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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.

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!!

Med changes April 3, 2008

Posted by linnic in Medication.
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I called this blog “Roller Coaster Kid” because I feel like my son is a constant roller coaster ride. He has his ups, then comes crashing down; throw in a couple of loops and it is the makings of a fantastic ride. We had leveled out a bit, and then we had a med change. Boy oh boy, we are headed down a steep hill right now. Our Dr. cut B’s Celexa in half and his moods have been swinging every since. I will be calling tomorrow to see about increasing it back to where it was.

Medicine March 31, 2008

Posted by linnic in Medication.
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Giving medication has become very routine in our house. My son is on many medications.

In the morning he takes Riperdal, Celexa, and Metadate. In the afternoon he takes Methalyn, and at night we end things with an additional dose of Risperdal and Benedryl. He is also on a PRN for a Risperdal/Benedryl combo.

My son is 5. I have taken a lot of heat for all of this medication, and I don’t really like giving it to him, but he can’t function without it. Prior to being medicated, he could not go an entire hour without a MAJOR meltdown. His meltdowns rendered him virtually mute, he was highly aggressive and almost animalistic. With medication, we can make it through the day. Are days perfect? Far from it. I don’t think we have had a day in the past 3 years where we haven’t felt like we were walking on eggshells, just waiting for the next meltdown.

B was only 3 when I began considering medication, and just after his 4th birthday we began with our first meds. Since then, meds have been changed, added to, and discontinued. Ups and downs always accompany every med change. Even after a year and a half, we still haven’t found the right combination.

As I said, I have taken a lot of heat, but this is what we have to do for my son to survive and thrive. If my child had diabetes, no one would question his need for insulin to survive. My son is no different. I know that not every child should be on medication, and I do agree that there are many kids who do not need medication, but are on it anyway. There are kids out there that do need it. Any thoughts on medications?