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!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Friends?!?

Caroline has made some new friends through one of the lacrosse teams she is on, and a few of them live right near us, and one of them is homeschooled too!  Caroline and this new friend "Delia" got together yesterday to play some lacrosse and then Caroline hung out at her house.  That hasn't happened in years for Caroline! This past weekend Caroline spent the entire day at another girl's house doing the same.  I really hope that Caroline can keep it together so these friendships can continue to grow.  These are some very nice girls from good homes, so I am praying hard that she stays stable and doesn't tell too many tall tales that will turn them off prematurely.  She is not acting manic anymore either after the reintroduction of the Amantadine, so that is a big relief.  We have lined up a math tutor once my husband starts working at his three months of active duty with the Navy coming up in late April so we can at least get the Algebra jump- started again.  She will likely do Algebra all summer so we can get her caught up.

Watching our 401ks getting rapidly depleted now that we are using them is disconcerting, but I know God is in control.  We will just have to save harder once he gets a permanent job!  Thank goodness that we will still have his Navy retirement in about six years!!  Life is hard for us right now, but the Japanese have it so much worse.  I lived in Japan as a child when my Marine dad was stationed there and so the pictures are especially heart-wrenching knowing the beauty of the island and the people.  Our church was already sending a short term missions team there this summer to work with the missions team that is there full-time, and now our long term missionaries are heavily involved in the relief efforts in Chiba.  I wish I could go this summer, but I just don't feel I can leave my kids that long that far away.  Another time in the future when Caroline needs me less and Bill can take off work for the other ones!

Spring has sprung here and I am grateful for the beauty of the forsythia, bradford pear trees, and daffodils that are coloring my world right now!  Nothing like a beautiful landscape to lift one's spirits!  Have a great day!


NikDuck said...

That is great news about Caroline!! :-) I understand the job situation/finance issues as well. Eddie has been looking for another job since JFCOM is closing the end of May. My Dad was also a marine, but way before I was in the picture!

Scott said...

I read your blog alot. It has been very helpful, especially when we had to put our son, 13, in Meridell last August. He is home now and fairly stable. Let's just say he is so much better than before he went there. Dr. Stone put him on Amantadine and mentioned the holiday that may be needed. My doc at home doesn't know anything about this medication. My son is having such trouble with focus and attention at school. Puts off homework until he has help from one of us. He also take 2 mg of tenex each day. I am curious if a break would help. I am not sure what signs to look. He also have significant anxiety and was wondering about Klonipin.
Thanks again for sharing all that you do. It is a tremendous relief to know we are not alone.

Megan said...

Scott, I think that the signs needing an Amantadine holiday, which is supposed to happen once a month or every six weeks I think, according to Dr. Stone, is greater agitation and irritability. But definitely check with Dr. Stone. We called him once about this and he did call us back after a day or two with his thoughts several months after Caroline came back from Meridell. How many mood stabilizers is your son on? Is he on a regular anti-depressant, which can make anxiety worse sometimes? We use Klonipin as needed, when she is really agitated or anxious, but it doesn't happen much at all anymore.

Scott said...

Thank You For your response. I have often wondered if it would be appropriate to call Dr. Stone, and I think I will. My son is on Lamictal,200mg, trileptal,2100mg, Abilfy 30mg, Tenex,2mg, amantadine,200mg. I spoke to our doc here at home today, and he agreed to try Klonipin, a very low dose to see if it makes a difference. It is hard to know if the anxiety is causing the irritability, or inattention. That is what we will try first and maybe, the amantadine break after a week of the Klonipin.
I hate to mess too much with the meds bec/ things are really better than they have ever been....no more rages.
Thanks again!!

Megan said...

I completely understand about not wanting to mess with the meds when you finally have a mostly stable child! We get that completely! Tweaking amounts of the present meds might do the job, or maybe just the Amantadine holiday. Let me know how he does!