in the same town as I did AND he was engaged to this beautiful socialite! Not sure what that was about, bit it was memorable...

Love you girl!

Megan said...

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and shared experience. She seems ok now, back to "normal." Boy I'm tired.

Ronna Benjamiin said...

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