Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Change in Meds... A Change in Moods?

We have been slowly tapering off of the anti-anxiety medication that the hospital put Mary on. Our first problem was the fact that the pill in itself was very tiny. I was supposed to cut it in half and give her half a dose for 2 weeks to see how she reacted. I found it almost impossible to cut the pill in half, even with a pill cutter. One part would be 2/3 of the pill and the rest would just crush to powder. There was no way to accurately give her half a dose and with that particular medication I did not want to give her 2/3 of a pill one day, 1/3 the next, maybe half the next. I did not feel like that was a good way to taper down off consistently. And, at a little over a dollar a pill, throwing away several in my attempt to get an accurate half, it didn't take me too long to decide that this was NOT going to work. I took the pills back to the pharmacist to see if maybe they would have more success than I did. They did not even want to try to cut them, but said that there was a liquid version available if we could get a new prescription called in for it.

The liquid version was not pleasant tasting, but Mary managed to get through the two weeks at the half dose. I did start to see a few differences in her ability to cope with changes in routine, making decisions, and just overall sense of inner calm. She was still handling it well... verbalizing when things were bothering her instead of throwing things across the room... knowing when she needed to pull back from an activity and just have some quiet time. There were a few days when I thought that we were going to need to call the doctor just watching the sadness creep back into her eyes, but then she seemed to perk back up and level out again.

After the two weeks at a half dose, we tapered down even further to a half dose every other day for a week. That did not seem to bother her, so after that week, we discontinued that medication completely. The first few days were fine, but the past few days she has again been struggling with feeling stressed by little things. She said that it feels like there is a soda bottle in her head about to explode. Changes in routine bring her to tears.

At this point, I don't know if it is the medication change, or if we are starting to see the cycling come back again. I hate to even think this way, but when she was up at 6:00 AM yesterday, dressed and cooking everyone breakfast as a surprise, I caught myself wondering if I was seeing some mania creep back in??? And then I immediately started to feel guilty. She should be able to be excited, organized and helpful without me wondering, wondering, wondering. I would hate it if someone was always suspicious of my good intentions and my good moods! And yet, that is just what I do with her. Where is the balance between constantly monitoring her mood and letting her be a typical kid? I don't want her to pick up on that and blame every good or bad mood on being bipolar. I don't want her to put herself in a box. But later in the morning when an unexpected change in plans drove her quickly to anger and tears, I wonder again... this is a pretty typical manic reaction... not severely manic, but are we just building up to the major rage? So, I am left wondering, watching, and waiting. Praying my gut reaction is wrong.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Story Behind the Song

You may have noticed that I have added a playlist to this blog. This song has been one of my favorites for a long time and in fact is the ringtone that I have set on my cell phone for whenever one of our doctors call me. A couple of weeks ago when we were driving in the car, Mary asked me to turn on the radio to the local Christian radio station. This song came on. She asked me to turn it up and after it was over she said that she really likes that song. I asked her why and she said, "it gives me hope that one day my bipolar will be under control." That just brought tears to my eyes because that is the exact reason it is one of my favorites too. Under all this mess of life and all that she deals with, my little girl is putting her trust in Jesus and finds hope that there WILL be a day where she has no more tears, no more pain, no more fears. Thank you Jesus for giving her (and me) that hope!

Summer Update

This summer is just flying by! I can't believe that we only have 3 weeks left before the kids are all back in school. It has been a good summer so far. Of course we have had a few bumps in the road, but overall things have gone smoothly.

Mary had a great week at 4-H camp! She really enjoyed being there and all the fun activities that they did. She did get a little homesick the last few days and was ready to come home when the week was over.

This past week we were able to join Mark in Fairmont, West Virginia at Dayspring Camp. It was a great week. We all worked hard and came home exhausted. But we were able to serve the teams that were ministering to people in Fairmont and the kids were also able to join the teams in town at some of the job sites. It was such a blessing to our family to participate in Mark's job in this way. On the way home we stopped at the world's longest continuous arch bridge. It made the trip home longer but we decided that we were going to enjoy the trip and not be so focused on the destination.

In between all of the travels we have been busy with swimming with sweet friends, going to the library every week for their programs, going to the free movies, and just having fun together. Mary continues to be stable, even with all of the changes in routine. Of course we have had a few rough days, but that is normal and to be expected in any child.