Archive for September, 2011

Fall Is Shapin Up to Be Better

July and August were spent recovering from the ‘toe thing’ of May and June. Matthew spent 10 days in a partial hospitalization program, supposedly to get his meds straightened out. That didn’t work out so well, but the 2 weeks we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House while he was in PHP was like a vacation of sorts. Both of the pdocs that were assigned to him (one replaced the other) turned out to be real duds. The first was focused only on the fact that Matthew “doesn’t like to be called Matthew, he prefers Ryan” (NOT true, a HUGE mistake on her part) and that “he is happy with being a boy” (good, ’cause I wasn’t about to ‘fix’ it if he wasn’t!). The second one flat-out refused to do anything for Matthew, medication or otherwise. This despite Matthew and I both giving him detailed descriptions of the problems (mostly rage) he’d been having and after a middle-of-the-night call (that the on-call doc never responded to!) because his meds were not helping him stay in control. In between we had a horrible week plus while on the Abilify. Made him very physically sick. Our trip to the zoo was spent pushing him around in a wheelchair because he was to weak to stand.

After the 2nd pdoc told me he had no suggestions as to what to do for Matt and that he would not do anything himself, I called the ped from the elevator. I got him an appt within the week and also got the verbal ok to increase his Seroquel dose from the miniscule 50mg/day the pdoc had him on. The dose of 400mg/day was a golden dose, one we worked up to when it was evident the 200mg/day wasn’t working. It was a no-brainer that the 50mg wasn’t doing any good!

After the PHP, where nearly every single one of the therapy team members voiced their opinion on Matt’s dx as being bipolar disorder, I bought some books and started my homework. Researching yet another new health condition. This time one that falls under the mental health umbrella, which I must admit I never would have even considered learning about if it didn’t ‘happen’ in my own family. I used to think that bipolar was just a cop-out dx that people who didn’t care a fig newton about their actions or reactions came up with to get out of having to face the consequences. Boy did I have a lot to learn!

One thing about it, after all the reading I’ve done, there is no doubt in my mind that this IS what Matthew has been dealing with most of his life. I really knew it before I did the ‘heavy’ research, though. I knew it back in the spring when I scanned that first childhood bipolar book. The small, still voice of the Holy Spirit told me back then that I’d finally gotten to the answer He’d been leading me too.

That first appt with the ped after the pdoc fiasco was about a month ago. Since then we’ve seen her twice for med ‘consults’. She asked to borrow one of the books I’d purchased so she could read it, and also said she’d be doing a little research herself. She’s MORE than willing to continue managing Matthew’s meds, which is AMAZING! In her practice of about 2,000 kiddos, she says there are only 3 that she knows have bipolar disorder. Of those, Matthew is the only one she is managing meds for! She has always gone out of her way to research things when something comes up with one of the kids. If she doesn’t know how to treat it, she learns. She’d still like us to find a good pdoc if possible, of course, if nothing else than for a “for-sure” dx, but given our recent history with pdocs and the limited list available under our insurance… not sure that’s gonna happen anytime soon.

Based on our research, we’ve decided to add a mood stabilizer to Matt’s meds. The PHP discontinued his ADHD med, and we’ve left it off. Taking that aways seems to have allowed us to keep the Seroquel dose down to 300mg/day. Then a little over a week ago we started him on Trileptal. He’s currently on 600mg/day, and doing really well. Once we got the Seroquel back up to 200mg/day we started seeing the rage withdraw, once it hit 300mg/day we haven’t had a major rage episode, and very little irritability even! He’s even doing his schoolwork without a fight.

So for Matthew, fall is definitely looking to be a better season than summer. Of course, that means that it’ll be better for everyone!

Meagan has had a personal upswing as well. She dropped a bombshell on us right before school started and told us she wanted to be homeschooled again as the stress (and lack of help/friends) at the school were just too much for her. After looking at her standardized test scores from the first year she was there and this past year, her daddy decided I would teach her through high school. She has been NO END of excited ever since. She’s loved every minute of her school work and is more than eager to get started on the subjects we hadn’t been able to start yet because of waiting for all the materials to come in. She’s super excited about Spanish, especially.

Mike is in the middle of a 2wk vacation, and I think we’ll probably be headed out to Arkansas for 3 or 4 nights of camping tomorrow. He’s actually been taking his antidepressants (well most of the time) for a few weeks now, and I think they are starting to take effect.

I’ve been busy helping my best friend with her cosmetics business. Thankfully I do the behind-the-scenes work… bookkeeping, software/website maintenance, order pulling/packing, etc. My favorite part. =) I’ve always liked doing the behind-the-scenes stuff. I LOVE it! Plus the ‘office’ is her dining room, and my ‘boss’ is…duh, my best friend! haha I keep telling her I would totally do it for free, but she has been insisting on paying me. That means that *I’ve* been able to to tithe and give to missions!! YEA! She purchased all the school curriculum for the kids this year! Most of it was actually for Meagan, since Matthew is still in the middle of 7th grade, but he even got a couple of new courses.

Besides having WAY too many cats (5 adults, and 8 kittens) things are lookin pretty good for Fall. And next spring? We’ll get to welcome a new little one into the family! No, *I’m* not pregnant, but my brother is. Well… not my brother, technically, but still… my kid brother’s gonna be a daddy!!


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