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Medications December 5, 2008

Posted by linnic in Medication.
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A question was posted on one of my pages that I thought I would address as a post rather than just a reply since I am sure others have the same question.

“The only thing that worries me is that my son is now on four different medications and I am just not sure if that is healthy for him. We have tried so many medications and these are the only ones that seem to work. I was just wondering if you have the same problem and how much medication your child was on?”

My son is currently on 4 medications- Seroquel (250 mg), Benedryl (25 mg), Concerta (27 mg), and Celexa (10 mg).  We have tried others- Risperdal, Abilify, Depakote, Ritalin, Metadate, and Focilin.  We have been on the medication rollercoaster since he was 3 1/2 and are just now getting to a point were we are seeing improvement (at 6 1/2).

Medication is a difficult issue.  No parent WANTS to medicate their child for any reason, but some children need medication to function.   No parent would deny a diabetic child the insulin they need to function.   Likewise, I can’t deny my child the medication he needs to function.  I have hopes that as he ages, and is able to process his actions better, that we will be able to go down on the medication, but at this point he needs it.

My child unmedicated would not be able to attend school and would endanger those in my family.  I am not convinced that we have reached the right combination of medicine yet, but I feel like we are on the right track.

I have had a few negative and extremely hurtful comments left on this blog about medicating children, and my child’s behavior- I moderate them so they were never publicly posted.  I work in the field of education, I have seen medicine over used, underused, and everything in between.  I have heard parents swear by medicine, and swear against meds.  I have heard so many people attack my choice in giving my child medication, but the bottom line is that this is what MY child needs to be able to function in daily life.

For all parents out there with a bipolar child, it is a tough and very long road.   You  have to make HARD decisions, life altering decisions- to medicate or not, to hospitalize or not, to institutionalize or not.  None of these decisions are taken lightly by any parent.  In the end though, you have to do what is best for your family and for your child.  Surround yourself with as many professional opinions that you can, and then make an informed choice.  I feel for each of you, I personally know how heart wrenching having a bipolar child can be.  My child is a blessing, but he often brings me to the point of pulling out all of my hair or moving to a foreign country.  I love him, as I love all three of my children, more than life itself.  I would do anything to take this disorder from him, but unfortunately I can’t.  What I can do is provide him with every possible tool to make it through life successfully.

ADHD October 7, 2008

Posted by linnic in Diagnosis.
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Here is a great blog post about ADHD, and much of it can be related to bipolar as well.  It is posted by Cool Cat Teacher and is her take on a presentation by Dr. Shepard.  Please go read “Get out of that wheelchair and run“!

Suspension August 29, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior.
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Well we have now had our first official suspension of the year.  We have been to the principal countless times, all this and school has only been in session two weeks.  They are looking at putting him back on an IEP but we have to go back through all of the testing again.  I sure wish SOMETHING would be easy.
Today he even had his case manager sitting with him, and he still couldn’t keep it together.  UGH!!!   Luckily we go to the Dr for a med change next Wed.

Back to School August 21, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, IEP.
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Well the kids (and me too) are back in school.  This is a double edged sword around here.  B has already had some trouble.  Day 1 & 2 were fine.  Day 3 he had to change his colored card for talking.  Day 4 he kicked another kid.  Day 5 we end up in the principal’s office for throwing sand at a teacher’s face.  Day 6 we over turn chairs and desks in the classroom and visit the principal again. Eachrage just increases in intensity.

I had a feeling this year would bring the same issues back to light.  When we went from all day to half day kindergarten last year, we saw HUGE improvements.  Now we are back to all day and things aren’t going to well.  We may be in 1st grade but this is the 3rd August of school/PreK and the 3rd time we have started down this road.

I will be seeing soon if they are going to put him back on an IEP.  They are going to have to do something before someone gets hurt.  Boy do I ever wish this whole parenting thing was easier.

Wordle July 16, 2008

Posted by linnic in Wordless Wednesday.
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I used the site http://wordle.net to create a picture of words that I think of when I think of my son and his bipolar disorder.

Not Improving July 15, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, Medication.
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Our summer started out rough, very rough.  I really thought that by now, things would have improved, but they have not.  We are having multiple rages a day, many requiring restraint, some requiring additional meds to get him to calm down.

