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!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

We Missed Her First High School Varsity Game

Yes, my fault.  I messed up the times of the JV and Varsity games.  She scored some amazing goal in the Varsity game apparently.   But they put her in the JV game too so we got to watch her score several goals.  Sigh.  One day I will get it right!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I struggle a lot with feelings of total paralysis.  When you live in a state of constant crisis, not much else gets done.  I ask, "Am I just lazy?"  But then I remember my life is so very, very abnormal.  Regular motherhood is stressful and overwhelming at times, no matter how rewarding.  Being a constant caregiver magnifies everything by a hundred.  I don't start projects because I know I won't be able to finish them.  Today was a perfect example.  I could have done so much, but Caroline's needs got in the way.  I know it won't always be like this.  It is what it is.  My third child ask me why I am so tired all the time.  Well, I chalk it up to the emotional strain and the lack of consistent exercise, and whatever else.  Oh, and being 45.  Oh, and the antidepressants that I have to take or else I end up in a ball on the floor.  So I am soporific but sane.   But today is a beautiful day, quiet and sunny.  So at least I can enjoy this day that God has made.   And I am.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What is My Responsibility? What is hers

I have a feeling I need to stop hovering.  I am hovering over Caroline constantly: "Have you done this, have you done that, when is this due, don't forget to include this in your paper..." etc, ad nauseum.  I am so stressed out over whether or not she will be able to keep her grades up enough to play lacrosse that my stomach hurts.  I just don't want to deal with the fall out if she ends up sitting on the bench for the season.  The end of the quarter is officially the 15th.  I think we will have some wiggle room next week as far as turning stuff in.  But I can't even breathe today.  Having a hard time letting go of her, of my desire to make sure everything is done, done correctly, turned in within a reasonable amount of time.  This is exhausting.  Makes you just want to crawl in bed and pull the covers up over your head until school gets out for the summer.  I can't believe we have two more years of this.  I would love to think she won't need us to hover over her after the end of this semester, but I can't imagine her doing this on her own.   She misses the fine details of big assignments.  I don't know how she is going to handle college at this point.

And as we are looking to buy a house this summer, we are realizing we have to deeply lower our expectations of what we can afford now that he is in full time ministry.  I am having a hard time with this because I certainly don't want another fixer-upper.  We have had enough of that .  Raising Caroline is stressful enough.  We don't have the energy to deal with an old house that needs a lot of remodeling and repairs. Ugh!  You would hope that something in our lives would be easy!

Went to the gym to try to de-stress and it didn't help.  Drove around looking at houses and that really didn't help as everything I liked was way out of our price range.  Came home to my messy house and that didn't help.  I need Jesus today.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Birthday Surprise!

Caroline's lacrosse coach surprised her with cupcakes and a spontaneous chorus of Happy Birthday from her teammates at the end of practice yesterday.  Yes, so nice!  Thank you, Lord, for another affirmation of your love.  Made Caroline's day, probably her whole year actually.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Milepost 17

She turned 17 yesterday.  I consider every year that she is here with us a miracle.  Or even every year without a hospitalization.  We have been dealing with this diagnosis for ten years.  So many teens her age with early onset bipolar disorder are not half as stable as she is.  We are thankful to God for her, for great doctors and psychologists, for medicines that weren't around 20 years ago, for our caring family and friends.   I know she is too!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Slowly Getting Better

Oh, I am so glad for this blog!  I am so glad that I have a place to vent without judgement!  I have to be careful what I say on Facebook.  And sometimes I can't even pick up the phone to call someone to talk because it is just too hard.  I know you know what I mean if you deal with this kind of heartache every day.  You just don't want to talk about it because there is too much to say.

The concussion doc cleared her for gradual return to play.  Yes, praise God!  But I couldn't even rejoice over this yesterday because I have been holding my breath for so long that I still can barely breathe.  I just felt numb.  I think the only close analogy is if your child is suffering from a life threatening illness (which she is actually) and a doctor comes in and says that their blood count looks good, for now.  A little dramatic, but when you have a child who suffers every day, and has so little that is positive in their lives, and that one thing might be taken away, you as a parent cling to that hope as well.  Could it be an idol, something that has too tight of a grip on us?  Yes, I know that it could.  Life is more than a sport, I agree wholeheartedly.  Far more.  But I have a sick child.  With no friends.  And major academic struggles. She needs this.

The IEP head, again the most amazing gem in the world, has told Caroline's teachers to not count her missing assignments as part of her grades right now, so that her ability to qualify to play lacrosse isn't jeopardized.  Yes, she is an angel.  God has put her in our lives.  Just want to cry.

We will try to put Caroline back in school next week for just an hour or so at a time, to see if these glasses counteract the fluorescent light sensitivity  I know I said we were leaning toward just homeschooling her, but we decided that we need to give it one last try.  She needs to be able to deal with fluorescent light at some point because life is full of it everywhere.

Thank you for praying.  I felt it.