Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Carry Me Today

I must be a terrible mom, at least that is how I feel right now. Now my 8 year old is acting out. She is in third grade and this is when it got really bad with Kenzie. Maybe it is not mental illness and it is just my parenting. My husband says I tolerate it too much and that is why they treat me so poorly. The only thing Tori doesn't do is cuss at me. She also does not have rages, but boy, does she have a temper and an attitude. I am still doing the screen tickets but they are not working anymore. Tori doesn't care because she has earned so many now and she has not been watching T.V. in the afternoons. This weekend the girls were gone because of Kenzie's b-day at at the hotel so they did not use up their screen tickets. Kenzie has so much homework and dance that she does not have time for T.V. or playing on the computer during the week days and I think she sneaks on the computer at night after we go to bed. So she seems to care less too. Time to come up with something else. Why does it always work that way? Things work for awhile and then you have to change things so you will get effectiveness again. I really do try hard. I am trying to stick with this approach but I am tired of being verbally abused by both girls now. Kenzie has not cussed in the mornings until this morning, but she whines, cries, and talks very loudly. Tori is sassy and hurtful. I think she has learned behaviors from Kenzie. I stayed calm and ignored and reset constantly, but I wanted to slap them both across the face. Then when they left I lost it-tears and anger all at once. They will not be getting any screen tickets this afternoon and Tori will not be playing with any friends either. Kenzie will have to give up her phone until homework and chores are done. But guess what this won't work either. They will just go back to being ugly in the morning again. I so want to give up. I look at my sweet baby's face who looks at me with adoration and all smiles and I am thankful but I know it will not last. She too will grow up and treat me poorly just like her sisters. They both were like that as babies and even Tori just last year. It seems when those hormones hit around 8 or 9 things just change and go downhill. I know I am being negative but I am mad, hurt, frustrated, tired, and have just plain had it. It is so hard being a mom. Today I want to give up. I want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. But I won't, I can't, I have this baby that needs me. I am God's child and He wants me to keep going, giving thanks for everything and being joyful. Okay, Lord, I need you totally. I can't do it without Him. Give me the strength, please. I am thankful that I have Him as my savior and Lord. I don't feel like it but I know(head knowledge) that He is right there with me maybe He'll have to carry me today instead of just walking beside me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Turning 14

McKenzie turned 14 this past weekend and I am so glad we got past 13. It was a rough year. But I have great hopes for 14. She is still the most stable I have seen her in a long time. I think most of the issues we have now are her just being a teenager. She had a great b-day party with just a few friends which of course is all she has anyway. We took them to a hotel to spend the night and the hotel had a cool water park so they had loads of fun. She finally got her first cell phone and is beyond thrilled. I am hoping she can handle it. She made the performance team at her dance studio and will be dancing about 9 hours a week. School is hard for her and they are not doing the 504 plan very well. I am trying to be on top of that. My hope is that she will be able to handle all of this and not fall off the deep end again. She is due for an amantadine holiday for 48 hours again. I am dreading that. We shall see how she does with it. But overall turning 14 was a good thing. Thank goodness for something good!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Blessings

