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!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Back--Long Update

Sort of.  I am working out of a kitchen and home office that has had everything moved out of it in order for the hardwood floors that were damaged from the roof leak to be refinished.  The floors look great but I haven't been able to cook in over a week.  Hopefully we can move everything back in this coming week and we can get back to normal.

Much has transpired in the last two weeks:  my fifth grader graduated from her elementary school, Elizabeth graduated from high school and we had a hundred people over for a big cook out, one of our dogs got sick with cancer and we had to put him to sleep, my kitchen got repaired and we spent a week eating out ($$$!!) while workers traipsed in and out of the house.  Bill and I are pretty tired.  Today is our 19th anniversary and we hope to go out to dinner tonight and just enjoy each other.

I learned this morning that Caroline was ACCEPTED into the university model private school. Yay!  I was really thinking the answer was no after two weeks had gone by and we had not heard from them.  Mae our rising sixth grader will also go to this school, which leaves just Jane for me to homeschool next year.  I am relieved, yet, as always, filled with new anxiety over trying yet another school for Caroline.  And how we are going to pay for it is a concern as Bills job is up again at the end of July.  He had another MRI last week, for which we are still awaiting results, to determine if his benign brain tumor has grown since November, which would determine the next step of his treatment and whether he needs to pursue more Active duty with the Navy after this assignment is over July 30th.  So complicated!! I will be glad to an end to this craziness.

Jane's end of the year standardized testing for homeschooling took place this past week and she passed with amazing scores, post college on most of it, and she is only going into the 8th grade!  Hats off to her since she basically homeschooled herself this year. Caroline has her testing this week so we are praying for good scores as well that we will then submit to the state for approval.  She is being tutored in math all summer which has already begun and that will help I am sure.

I will be glad when all will be set for next year after I sign the contract with the school on Thursday.  This has been a truly long year of school for Caroline, trying to get her finished up.  She was still finishing final exams last week for her homeschool co op classes.

We never started Saphris in place of Seroquel.  I chickened out on the med change before Elizabeth's end of the year events surrounding her graduation and honestly Caroline is holding steady at 700mg of the ER Seroquel, so we may not switch all this summer if we don't see the need.  Our favorite CNP at the psychiatrist's office has switched to another practice and we are SO bummed, she was amazing, always called us back the same day, and really, really cared about Caroline and our family.  We may follow her to another psychiatrist.  When you find someone like that, you stick with them!!

I will attempt to answer all the reader questions from the last few weeks tomorrow, after I clean out the fridge, from which is emanating a very foul odor!  Too many weeks have gone by and too many containers are begging to be thrown out!

Lacrosse camps are in full swing the next few weeks, and then we are going to be looking for stuff for Caroline to do.   Maybe volunteering at the SPCA again would be a good idea.  A bored bp kid is never a good thing, ever!  And maybe she will get back into reading some good novels.

Thank you for your patience!  You are important to me, my bloggy friends!  I have missed you!!


Fighting for my Children said...

I missed u toooo...wow sounds like u have been super busy. Congrats to all your girls on graduating their classes and getting into new schools. Sorry u had to put ur dog down, that is always heartbreaking.

Mama Bear said...

Welcome back!

Hopeful said...

I am new to your blog and new to accepting the fact that my 7 year old son is bipolar. For years my husband and I have prayed for connections with strong Christian parents/families that have parented a child like our son. I am grateful to have found your blog and relate to so much of it. Thank you for openly your joys and struggles. Yes, I long for some sort of normalcy in our home long term...yet I feel like writing a book called "Passing through normal"! Maybe I will some day. I remain HOPEFUL because I know our God. The pain of this fallen world causes much grief, especially when we see our children suffering due to it. But He is still the God that brings bueaty from ashes and turns mourning into dancing. He is still the God that created us all with "good works prepared in advance" for us to do, and our children are included in that promise. He has good works for these children to do in His name and for His glory, and somehow their bipolar illness is a part of their journey to that end. The end of His glory. And because of that, and helped by parents like you all, willing to share your hearts, I remain HOPEFULL. :)

Hopeful said...

I am new to your blog. I really appreciate your willingness to share your family's journey with us. We have just started the bipolar journey with my 7 year old son. We are grieving, relieved (to finally know something is really wrong with his brain, not as much his character...and that we are not just failures as parents, overwhelmed, sometimes giving in to fear, and doing as much research as we can soak in right now. (My husband is a Licensed Professional Counselor so we are just a bit ahead of the game there ) We are trusting in the Lord to guide us and surrendered to His plan for our son and our family. We are committed to remaining hopeful because we know our God enough to know that our son is enveloped in HIs love and sovereignty. Press on my friend, and press IN to Him.

Megan said...

Hopeful-- Thank you so much for sharing your own journey here. I am so encouraged to talk to another mom with such a strong faith in God's purposes in this world for suffering, that He is still sovereign and still loving and still good. You have blessed me this morning! I pray that your precious son will know God's grace in his young life and learn to depend on Him in the darkness. We pray this all the time for our Caroline, that she wouldn't lose faith, but learn to trust God when nothing seems to be going right at all. Thank you! I look forward to getting to know you better!

Hopeful said...

I am so glad you have been encouraged! I have started my blog "Passing through normal" as a place to meet others like ourselves, encourage one another, and to keep myself accountable to not give up hope! So glad you were blessed. :)

Hopeful said...

I read your comment again and just wanted to say thank you for the prayer that you prayed. That he would learn to depend on God in the darkness and drink deeply from his grace. Last night he said to me, "mom, I think something is happening to me...I am becoming a different person, I am two different people...mom I am so scared..." and he started crying. I was so grieved, I was speechless. But these are the moments to speak of God's grace...and when we can't because we ourselves have been momentarily blinded by the darkness, these are the moments to trust that God himself is speaking to our children's hearts and that He will fill in the gaps we imperfect parents leave in our kiddos lives...I will pray for your family as well. God's purposes will prevail!

Cindy said...

I just found your blog and I am very happy. I am raising a 14 yr old BP child. I can relate with so many of your stories and challenges. I will keep reading for inspiration and support. God Bless.