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, November 5, 2010

Hitting New Lows

I am struggling today.  I don't cry very often about anything.  Usually I feel that I can handle anything that comes my way.  But not today.  Today the warrior is a child.  The way I feel right now reminds me of two other times in my life when I felt about as low as one could.

 Once was when shortly after Mae was born, I got sick with pneumonia and developed bad post-partum depression for the first time.  For the next year or so I was sick with one bronchial infection after another.  We didn't know at the time that the air conditioning in our old house was infiltrated with black mold, which I am highly allergic to.  I was put on several asthma medications and was using a nebulizer a lot.  I felt so sick and so alone because I felt there wasn't anyone who knew how sick I was or how depressed I was.  My mom was 3000 miles away, and Caroline was beginning to really manifest bipolar symptoms.  I have a distinct memory of sitting on the floor in my den, sucking in the albuterol because I couldn't breathe, little kids running around going crazy, and hot tears streaming down my cheeks, feeling sick, helpless and so very needy.  I got through all of that somehow, but it was a truly awful time in my life, trying to care for a six year old, a four year old, a two year old and a baby while so sick.  I had also developed this weird bruising all over so I was going to one specialist after another to rule out a blood disorder.

The other time was when Caroline was about eight or nine I think, and not doing well at all.  She had been hospitalized several times that fall, and still she was not doing great.  Our family was in turmoil, and then Bill's dad, who is also bipolar, had a bad manic episode, so right after Caroline got out of the hospital, Bill had to go up to DC to put his dad in the psych hospital for two weeks.  So he left me with Caroline, who had PTSD from this latest hospitalization, and the other three kids who were traumatized from her behaviors.  I can feel myself sitting in that living room chair, feeling so resentful towards his dad, knowing he couldn't help it, angry silent tears flowing, with that tremendous heart-pain when you can't fix something that is broken.  Again, I felt alone and unable to call anyone to say, "I am hurting.  I need a hug. I need help with my kids."  I become paralyzed when I am really down and I don't tell people how bad things are; it is too much effort to even pick up the phone.

I have friends who are hurting right now in the midst of their own various trials, and I wish I could reach out to them but I can't.  I am stuck right now.

This is how I am feeling today.  Enough is enough.  I am tired.  I want this part of our lives to be over with so we can go back to "normal."

Thanks for just listening.

15 comments:

Mama Bear said...

Sending you a hug.

Forrest Lyn said...

Megan, you and your family have really been on my heart this week. On Tuesday I felt prompted to pray for you guys before, after, and during BSF. I prayed for family peace and stability, a job for Bill, and certainty that God is still on his throne, loving you and taking care of you in a powerful way even when you really can't see it. Now I'll be adding Bill's health situation to my prayers. I'm not the best prayer warrior, but I will do my best to faithfully continue to pray for you guys!

Ginger said...

Megan,

My name is Ginger and I was given the address for your blog by both Leeanne Dickerson and Sam at Dr. Parker's office.

I am a homeschool mom of 5, with an 11 yo dd, who was diagnosed bp 5 years ago. We have been seeing LeeAnne since then and Dr. Parker and Sam for about 4 years.

They gave me your blog because as dd approached puberty, lamictal and all other meds have ceased to work. They are recommending Meridell.

Sam commented to me yesterday that my dd, Gracie, reminds her so much of your daughter. LeeAnne has told me for years about another female bp patient, a few years older than my dd, that she has seen that reminds her sooo much of Gracie. (Due to privacy that's all she said, but now, I have obviously figured out that it is your daughter.)

I wanted to contact you to speak to you about Meridell, but after reading your post today, I just want to pray for you because I can so feel your pain and understand where you are today. After Leeanne and Sam gave me your blog address yesterday, I read it with astonishment as I saw our family, particularly Gracie and me, in your posts. I could have written your words and your post today.

So for today, I want to pray for you...your blog is so helpful to me, that today I want to be helpful to you. On another day, I would like to make arrangements, if possible to talk to you about Meridell.

For now, please know you are being covered in prayer.

Blessings,
Ginger

Meg said...

Oh No :( You have a lot on your plate right now and a lot of stressful circumstances. I hope this all passes soon.

Amy said...

Hang in there girly! Will pray for you. Amy

Jennifer said...

Awww, Megan - I am so sorry. I am praying for you. You are loved.

Kelly said...

I am so sorry that you are going through this very tough time. I am praying for you! I have been where you are with your husband's brain tumor and I also have a daughter with bp, anxiety disorder, and learning disorder. Praying that your day today is one filled with encouragement!

Megan said...

Thanks everyone! Sometimes you just need a good cry and some cyber hugs, as well as some friends and family to call and give you a boost. I am better today, but just so worn out.

Megan said...

Ginger--I am so glad you contacted me. I would love to chat. My email is meganbstack@yahoo.com, so email me your phone number or just email me and I would love to talk with you!

SarahinSC said...

I am so sorry life is so rough for you right now. Seems like there is so much for you to deal with. I am praying for you and your husband's job situation and your daughter. Keep your head up (as high as you can) and know God is in charge and that you are not alone in all that you are going through. :)

Fighting for my Children said...

Sorry I didnt catch ur blog when u were having a bad day but I am glad u are having a better day today. Hugs.

CC said...

I know exactly how you feel. I reached my breaking point when all I could do was cry and ask God to help. Last week I had to put my 16 year old BP dd in-patient against her will and in the back of a police car, handcuffed after resisting the police and being wrestled to the ground. It was very traumatizing for both of us, but she HAD to get some help. My soul still feels battered and bruised, and my heart aches that anyone should have to have this horribly unfair condition. Nobody truly understands our pain like another kindred spirit battling this. You are not alone, Megan. I know what it's like to be emotionally, spiritually, and physically bankrupt. The guilt, shame, despair... been there done that. And during my dd's crisis we lost 2 family members in 2 1/2 weeks. I find strength in my relationship with God and in Christian music. One song in particular is "Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns. I will be lifting your family up in prayer. God bless you and your family.

Dee said...

Megan, I read your blog often and find great comfort as my 4 year little girl has bipolar. It has been a long journey to get to this place of "steps to help her." Thank you for your words and your faith. I am so sorry for all that is on your plate. I lifted you and your sweet family up to our precious Heavenly Father. I pray you will feel His peace today and His love wrapping around you(: A verse that comforts me, "So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you." ~1 Peter 4:19

In Him,
Dee

Gretchen Seefried said...

I feel your pain, and just want to tell you that you're doing a great job. Your daughters are all so blessed, and I promise you this hard hard work you are doing now will produce such amazing results. My kids are now 21, 20, 18, 16 and 11. We've had depression, anxiety, ADD, gender identity disorder, Tourette's Syndrome, food allergies, and OCD. Not to mention teen attitude. It has been a journey, that's for sure. But every challenge has resulted in something positive. Writing is the best therapy...keep at it, you're doing the most important work. I also would suggest watching some of the IT GETS BETTER PROJECT videos on YouTube with your daughter...even though they were created to reassure kids who were being bullied, they will resonate with anyone who is a teen.

mamaGoose said...

Wow - you take the feelings right out of my head and put them into words..and it does boil down to..fatigue of everything..I am just TIRED. We all have our battles, our family trials, and we all wade through them mostly alone with this disorder. You have a great following and I'm so greatful that you are here - on line. I can't tell you the days I have been able to sit down and read your blogs, tears and all, and feel 'vindicated' that even the strongest of us need a break. So consider this hugs from another cyber 'BFF' :) - and vent anytime- helps those of us who cant get it into words as well as you do!!