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!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Feeling Like a Failure

Do you ever feel like a failure as a mom?  I am struggling with those feelings this week.  I have been sick for 10 days, and sick enough that I have spent a lot of time in bed, doing nothing, or sitting in front of the T.V. doing nothing.  The house is a mess, the laundry backed up, the fridge was beginning to stink, my papers had exploded everywhere in the kitchen because I started a project and then got sick and couldn't finish.  My kids are frustrated with the mess, even though they help to create it, but my husband is a gem.  I am so glad the kids do their own laundry.  At least that isn't my responsibility. And I did get Caroline to thoroughly clean her room this weekend, which was huge as her room looked like a bomb had gone off in it.

But I think my struggle is deeper than the chaos of the last 10 days.  I sense a lot of disappointment from my younger two, over a lot of things.  Some of it is false expectations that they need to get over, some is legitimate over having a bipolar sister who takes so much attention, but some of it is disappointment with me as their mom.  I haven't always kept my promises.  I have made promises I never should have made.  I have been too harsh at times, and not strict enough at others.  I really wished for the perfect home life for my kids.  And of course perfection is a myth, but I find myself still longing for something I can't have.  

I am thankful that I know God is faithful, when we are faithless.   I know the truth, it is just that sometimes my feelings loom larger.  I just want to be over being sick, and I want to get through the paperwork involved in buying this house we are renting, oh, and doing our taxes, and getting organized enough before school gets out May 28th that the summer won't feel so overwhelming.  

At least Caroline is stable.  I have to say that every day to remind myself of all the blessings that come out of that one thing.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Back to School, Part-Time, Holding Steady

I haven't been writing because I have been sick and before that I was super crazy busy from about mid-March.  Lacrosse season and soccer season are in full swing, so adding the games and practices to our crazy family schedule has put me behind in everything, including doing our taxes!

Caroline has started back to school, one period added each week.  So far the results have been mixed.  Some days she has gotten the migraine aura of the visual disturbances, and some days she hasn't,   while wearing the special prismatic glasses.  I thought this would happen.  I have a feeling that we aren't going to see a miraculous "cure" or perfect solution to her sensitivity to florescent lights, or the projectors.  Not sure at this point of she will finish out school at the public high school this year.  We will see how this week goes.   If we don't see major change, we may just have to homeschool the rest of high school.  I can't even think about what to do about college yet.  One bridge at a time.

She is in heaven with the lacrosse side of things.  She is wearing a rugby helmet, the only one on the team who does.  So far, no injuries, no collisions.  She is making some amazing goals.  We are so proud of her!  We pray that her season continues concussion-free of course.

For those who have commented recently, please know how encouraged I am when you comment here.  I do read them and sometimes I don't have time to reply like I want to.  You are blessing to me and I hope this blog is a blessing to you!  We are in this together!!  For us it has been ten years and God has been so good to bring us stability now for the last four years or so.  I believe this kind of stability can  be found for your child as well, with lots of trial and error and the right help.  It might take years, but I really believe if you keep pursuing and advocating, solutions can be found.  Not a cure, not perfection, not even a truly"normal" child, but a much improved quality of life, for your child, and for your family.