Okay yesterday I played the pity party. It was good to get it out all those feelings, but now I need to focus on what is good in my life.
My blessings...
1. my three beautiful children, all girls!
2. my husband of 18 1/2 years,
3. our health- for the most part good-nobody is dying,
4. Kenzie is the most stable she has been in a long while.
5. I have a beautiful home.
6. I have a beautiful backyard with a pool.
7. I am God's child and He loves me.
8. Both of my parents are still living and love me.
9. I have a good relationship with my mother-n-law and she loves me.
10. I have lots of people praying for my family.
11. I go to a great church.
12. I am able to stay at home with my kids and be a mom.
13. I have a husband who has been so smart with our money that we are not in any kind of major debt.
14. I have lots of family who loves me-two brothers, four sister-n-laws, and two brother-n-laws plus a bunch of nieces and nephews.
15. I am exercising on a regular basis. I found zumba and love it.
16. I can teach and have done it for a long time-capable of using that gift-hopefully.
17. I am creative.
18. I do have lots of love to give.
Okay I am sure that there is more but that is all that I can think of right now. I am going to try and focus on these things instead of the other. I know that is what God wants me to do even though at times it is very hard. By the way, Kenzie was amazing to me yesterday. She really tried hard to help me and I know it is because she has been there and understands how it feels. I am glad we have each other even though I hate the thought that it might be because of me that she has these issues too. But I am heading back to the negative thoughts so I need to refocus and reread my list, keep going, head up, and strong in Christ.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Depression is being in a black hole and no matter how hard you try you can't get out. Depression for me not Kenzie right now. This post is about me. It may sound dark and depressing and even a pity party, but I thought if I wrote my thoughts down it might help. This is a big risk-writing it down for all to see but I am going to take it. Please do not worry as I know what is going on and even though I feel yucky I will do nothing that is dangerous because I do love Jesus and I know better. I may feel like it right now but I will never act on it. That may be even the reason why I am writing it down so I know the truth and not just go on what I am feeling. I feel worthless like I can never do anything right. I am not a good housekeeper-my house is always messy, my kids fight and no matter how hard I try to stop it they just keep on doing it. Even my creative attempts do not seem to work which of course makes me feel like a terrible mom. I hardly ever get to really spend time with my husband between work and the kids there just never seems to be time. How I miss the days when we could just hang on and go to a movie at the last minute or even call a babysitter. But with McKenzie that is impossible. My husband and I need to get away and we can't because we have no family here to take care of our kids. Grandparents, for different reasons and very understandable ones, cannot help at least not for the length of time that we need. Money... is tight as it is for everybody these days... but I seem to mess things up constantly-my husband is very frugal and one of the things that helps me and our marriage is me making extra money with my little side job but that isn't looking good due to the economy. I want to work but I have a precious baby that needs me at home and I was there for our other kids so I want to do the same for her. I don't want to miss out on the little stuff. It makes me sad to even think about it. Who even knows I probably couldn't even find a teaching job at this point in the game. I have tried to expand my business to other preschools but because of the economy nobody wants me. Doing creative things helps me but again I use my extra money for that and without that it is hard to be creative. I eat not because I am hungry but because it fills that void. I use sweets like alcohol to some extent. So no matter how much I exercise I do not loose weight which of course makes me feel worse. I feel ugly and yucky. I have not spent very much time with the Lord and that makes feel yuck too. I feel like a failure as God's child. I know He loves me but I just can't feel it right now. Bible study starts this week and I pray I have enough energy to get up, get dressed and get there. However, the baby seems to be coming down with a cold and possible ear infection so with my luck I probably won't even be able to go. The screen tickets worked for awhile but now Kenzie is using them for a fight when she uses them. She wants me to stop the timer when commercials are on-everything becomes a fight with her. It is so exhausting. Tori does great with the tickets but her attitude lately has not been good. My sweet little girl seems so down and not herself which also makes me sad. I wish I could fix it all but I can't. I want to do something exciting-something where I am giving or helping or something to pull me out of this pit. But I have no idea what. It seems like I have very few friends-the friends I do have have scattered and have busy lives and I do not see them very often much less talk to them. I need a group of friends that I can spend time with and just get away. I use to have that and now it isn't there anymore. Not sure why-I think it is just life. Two out of the three kids are crying so now it is time to go and stop playing the pity party, push down those dark lonely feelings and deal with my kids...at least they need me. Why can't Jesus come NOW?!?!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Good and Not So Good News

The screen tickets are helping tremendously. Kenzie's cussing has almost ceased! Yea! She has not cussed once this week in the morning and I do not think in the afternoon either. At least none that we have heard. She was a little unpleasant yesterday and today in the morning. But she is doing so much better. Tori is doing great in the mornings but after school she is melting down-three fits in the last three days. I think she is tired and frustrated-frustrated from school because it is such a jump from second grade to third and her teacher is very strict. I have to wonder if she is not worried all day that she is going to do something wrong and get in trouble and that is the reason for the outbursts at home. It is so unlike her. The good news is that she comes out of them fairly quickly once she is disciplined. They do not spiral out of control like Kenzie's do. Hopefully, we can get to the bottom of this new behavior and nip it in the bud quickly. Kenzie, on the other hand, is very frustrated with her new school. She for the first time has a lot of homework. At her old school they did not give a lot of homework and if they did give homework they usually had time to do it in class. She also is frustrated because the teachers are not doing her 504 plan yet. The school just got it two days ago and I have called and they say they are working on it but in the mean time my daughter is drowning in frustration. She has not given up yet and I pray she does not. For the most part she has been a real trooper, but I am worried that they are going to loose her and she will give up. Hopefully, they will get the 504 in place sooner than later. On a good note she has made a friend and keeps talking about her. They sit together in all of her classes except one where she has assigned seating. They also have been going to lunch together too. I am excited for her. I hope the girl comes from a decent family that has the same type of values and morals that we do. Time will tell. I am trying to get Kenzie to invite her to her b-day party but Kenz says she is not ready to do that. Her party is only a week in half away. Maybe I can get her to have her over this Friday for swimming and lunch-they have half days on Fridays. She also had an older girl come up to her and touch her hair and say WOW! It kinda startled her but she was very flattered and I know it made her feel good. For those of you who do not know her hair is long very blonde-yellow almost- and slightly waving and thick. Absolutely, beautiful-wish I had her hair many days! She definitely got it from her dad's side. Anyway, good news and not so great news-isn't that life? We have to take the good, the bad, and the ugly and rely on our precious Lord to get us through it all.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Screen Tickets Worked So Far

