Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Last time I checked, I didn't ask for your opinion!

Its funny to me how when things are going well and your child is behaving, people don't ask questions or seem to care for that fact. But when the child is acting out, they are the first ones to give advice or say what they think the problem is. Well, let me tell you something, unless you have a child like mine, your advice is futile and will not work for my kid. Thanks! I don't mean to sound rude. There are people whom I talk with and accept their advice as an outsiders perspective and that I appreciate. But when those people, who think they know more than I do about my own child, tell me that he is manipulating me and just acting out to stay home from school or sleep later, I laugh in their faces. You do not know what I do and don''t do at home to discipline my child. Nor do you know the complexity of Bipolar disorder..Especially in children.
When Landen was younger and i thought something was "wrong" with him, I put up with my own FAMILY telling me I was wrong and that I was disciplining wrong and needed to be harder on him . So believe me, there is not one thing that someone one else can tell me that I haven't heard from my own family. Now that they know and accept his disorders, they see things differently as well. If you want information on Bipolar and ADHD kids, I'll be happy to talk to you about it. If you want to give me advice on how to raise my son and no nothing about how special he is, then, no thank you, please don't waste my time or yours.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The first holiday since starting the new meds

So Easter was the first holiday that we have celebrated since Landen started his new medication for Bipolar Disorder. Let me give you a quick rundown of the weekend. Friday after school, he went over to my parents and went to the hockey game with my dad and my brother. Then stayed the night there. Saturday afternoon my moms side of the family came over to my parents house to celebrate Easter. There was other kids, lots of adults and an Easter egg hunt. At about 830pm he was so tired that he was crying and rolling around on the ground. I told everyone that was still there, "I guess its time we leave."We didn't get home til after 9pm. Then Sunday morning the kids were up by 8 am. Easter egg hunt here. Then I went to church (he was going to go with me but changed his mind, so  I dropped him off at my parents). After church,  I picked him up, brought him back home, got the girl ready to go and we went back to my parents for dinner and another egg hunt with my grandparents there. We left there about 7ish. Once home, on all nights, medication has to be given in order to "help" him fall asleep. No matter how tired he is, he will not, more like cannot, fall asleep until the meds get into his system. So he didn't fall asleep til a little after 9pm last night. This morning trying to get him up was terrible! I tried to get him up, just like I always do but he was violent and very angry. He was so tired! So, not having to work today, I let him sleep..I called the school told them he was having a rough morning and that he would be in later. He slept til 915 and woke up on his own in a much better mood! We ate breakfast, got dressed and went to school. He was there by 1030 am and he was happy.
My lesson learned is that it may be wise to incorporate a day off after holidays for him, just for situations like this, for his body to simmer down. Or not be so festive when holidays are here. He was very good during all activities and was social. Which is VERY unlike him!! So all in all, despite the meltdown on Saturday night and then this morning, he was very good this weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The other child

Although this blog is primarily about Landen, I do need to say a few things about the other child. Landen was my first born. Those of you who know the story know he is here for a reason. God put him in my life for a purpose that is starting to unfold. He was (and still is) my world. I'm in complete awe over him everyday. He continues to amaze me. Just as often as he drives me crazy, he puts me in awe as well. In August of 2007, I gave birth to my daughter, Liliana.We call her Lily. So tiny, spunky and amazing all in her own ways. Both my children have amazing qualities and can make me laugh, cry and yell. Kids are good for that.
My daughter has been the complete opposite of Landen. She was (and still is) tiny. Landen by a year old was almost 25 pounds! He was 20 lbs at 8 months! She didn't reach 20 lbs till she was 18 months. She plays with others, uses her imagination and is a typical 3 and 1/2 year old. That is a huge blessing as I couldn't handle two of Landen. She is letting me experience all the things that I never did with him. I can take her to loud and crowded places and she's okay with it. Him, not so much.
She does suffer from the affects of his disorder though..Just as we all do. He gets his way more than she does. Not because I favor him but to keep the raging from happening. We don't do or do things according to how he is behaving and feeling that day. She's missed out on experiences because of his moods. We all have. She's felt the brunt of his anger. She's had stitches because of a rage( I didn't know that it was it was back then, I just thought it was a tantrum), had many bumps and bruises. I try to protect her as much as possible. I try to do as much with her as I can while he's in school because she needs the good, positive experiences to remember.
In the books I'm reading it talks about siblings and the feelings that they can have towards their bipolar siblings. I don't want her to hate him because of his illness.I hope she doesn't end up resenting him. I hope she learns tolerance & understanding for people who are suffering from an "unseen" illness. I hope she looks up to her brother and sees what he has overcome and admires him.
 There is a guilt that I carry for her. A sadness. I feel as if I take out some of my frustration and anger on her since I can't with Landen. I feel sometimes, as if I'm overly strict on her behavior with certain things. There are times that I'm "mean" to her and I go back crying because I'm just done after dealing with Landen. Its a learning process and a balancing act. I need to learn to balance and "let go" of my anger and frustration from Landen before dealing with her. Its hard when they both want attention at the same time. I'm only one person and I can only do so much at one time. I don't want to be fighting with both of them during their childhood over why this and why not that. I want both my kids to be happy. Isn't that any moms dream?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A few things I need to accept

