I don't know why I hadn't thought of this previously. In light of the fact that I am literally at Caroline's high school on a near daily basis either picking her up because of migraines, or dropping her off late because of migraines or whatever (lately it is a stubborn virus giving her bronchitis and sinusitis), I have had almost no unbroken time to myself to get my own stuff done at home: laundry, filing, paperwork, or even working out. Since I have a full partner in my husband, I am going to ask him to give me one day a week "off," where he is the one to deal with her and the school. He will get the phone calls or texts, and I get a full day to myself. After all, I too have a full-time job running this household. I may not get paid (wish I did!) but I need time to get it all done. Single parents who work full-time have no option but to leave work if their child is sick and needs them.
And on this note, I am seriously going to look at the option of having her do the public online high school next year. She is home so much and her education has been quite interrupted. She could still play on the lacrosse team, and she would have the accountability of having teachers to whom she would have to turn in work on a daily and weekly basis. I spend an awful lot of time driving to and from the school as it is. Maybe going to school isn't the best option for her or for me. It hasn't been the source of friends for her that she thought it would be. Her source of friends has been outside of the school. We need to pray about this, obviously.
Of course this would mean I would be home all day with her. So I wouldn't really have time to myself. But I don't now either. Maybe I won't until she goes to college. And even then we know we will be "on call." This is what it is to have a special needs kid. No real breaks. But God has used her to humble me. I needed humbling. And compassion for people who don't have it all together, like me.
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.