Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our Saturday Morning Bipolar Episode

Oh man. Life is stressful. I feel like I might just be going crazy! This morning brought upon an issue that never seems to end. Charlie cannot swallow pills despite months and months of practicing. Yes, the pediatrician, psychiatrist, friends and family say that he can swallow them, but I don't see any of those people trying with him and see him work hard at trying. Because he can't swallow pills I either have to crush them up or sprinkle the capsule contents on food.

Last night he tried swallowing tic-tacs with three large glasses of water. I said he'd tried enough and would crush the pills (for an ear infection) into some pudding. He put it in his mouth and gagged and threw up the pudding, medicine and at least 1.5 glasses of water mixed with some old milk all over the kitchen floor. An hour or so later he tried again and was fine.

Fast forward to this morning to the flat out refusal to take the medicine (all of it). He proceeds to close himself in both hall closets and then in the big cupboard in the kitchen. He throws out the dog food and dog treats and knocks over the garbage can. He shouted all the bad things he could think of to call me: stupid, mean, bad, horrible and "all the other words I can't think of to call you". Meanwhile I sat calm and still right outside the cupboard and told him he needed to take his medicine. He banged the cupboard door on me and the wall, tried to break the shelf above him and threw pieces of dog food at me. Being calm and not going ballistic on him was very, very difficult. He sucker-punched me and I grabbed his leg and told him he is not to hurt me.

After about 70 minutes of this, he said he would take his medicine but only the sprinkles. At this point, I don't give a rats a$$ about his ear infections and just NEED him to take his Depakote. He did and then went to his room.

He asked if we could make string bracelets, I made a mistake. I should have said we'll make them. Instead I told him that I had told him last night at bedtime that he needed to pick up his room before he came out this morning. Of course that wasn't done so I told him after he picked up his room we could make the bracelets. He melted down on his bed and told me he doesn't know why is acting like this. Talk about breaking my heart!

I'm still holding firm on the room/bracelet thing, but decided to let him and brother watch TV which is usually very soothing for Charlie.

Did I make the right decisions or not? It is so hard to tell. Today I am very sad about this that is making Charlie (and Ryan and me) miserable.

Right at this moment all is calm and peaceful and for that I'm thankful.



  1. Hi Sarah. I'm Lisa, and I'm on the same support group as you on CABF. I feel your pain. There are so many times that I've dealt with the same things as you are mentioning here. One day Noah went through the pantry throwing all the food onto the floor, including a brand new can of coffee which ended up in every crevice of the kitchen, because he wanted an egg mcmuffin from McDonald's, even after I told him I had everything to make him one at home! As for the string bracelets...I'm always hearing things like "You hate me" "You're torturing me" and my favorite "You promised and all you ever do is break your promises and I'm sick of it!" I never promise anything. My response to most things is "We'll see" because things can change so quickly in this house. And even when I've only said we'll see, I still get the "You promised" responses. It's never ending. Our new psychologist, who is the best one we've ever had (she worked for 8 years for the county peds. mental health dept.), said when I tell him no, I have to stick to it because at some point, he starts manipulating and he has to learn that he can't get away with everything because he's bipolar. I'm going to follow your blog, and if you'd like, you can follow mine as well. It's I just started it so there's not much on it, but I've got lots to add to it. Take care.

  2. Sarah.. You are not alone. We go through this sort of thing what feels like every day. If it's not my oldest it's my youngest. My daughter says things like "your the devel" and "I hate you". I hear ya on the saying no and sticking! My daughter is the master at manupulation. I say no and I stick to it. If she blows when I ask her to clean her room we deal. After all is said and done it's back on track and back to cleaning her room. Even if that means a day later. I am so glad to have found blogspot and see others are fighting this same battle. With some of my family that has writen us off so to speak. Neighbors that have asked me to keep my daughter out of the neighborhood and away from thier kids. It's so hard. On these blogs I can see that others know and do not judge.

  3. Have you tried hiding the pills in a bite of ice cream? My daughter could not swallow pills when she was first diagnosed and the depakote sprinkles were okay, but when that wasn't the right medication and we had to add other pills that you could not crush or sprinkle, I found ice cream really worked well. It is too cold for them to chew and makes the pill go down more easily (plus who doesn't love ice cream, so we had less resistance to taking the medicine). Hope that helps a little bit and that things get better for you soon.

  4. Thank you for the advice Kelly! He outright refuses to take it in ice cream and since the pills are large and say "do not crush because of the extremely bitter taste" I don't think I could get away with it!

    I've decided we're going back to the dr. on Monday and hopefully they will give him a shot of penicillin. Oddly enough, he doesn't mind needles at all, but would rather lose his hearing than take a pill. Ugh!

  5. Hopefully as the Depakote level gets right (it doesn't sound high enough if he's still having that much rage) he will realize how much it helps and will want to take it. My son loves the Depakote because he feels so much better on it and he can be like every other kid on it and not on such a roller coaster.