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!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It Was the Worst of Days, It Was the Best of Days: School, Day 1, Long

I don't know how to summarize the events of the day, except to say that it started with me driving Caroline and Mae to their new school, getting out of the car, and then remembering that I hadn't retrieved Caroline's cell phone from her before she got out.  I asked her to give it to me, and she refused.  I told her we talked about this earlier (late last spring) and she said we had not.  So a power struggle ensued with me demanding the phone, making threats and Caroline walking toward to school acting like she was not going to budge.  The reason why we are not allowing her to have a cell phone in school, even though "all the other kids do," is because we had a very bad experience in the past with an unfortunate texting incident which resulted in her being asked to withdraw from a homeschool co-op.  No way in hell was I going to let this happen again, pardon my French.  So I decided I had to win this fight this morning, even though I very stupidly forgot to remind her about our policy about the cell phone last night.  She caved when I said I would smash that phone into a million pieces if she didn't give it over NOW.  Yes, I really said that.  I got the phone, but not without loss.  I couldn't believe that this is how her first day of school was going.  I was livid, shaking, upset and so was she.  But with all we have been through, I couldn't risk it again.

My husband, whom I called immediately after the drop off, tried to help me see her point of view, maybe we could flex a little, but I said "over my dead body."  I respect my husband, he has lots of wisdom, but Sorry, I am not giving one inch on this issue!!!!

Then we get a phone call from her in the school office about an hour before the end of her day there that she wanted to be switched out of her Computer Applications class NOW because it was too easy and she can't type as fast as the other kids.  What??!!??  I was really going to lose it then, so I handed the phone to my husband, who is thankfully, not yet employed.  He told her we would talk about it after school not during the class.  I felt my stress level rising to "code yellow."  I mean, really?  She couldn't wait until after school??  I was beginning to feel like this was turning into A VERY BAD DAY.

Then my husband leaves a few hours later to pick her up at the time appointed on her schedule, and she calls right after he leaves to say that she was supposed to be picked up 20 minutes ago, the class ended then and she was the only one there in the office.  What?!?!? The schedule the school gave us clearly said 2:45 not 2:20.  And the school is 20 minutes away on the highway. Arggh!!

But, amazingly and only by the grace of God,  aside from those major and minor problems, she said she likes the school, her teachers and the kids she met.  Oh, whew.  I guess.  I am EXHAUSTED emotionally tonight.  I could use a manicure, pedicure, massage and new clothes after a day like this.

Oh and I broke the sugar bowl today, and found out at 5:30 pm  that 13 year old Jane had soccer practice at 6:30 tonight 20 minutes down the road and we hadn't bought her soccer shoes yet!!! The team just found her name on their list today, apparently, even though they had been practicing since last week.  What!? I registered her over a month ago!  That was the fastest trip ever by a soccer mom to a sports store to buy soccer shoes and then to a soccer field all in the course of an hour.

The good news:  my husband got word today he is even closer to getting a job we all want him to have; a photographer to whom we owed a lot of money for beautiful family portraits done three years ago when my husband had a job called out of the blue and said he has decided to forgive our debt because of our lengthy unemployment status and he is SENDING us these amazing portraits for only what we have already paid (tears); and the government sent us a check today for some back pay, a small check but thanks anyway!!  :) So God is still good, life goes on, Caroline will go back to school tomorrow, and it will be a fresh new day.  Thanks for listening to me rant.  You keep me going.

PS. Please pray for my dear friend Lynn, who is very, very sick with cancer and multiple infections.  We don't want to lose her and neither does her husband John.  Thank you.


NikDuck said...

Wow, what a day! I don't blame you one bit for standing your ground on the cell phone issue. I did laugh about the smashing it into pieces comment...sounds like something I would say and I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to do given what happened before! I'm surprised the school even lets them have cell phones, but I guess in the older grades that is the norm. Hope the rest of the week goes well!

Kimberly Collingwood said...

I have made the same comment about my daughter's phone. I think I would have smashed it too:)