need an ear

Hi all, I am a newbie to the board. I have a 16 yr old who was recently diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar Depression.

At the interview/evaluation, I was relieved to learn why difficult child isn't successful in school, has anger management /disrespect issues, mood swings, impulsivity, and school discipline issues. to the outside world, difficult child is a little darling and popular because difficult child is so funny and I think difficult child is great because he is sensitive even if he doesn't exhibit much empathy or feel remorse for the things he has said or done. During the summer of 2005, we were awakened at 2:00 am by our difficult child. he had migraine accompanied by extreme vomiting and bleeding from the nose, which probably wouldn't have happened had he eaten properly and been well hydrated. The day before we took difficult child to ER, he wouldn't drink water during one of the worst heatwaves we've ever had and I should know because I had suffered heat exhaustion (first time) even though I drank lots of water, my electrolytes were off and sought treatment for it. but I digress. My insurance covered most of it for CAT scan and an injection to control the vomiting and he slept it off until noon. Also this summer, I took him to a dermatologist (because he was tired of the stares) and spent so much money for copays, antifungal topicals and he then he wouldn't use the creams unless he remembered to. Most of my topic is in the general forum. You can read that for a full summary. so with my husband's support, I took difficult child to specialist to get an evaluation. husband doesn't like the idea of difficult child taking medications; neither do I but we have to try something, don't we? difficult child took 1st dose (half) of Rem last night and it made difficult child so sleepy that he couldn't remain in school. Now my husband wants difficult child off of the Rem or not take the second RX until we get a second opinion. The school has been ordered by doctor to place difficult child in partial hospital setting and the evaluation may not occur for up to two weeks. Then there are the other things I have to do like order EEG and Blood work. Does that mean these extra steps have to be placed on hold for insurance purposes. difficult child's doctor says she recommends therapy which I don't have a problem with. I am not necessarily pro-drug, just want difficult child to get school evaluated and qualified psychologists who understand adolescent depression and release my difficult child inner intelligence. difficult child was once bright and gifted until 2nd grade. So what am I asking: Any one out there familiar with two Rx's. 2. Should I get a 2nd op? Does insurance cover this? What happens if I run out of insurance because of the tests? I am certain that I am almost up to my limits of health insurance. 3. Should I go through the rigors of tests with the first diagnosis. or wait until I get a 2nd op. I've never been so confused in my life. Thanks to you all...


WOW... you've got so many questions in there...

first.. a doctor can't order school to do anything. he can have hospital take child into day program and the SD and hospital will work out the education cost of the total bill... without any involvement on your part. Rest of it is medical and you'll have to talk to your insur co about it.

Virtually every insurance policy is different so no one here would know what yours does or doesn't cover. It's best to call them, get names, dates, times recorded, and put what they said in a confirmation letter to them which you send them certified mail. Then they can deny they approved it later.

Never use a school psychologist for an evaluation.. EVER!

Never use ANY psychologist for a diagnosis... EVER!

ADHD is a neurological issue and bipolar is a psychiatric issue.

Get the book The Bipolar Child and read, read, read. Start your son on a mood stabilizer first. Then re-evaluate the possibility ADHD. And don't put him on an AD until he's got the mood stabilizer at therapeutic levels. Most of these medications take time to work, time for the side effects like drowsiness and nausea to subside. You just can't give up on a medication without a decent trial and that could easily be 2 months.

Psychotherapy is always a good idea. The therapist can keep track of the moods and notify you and doctor of any serious problems. Your son needs to learn to live with his body, his hormones, etc. And when you're talking about mental illness it's best to have a professional working with him to learn to live with it.

In terms of running out of insurance it's a real problem for many people. There's Medicaid if you meet the income and asset limits. You can also get him into Medicaid by getting him onto SSI, again income and asset limits. There's the NJ state program which pays for all of a child's unreimbursed medical bills after you meet the minimum amt they want you to pay out of pocket.. which I believe is 10% of your annual income. Under that program they pay the bills directly, you don't go out of pocket more than the % they specify. There's tax write-offs for medical bills you've paid- both federal and state I believe.

Bottom line is that it's really difficult for most people with a major illness in the family. There are no easy answers.

In NJ the state will pay for residential care in a treatment center but it can be a tough process.. been there done that unfortunately.