New here, glad I found you all!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by maxeygirls, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    Hi! I kept coming across this forum every time I searched for advice regarding my difficult child so I figured it was time to jump in.
    My difficult child was diagnosed with Early Onset Bipolar Disorder less than two months before she turned 3 and it was not a diagnosis that was given easily. She has been unable to self soothe since she was a baby, became increasingly violent and slept very little since she was a year old. Her paternal side has a strong history of Bipolar and alcoholism. Maternal side is unknown, I'm adopted.
    She has been in-patient at our local children's hospital twice, once to diagnose and once to stabilize, and I have dragged both difficult child and easy child all the way to California from Arizona after fighting tooth and nail to get her admitted into Resnick at UCLA which was a disaster. We have tried gluten/dairy/dye free diets, omega 3 treatments and virtually anything else you can imagine to stabilize without medication with no progress.
    We finally have a psychiatrist who communicates well and is also open to naturopathic suggestions and we are slowly making progress.
    difficult child is on Depakote and Risperdal and is still having to take Melatonin nightly to go to sleep although she only sleeps 4 hours.
    easy child is my rock, my salvation. At almost 8 months old she is my source of comfort and difficult child's best friend, quite a heavy burden for a baby.
    husband is in the Army and has been deployed since January last year, still have a few months left until he's home. difficult child handles it like a champ.
    My goals are to get difficult child stable enough to attend preschool then kindergarten and beyond so that I can go back to school to become a Certified Nurse Midwife.
    We will stay in the military mostly because of the insurance for difficult child.
    Moving around doesn't matter, my parents are too elderly to help much and we have no other support from family or friends.
    Mommy is very tired. :whiteflag:
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Maxeygirls.
    Wow, diagnosis'd at age 3.
    But not sleeping is a pretty good flag. As is her family genetic history.
    Great the your dr can do naturopathic suggestions and medications. You will need both. People are whole, not just individual components to be broken into pieces that can be treated with-drugs and then walk away.
    I'm glad your baby is so even-tempered and mellow. As she grows, I hope you resist the urge to confide too much in her; it is a heavy burden for her to carry.
    And you do all of this alone while your husband is deployed ... sigh.
    Your goals are admirable. Be prepared for stops and starts.
    Do you have a therapy plan for difficult child? Ways to help her cope and self-soothe?
    Glad you joined us!
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us, but sorry you needed to.

    I sure can understand why you're tired. I can only imagine how challenging it must be to parent two little ones while your husband is away.

    How is difficult child doing on the medications?
    Are things better, worse or about the same?
    What doses is she taking?
    How does she do with same-age peers?
    Did she have any developmental or speech delays?
    Any sensory issues (for example, sensitivity to clothing tags, loud noises, food textures)?
    Have you ever had her evaluated by a neuropsychologist?

    One book that we recommend to all new posters is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us here parent our extra-challenging children.

    Again, welcome.
  4. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    First let me apologize, I submitted another hello because difficult child had slammed my laptop closed and I didn't know if it went through or not.
    She is semi-stable on the medications, what I see now is defined episodes instead of her living her own nightmare 24/7 so we may have 1-2 weeks where we are trapped in our own home but the rest of the time she is a very spirited 3 year old, something I'd never appreciated so much after taking care of and babysitting so many calm and spirited 3 year olds in my life.
    I will never burden my little easy child with difficult child's issues, my source of comfort from her now is seeing her light up when difficult child plays with her and when difficult child is in bed and I can breastfeed easy child for as long as she'd like. Unfortunately easy child is our 'princess pig' and has to have her way. The pig part comes from her squeals when she wants something and her snorts when she's hungry.
    Doing this without husband is very challenging however it also means I get to explore all possibilities for difficult child without discussing them with him and make all the decisions without fears of causing marital issues.
    Before difficult child was diagnosed he had stayed home with her for just under 6 months while I worked(cruddy economy and we're National Guard at the moment) and the result was catastrophic. We were literally one signature away from a divorce and the missing signature was from the judge.
    Getting difficult child diagnosed and semi-stable has saved our marriage, what could be better than that for all involved?
    Knowing there are other families out there who struggle as we do is so comforting.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    The pig part comes from her squeals when she wants something and her snorts when she's hungry.


    Glad you worked out the marital issues and came back from the brink. If you read through the notes here, and on the watercooler, you'll see it's a very common problem. Parenting is hard enough, without the added issues of a difficult child.
  6. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome. Having a younger easy child is a big help for me, too.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Does your difficult child attach to anyone? Does she look you in the eye? Give you hugs? Sit on your lap?

    Just a feeling I got while reading that those were important questions.
  8. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    She makes eye contact, has close bonds with several people and is very social and cuddly, she is not autistic. Doctors focused on this since she was over a year old no matter how much she proved otherwise. We looked into Angelman Syndrome, Autism, Aspergers, ODD, pretty much everything we could think of. Bipolar has been proven through and through. Finally when we switched pediatricians right before easy child was born, we were lucky enough to have our first appointment with a pediatrician who studied autism and specialized in it. She agreed with me that although at first glance autism seems probable, she just didn't fit the criteria. Two months after that difficult child was finally admitted into an in-patient biobehavioral board and diagnosed.
    I didn't know what was wrong, but at that point I knew what wasn't.