So Caroline has hung up her lacrosse sticks for good after a disappointing experience on her high school team the last two seasons. Basically, the coach wouldn't play her during the games more than a few minutes. This is the girl that has been pursued by college recruiters. I think it was discriminatory based on her bipolar diagnosis and on her previous concussions her freshman year. She did play last summer on a travel team, and was always a starter and got lots of play time, so the issue was definitely with this coach.
The good news is Caroline loves to run and started training for her first marathon last summer, and finished the Denver Rock N' Roll in October. Now she is training for her next marathon in Utah. Yes, this child of mine is remarkable considering the myriad of obstacles she has had to overcome since she was first diagnosed at the age of seven. She turns nineteen this week. We can hardly believe she is on her way to adulthood. When we think of the many years of complete despair and difficulty, this is a miracle indeed. Gratefulness overwhelms us.
Another positive development has been her relationship with her oldest sister. Caroline has longed for reconciliation and wrote a letter to her last fall asking for forgiveness for the many events that unfolded while she was unstable. Elizabeth, much to our surprise, embraced her sister's conciliatory note wholeheartedly, even getting a tattoo on her foot in Hannah's bold signature (not so excited about tattoos but nonetheless we are delighted.)
God is good.
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.