Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's Been a Long Time


I've neglected this blog for so long! Reading through my last several entries made me sad. Perhaps the pain is all still too fresh in my mind and, like any other very difficult, trying time, is hard to work through. I'm sad for the times that were so hard and sad that we're still not where I'd like to be.

An update...Charlie is now taking lithium and depakote. He was doing very well this summer and it was a wonderful time. During that time of stability I decided to homeschool him because I thought that that would cut back on all of the stress of school (getting up at a set time and taking medicine at that set time, being in school all day long and then coming home and still having work to do, social pressures, etc).

Some homeschool days have been great. Other days have been not so great. Everyone who knows him tells me how happy he seems and how well he seems to be doing. It's true, for the most part. Homeschooling has taken several demands off of him and has allowed him to blossom academically. There are some days though that, selfishly, I just want him back in school so I can have a break.

It's weird. Just writing this now is so hard compared to just whipping out my other blog posts. I guess I'll hit publish and try again another day!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

We're Still Here

Let's just ignore the fact that I haven't blogged here in over three months, ok? I do blog everyday (almost) at

Life here is still hard. We've had some good days and some bad days.

He is now taking depakote and risperdal. He is at 4mg risperdal and still not doing all that well. Today has been hard. Very hard. Too hard to even talk about. Let's just say that everyone was in tears today and Charlie pushed it farther than he ever has today.I really think that's why I don't blog here much at all. It's just too painful to live through it and then go on to talk about.

Someday I hope to be able to though.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A New Med

We started Risperdal a week ago. I had high hopes. I always have high hopes on a new med and wonder if this is the one that will bring my sweet son back.

The dosage started very low (1/4 mg 3x a day) and is now a little bit higher and then in a week will be at the intended dose (1mg 3x a day).

With bipolar, as with any other mental illness, it's day by day and sometimes hour by hour so I don't want to shout from the rooftops that this is the medicine that will bring the normal back, but I think it's really helping him.

Today, he sat on the couch and actually let me teach him some math tricks for his homework. I used to be a teacher so that to me was just the best thing ever!

I asked him to do a chore (I don't when I know he won't react well to it) and he did it without hesitation or complaint.

He asked nicely for some more pretzels instead of screaming at me.

He woke up in a normal mood and did not, even for a second refuse to go to school.

He told me about his day in school today when I asked and didn't get mad at me for asking him a question.

Right now he is outside with his brother and friend and having fun.

I really have my fingers crossed that this has been the missing piece to the puzzle and this will make life more peaceful for all of us again.


OK, we just had a bad night. He started acting really weird and then started calling me and his brother names and wouldn't stop touching me. While I was helping brother with homework he got a push pin and started scratching the door with it. He then started throwing papers and anything else he could find at me. He was out of control. More later...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pity Party

I really hate when I feel this way.

Right now I'm feeling so sad about life.

I hate that it has to be this way.

I hate that my son has a "normal" day in school, then comes home and cries about "being dumb" and is so mean to me about things and about how he is not  in control of his emotions.

I am just not dealing well with this today. I hope tomorrow provides a better outlook.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pepsi Refresh Project - Have You Voted Today?

Have you heard of the Pepsi Refresh Project? I encourage you to check it out at

You can vote for 10 ideas per day. Would you please vote once a day for the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation? The link is at the top right of my blog. This is a wonderful organization and I would love to see them win this money and help more people.

Thanks so much!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our New Doc

Before I tell you about the new psychiatrist we met with today, let me tell you about the first one we saw.

In May, after Charlie was having some major rages, his then therapist said it was time to get a psychiatrist involved. There aren't many to choose from around here. We made an appointment with the first available child and adolescent psychiatrist. Now I know why he had an opening within a few weeks of our calling.

Our initial assessment with him was, how shall I say it, um, not good. We were in and out with a diagnosis, prescription and follow-up appointment within about 18 minutes. Granted, I pretty much needed confirmation of what it was and how to help him better, but was not thinking someone who didn't know us from Adam could decipher what exactly was wrong in about 15 minutes. Even though I totally disagreed with his approach, I agreed with his diagnosis and medical treatment. So I started him on Depakote after a long (45 minute) talk with Charlie's pediatrician and some soul searching.

Each subsequent appointment was no more than five minutes and very clinical and matter of fact. Psychiatrists aren't counselors. I know their job is to diagnose and prescribe medicine, but there has to be some kind of happy medium out there that was better than this. This was not right.

After our second appointment (and after giving the Dr. the benefit of the doubt) I made an appointment for an assessment with a different doctor that is affiliated with the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation. I figured he would at least be able to tell me without much doubt if in fact it is bipolar that we're dealing with, or simply an extremely strong willed child.

Today we had that appointment. For starters, the office is a little house downtown that's on the National Historic Register and it was so cozy and welcoming. His appointment was at 11. He came out to meet us and introduced himself to Charlie first. I thought that was pretty cool! Either he or I was in with the doctor for a total of one hour and forty minutes! Just that time amount alone made me so happy!

He was very thorough. He was kind. He was compassionate. He was validating of my parenting methods. He was very knowledgeable. He was helpful. He was positive. He was honest. He was thoughtful. He rocked!

His final verdict was bipolar-NOS and ADD. The ADD part was a bit shocking to me, but makes sense now that he explained it. The impulsivity, the lack or organization (at home and at school), carelessness in school tasks, procrastination, remembering odd pieces of info and not other more important pieces of info, etc.

We are upping his mood stabilizer for now. We are adding in Focalin and some melatonin for hopefully easier/better sleep.

Make no doubts about it, it has been and will continue to be a tough road. But I feel a little more confident now having someone who can make important, educated decisions with me about what's in the best interst of Charlie and our family.

I'm breathing a big sigh of relief!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Bible Verse

Ephesians 4:31-32

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

This was the daily verse on my phone today. How appropriate for me and how I'm feeling! I was feeling so much anger towards my son for all of yesterday's happenings.

As always, I'm working on this and just wanted to share!