He had a big rage at the park the other day because he was hungry.  We live 15 minutes from the park, and would eat when we came home, but that didn’t matter.  I had to sit in the backseat holding holding his arms so that he would not take off his seatbelt and attack his brother and sister.  It seems like we are always dealing with a rage, preventing one, or recovering from one.  I am truly exhausted!

We had a med change; an increase in his Concerta from 27 mg to 36 mg.  This does not seem to have helped at all, in fact, I dare say things are slightly worse.  One of the things I hate about med changes is going back in to the Dr.  “So, did the medicine help?” How hard it is to answer!  Sometimes I feel like I literally have to split hairs.  Well our intensity is down slightly, but our frequency and duration are up.  So is that an improvement??

I have been reading some other blogs and support group postings about bipolar kids and see these parents whose child is now 10 or 12 and I just don’t how we are going to make it that long.  My son is getting bigger and much stronger.  Restraining him is increasingly difficult.  His aggression is more serious.  I’m truly at a loss as to what to do.  If we don’t restrain, people get hurt, but we are close to the point where restraint won’t be an option.  Then what?  What can I do to keep everyone safe?  I would love to hear some comments of what parents do.

I must say I truly appreciate all of the comments that I have received.  WordPress does not allow me to respond to individual comments, but please know that I do read them.   It is nice to know that I am not alone in this struggle and that there are parents out there who completely understand!!

Great Video on BP Kids July 14, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, Education, Humor, IEP.
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I could relate so well to some of what she was saying, especially in the “At-School Dr. Jeckyll and the At-Home Mr. Hyde” section.

What to do June 10, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior.
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I feel like we have turned back the clocks to last October, a point when my son’s tantrums were at an all time high.  He has been very unstable since summer started.  We have had to give a PRN for behavior and had to do more restraints in the past 2 weeks than in the previous 6 months combined.  He is completely destructive, extremely aggressive, and defiant.  Then he will turn around and be the sweetest kids ever.  We have had to walk on eggshells lately.  Today he damaged the shower doors in my bathroom- will have to replace a piece he broke, he damaged a regular wooden door, tore the window shades down and crumpled them up, and put bruises up and down my legs.  NOTHING seems to be working right now.  We did have a med change and I thought that was helping a bit, but maybe not.  We are on a physical and emotional roller coaster all day long and I am completely exhausted.  I don’t know where to go for help or what to do.

I signed up with a yahoo! group of some other parents of BP kids, but haven’t been accepted just yet.  I am hoping that conversing with other parents of young kids with BP will help.

Spray paint- AGAIN! June 3, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior.
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I THOUGHT we had gotten rid of all the spray paint in the house, but boy was I wrong!  My son found a lone white can and resprayed his car!  I am so furious with him.  I have now taken the chargers for both cars and locked them up for at least a week.  I am trying to decide if I should make him scrub the car clean again- obviously it did nothing to deter him.  I know he is impulsive and that is part of the ADHD/bipolar, but geez!!

Things this summer have been terrible!  We have had to restrain and punish like crazy and NOTHING seems to work.  He has had everyone in the family in tears; including my parents!  I don’t know what to do with him! I am completely at my witts end.  We called the Dr and she wants us to give him a few days on the new medicine, but I’m not sure how much I can take.  We had 4 hours of bliss today because he went to an anger management group for that time.  I wish it would have been all day long.

We have started a positive reinforcement chart in which he can earn happy/sad faces, and then gets a prize if he has so many of them.  Right now, he is earning a face every 30 minutes and if he gets 10 out of 12 by 1:00 then he gets a prize.  Then in the afternoon/evening if he earns 12/14 he can get a prize.  So far he has earned one prize in the past 6 days.

He had been doing so much better before school let out and now we have fallen down the mountain.

Concerta June 3, 2008

Posted by linnic in Medication.
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We have decided to try concerta on my son.  He had been on Metadate with a booster of methylphenadate in the afternoon.  Even with the booster, we were not making it to bedtime with out meltdowns.  Our Dr felt Concerta would offer a more stable dosage of medication.  We shall see.  We began the medicine this morning.  There is always a level of anxiety for me every time we make a med change.  Will things get better?  Worse? or stay the same?  Time will tell.