I have discovered that when things are going really, really well, I don't want to come here. I started writing this blog when things were almost at their worst. There had been the very worst in the prior years, which, if you have read any of this blog, is probably hard to fathom. But I associate this blog with hard, hard, dark places. We have had many victories, large and small, but for many years, I would write and sob. I am sure you know what I mean if you have a bipolar child.
So since this summer, since Caroline started the online public high school through our district, she has been doing so well. This seems to be the right fit for right now, and likely through the end of high school. She is a junior now and we are looking at the possibilities after high school, which at this point are 1. going to be close to home and 2. don't involve college lacrosse. The first is our stipulation, the second was her recent decision. She is so mature for her age. She doesn't want to risk another concussion and thereby risk her future schooling and career. Wow, she amazes us with her insight into herself.
She wants to be a physical therapy assistant. There is a two year program not too far away. She could live at home and drive there every day and work as well. We just want to be sure she can manage college classes and managing her meds and moods. Then she could move out and either continue in a four year college or just start working.
We have had to make some minor med adjustments, but nothing big. The same med mix she has been on for almost six years has been the right cocktail apparently. This is HUGE as a factor in her success in school.
We did find out she is very allergic to sulfa drugs and ended up in the hospital for a few days after the start of a bad reaction to Bactrim. They put her on steroids which led to mania, which we nipped in the bud as we were looking for it. Praise God for the experiences of the past!
One very cool thing is that Caroline has become quite the long distance runner, which is great for her moods. She will play lacrosse in the spring, but running provides a nice pre-season workout and will be a good future alternative. She runs four to eight miles during her weekday runs, and up to twelve on Saturdays. Yeah, twelve!
So all is good. I know things could change. They could change tomorrow. So we are thankful for today. And for the last six months. I pray that your child will find the same stability soon.
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.