Right now, and for the past few months, I've been painstakingly making my way through two books. These are those books:
Sorry I cant get them both on the same line.
 Inside both of them are wonderful,eye opening, truthful, insights into the
mind of a bipolar child. Its also very painful and hard to read what the children say are going on in their heads. Its amazing at the knowledge that even 7-8 year old's have about the lack of control or reasoning for raging. For those of you who don't know, raging is the term for the "tantrum" or "outburst" that a bipolar child has.
As I read through this book, they do not sugar coat anything. Yes, when treated early, a lot of children turn into adults with very controlled bipolar disorder. Some people will not need to be on meds, some will. It depends on the person. Some who SHOULD be on meds choose not to be. As an adult, that is their choice. I have fought with Landen many times about taking his meds. He doesn't want to take so many pills. I can't say that I blame him. I hope that as he gets older, he realizes that these pills are necessary for him to keep some kind of normalcy.
I need to accept that the dreams and hopes that I had for my son, my first born child might not come true in the way I had wanted them to. I watch stories about families having babies and I have a few friends who have recently had babies. I remember that bliss and happiness when Landen was born. I had such grand plans for him and his life. Now there are times when I have to fight to think about something positive. I just have to keep thinking to myself that we will grow and get to where we need to go, it'll just be on a different path than everyone else. We will get there. There may be more tears and more pain and more yelling but we will get there. No matter what.
I need to accept that my son may never play or be good at team sports. I'm going to try to give it a go with some Y team sports but I'm not holding my breath. He has such a short fuse and doesn't like to lose so I'm not sure how well it will work. We are going to try because he wants to play soo bad. He doesn't understand how his actions will affect the others on his team.
The one thing that I guess surprised me the most is the suicide talk. Children as young as my son are trying to commit suicide or saying that they want to kill themselves. Its sad. Its hard..Its tough to think about that in the next few years and through the teen years I'll be on suicide watch. It scares the crap out of me to think about this. Honestly, there have been a few times when he has been so upset that he has told he that he can't handle it and wants to die..At the time, I didn't think about how serious those comments are.
I still need to find a support group for me. I need to talk to someone who has the same issues as I do. Its hard to even come close to relating to what parents of other kids are dealing with..
For now, I will try to get some sleep. The boy has another sinus infection and is on more antibiotics. He can barely breath and does a lot of coughing. Sleeping isn't going so well for him the past few days. The girl doesn't sleep well either..its starting to concern me..But that's a concern for another day..

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Taking Steps

Every day we are taking steps in the right direction. The more reshaping and positive things we do now, the better off he will be in the future. One of the organizations that helps spread knowledge and give help to those who need is is NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Health. They provide services across the country for families, individuals and communities affected by mental illness. In June, I, along with family and friends will be walking in my sons honor, at Elmwood Park here in Omaha, Ne. Here is the link to my homepage for more information on this walk. Please, if you feel led, join my team, donate to the cause, walk by yourself. Whatever you would like to do, please do something, lets not keep these issues silent any longer!!


It seems that time slips away from me! Two weeks have gone by without me posting anything..So here goes an update. We still have outbursts but nothing as bad as they were. Two weeks ago he had a very violent rage at school. Shoes came off and the teacher got slapped and kicked. Poor teacher. But we deal. Now that the weather is nice (most of the time) we are burning off more energy outside which means less computer time :o) The struggles of everyday life are still around..we battle getting up in the morning..battle taking our meds, getting to school on time (which makes me late to work everyday)..Everyday, I wait for that phone call from the school telling me he's had a rage at school. I get that call once a week. Things aren't easy, things are complicated but we will survive..We will make more progress! All in time :o)

Bumps in the road

So this seems to be the norm. We have a good few days or so the BAM, we hit a bump in the road..Then we have smooth sailing again. I've starting a cycle chart for him, which is confusing all in itself but something that I'm reading is necessary. The one thing that I have figured out, at this stage in the game, is that he needs sleep. Lack of sleep causes us to rage and get violent for no reason. I know that I should expect a few bumps but I do enjoy the good times.
That being said, its been pretty quiet and uneventful, which I'm thankful for. We started seeing a play therapist. I like her, Landen seems to like and we see her once a week, so that is a bonus. She seems very nice and willing to work on the things that I have concerns about.
The bumps in the road wont be going anywhere anytime soon. I can accept that.