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, March 13, 2012

Never Forget to Do This if You Encounter This Med Situation!

If you have a female bp child who is on bc pills for acne (or whatever), and on the mood stabilizer Lamictal, and you accidentally run out of the bc pills and they aren't in her med mix for a few days, DON"T FORGET TO LOWER THE LAMICTAL DOSAGE FOR THOSE DAYS.  I forgot, unfortunately, which meant that the  Lamictal levels in her blood jumped above what they should have been and she began to get blurred vision, headaches and exhibited other signs of being "off" including extreme irritability and no focusing ability at all for school.   I had heard about others having to do this adjustment, but I didn't think it would be so imperative, but it was.  We retrieved the LoLoestrin from the pharmacist and now she is back on schedule, so hopefully the blurred vision and headaches will dissipate shortly.  It is amazing how much of a balancing act this is for these kids between hormones, circadian rhythm changes and meds!!

 I don't know how she is going to manage her meds on her own when she is no longer living with us.  That is a scary thought.  I am so in tune to her subtleties, but she isn't always in tune with subtle changes in her moods that might mean trouble ahead.  I hope she can live near enough to us that we can always have a good feel as to how she is doing, if she taking her meds, if she seeing a good doctor, going to her psychologist on a regular basis, eating well, sleeping enough, etc.  We will have to let her grow up and be an adult and take responsibility for herself in all of these ways, but we hope it will not be a rude awakening, but rather a gentle hand-off.  Lots of prep time between now and then, that is for sure.  I need to test her over the summer to see if she can start taking her meds without us reminding her, asking her if she took them, reminding her again, because she needs to care enough about herself to take them on time, every day, so she can be a functional adult someday.  


the mom that could said...

I too am scared of the day that my son ventures out on his own. I mean part of me wants that for him but part of me is scared for what will happen when I'm not there to remind him, or redirect him. I have tried to explain to him why it is so important to stay on his medication and not just stop because he doesn't want to take it. I hope one day it sinks in for him.

Conni K said...

Megan, I am amazed at the similarity of issues that parents of bipolar kids face. My daughter is 18 and away for first year of college. She is fairly stable, taking Lamictal, Trileptal, and Intuniv. Or at least I thought she was until she came home for spring break. She has been on and off birth control but her acne was so bad when she went off that i put her back on it. But I believe the birth control lowers the Lamictal and the depression starts creeping in again. We are thinking of trying her back on Concerta again too. Overall she has good grades but struggles in math and science and I believe it's a focus issue. It is difficult to transition to college because it's the starting point of them becoming adults and managing this illness on their own. They can't do it without us. Thank you so much for your blog. It is comforting to read your similar experiences especially about medicines.

Askbecca said...

I want to start by saying what a great site you have. I am just beginning to explore it. I too have a bipolar daughter along with a bipolar husband. It keeps life interesting. I would not have thought about that with Lamictol although I know that lamictol is not a medication to be messed with. My daughter had gotten the Lamictol rash when first using lamictol and it was a nightmare... What a great medication though. Thanks so much for the heads up. Please visit me at http://www.bipolarkidconnection.com. I look forward to a future blogging relationship!

Megan said...

Conni, thanks for checking in! Yes, the acne issue really pushed us toward bc pills and thus far they are really working for her. But the Lamictal dosing was tricky. We had to go up from 400mg to 550, but now we are down to 500. She has some bad scarring that I hope we can get treatment for. It is bad enough to be bipolar and then have ugly scars on top of that! College scares me to death. She will have to go somewhere not too far from home, at least this is what we hope.

Megan said...

Rebecca, thank you for the intro and I will definitely read your blog. Raising a bp teenage daughter brings such a host of joys and sorrows. Right now Caroline is ok, going to the Hunger Games tonight with me and her younger sister. But as always, without a friend. :(

Askbecca said...

Megan my daughter is not a teen yet... we are still in the tween years. At 11 she is already enough of a challenge. I can relate to the without a friend part... It just breaks my heart because she has a heart of gold... No one will give her a chance... It is just heartbreaking day in and day out.

Nate said...


I tried posting this elsewhere, but I'm not sure it worked. I think you'd be interested in reading the book "The Gut Psychology Syndrome" by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I stumbled onto your site, and your daughter's condition is a dead ringer for the condition Dr. Campbell-McBride highlights in her book. It accounts for the Dyslexia, the bipolar disorder, and the UTIs. Best of all it can be fixed.


Justine said...

My daughter is 12 and hasn't been "officially" diagnosed with bipolar yet but we're working in that direction. It's taken us 10 years to get to this point and I just wanted to say thanks to you all the parents like you who put your journey out there for others (like me!) who need to know that we're not alone. I have the same exact fears for my daughters future. I know it rarely feels like it but you're doing a great job!


Bryan said...

Megan, I found your blog while searching for information on bipolar - One of our twins was just diagnosed bipolar. I just wanted you to know what an inspiration your have been to me and my wife. I have read your blog from start to finish and then started over again. I laughed with you, cried with you and truly learned some valuable things from you. I have spent many sleepless nights wondering how the day went, if we're doing everything we can and if there's anything we're missing. I can honestly say I feel like I'm driving myself a little bit crazy over this whole thing.

I know you've recently moved to Colorado Springs and I wanted to welcome you to Wonderful Colorado...We live just a hop, skip and a jump up the road in Castle Rock.

Megan said...

Hi Bryan! I am so honored that you would read my blog so thoroughly. Thanks for commenting. Sometimes I wonder if I am just writing to the wind, but then I get people like you reminding me that it does have a greater purpose other than my venting. I was looking back through pictures of our family and remembering that the early years of her diagnosis were so hard, but it wasn't all bad all of the time. We still had some precious moments and memories. I need to be reminded of that. Thank you for writing! Kepp in touch and let me know how you are doing with it all!