With Amantadine added to Kenzie's medication mix she has become the most stable I have seen her in a long while. However, we still have some behaviors that we need to work on. Tori, her younger sister, has some as well too. The Nurtured Heart Approach talks about a credit system and I have wanted to do it for awhile but it seemed too complicated and overwhelming. I knew that if that was the case I would not keep up with it or keep it going correctly. So I have been trying to think of something else to take its place that was similar but more manageable. After talking to my husband this weekend I realized that he was right(yes, I did just put that in writing-I could be in trouble for that one) about the kids watching too much T.V. and on the computer way too much. Then this summer my sister-n-law created a system where her kids got screen tickets so she could manage their time on computers, T.V. gameboys, etc. With all of that I came up with my own system that combines all of it into one! Each day they earn screen tickets-15 minutes per ticket in order to watch T.V. or be on the computer. In the morning they can earn up to three-one for no whining/cussing, one for no fighting with their sister, and one for being perfectly pleasant and doing everything on time. Obviously this is our problem time of the day. Well, this morning it worked. Kenzie said she almost cussed but stopped herself. Both of them were pleasant and we did make it on time. Kenzie however, only got two tickets because she was late getting to the car and we had to wait for her. But the morning was so much better! This afternoon they can earn two more tickets-one for doing their chore with a good attitude and the other one for doing their homework also with a good attitude. They also do not get their tickets from the morning until these two things are completed. They can use their tickets today so long as it is before bedtime or they can save them. They can also earn extra tickets for extra chores if they ask me and if we see them doing something remarkably good then we can give them an extra ticket. I think I am going to put in another one for no fighting in the afternoon too-that one they will get at nighttime right before bed. We also have a problem getting Kenzie to go to bed at a decent time so maybe I should use them for that too. Also, once a ticket is given it can't be taken away, it can only be used. I am excited! I think this could really work. It may need some tweaking. Later on I may add other kinds of tickets-like going to the movies, friends spending the night etc. But right now I need to stay simple so I will stay with it. Wish me good luck!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Day of High School

McKenzie started her first day of high school this morning and boy, was she a mess! She had one of her worst anxiety attacks that I have seen in awhile. She was in tears in the car even in front of the little boy we carpool with. Her breathing was fast and I swear she would have thrown up if not for the zofran she had taken. We got that from the ER visit the other night when she was so sick. But who can blame her-she is at a brand new school, does not know anyone, and it is high school! It scares me-but I did not let her know that. I am praying she makes a new friend and that everything goes smoothly today. She is at a very small charter school that is located inside a church and the church offers chapel once a week-so it is like a christian school without having to pay for it! From what I understand there are only 25 kids per grade in the high school-junior high and elementary are also there on the campus but they are small too. I think it is just right for her. If you are reading this, please say a prayer for her today. She could really use being lifted up.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sicker than a Dog

Okay I spoke too soon. Kenzie did get sick with the stomach flu and boy, was she sicker than a dog! She could not stop throwing up and because of her congenital adrenal hyperplasia I had to take her to the ER. I do not think I have shared on this blog about her genetic disorder-CAH. So, for those of you who do not know Kenzie also has a physical medical condition. Apparently, she was born with it but we did not discover it until she was about six. She has a very mild condition of this genetic disorder. Her adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol so her body compensates by producing too much testosterone. At six years old she looked like she was going into puberty. But with a low dosage of steroids her body is tricked into thinking that she is producing enough cortisol and functions normal. The trick is to keep the right amount of steroids in her body. She takes them everyday. However, when she has a serious injury or sickness her adrenaline does not kick in like the average person so her dosage of steroids has to be tripled. Because she could not keep even ice chips down there was no way to triple the dosage orally. When I called her endocrinologist he said to take her to the nearest ER- that it was not something to mess around with-it could be life threatening. So I did and we were there from 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Needless to say, I am exhausted and I now too will have anxiety about her getting sick in the future. I do not blame her for not wanting to get sick. She is much better and sound asleep right now. I, on the other hand, have my 15 month old to keep an eye on and cannot sleep. Maybe when she goes down I can. Kenzie also did not get to take her seroquel or amantadine last night. I hope we do not see any repercussions from that.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Anxiety Overload

On the other hand, Kenzie's anxiety is in overload! Having the stomach flu in the house is causing her amazing amounts of anxiety. So much that it is driving me crazy. The other night she broke down in tears-she is so afraid she is going to get it! She asks me all kinds of crazy questions like "If I touch this fresh bagel and Tori(who is sick) had one the other day from the same bag-not the same bagel-but the same bag-will I get it?" "If I sit on the couch where Dad and Tori sat will I get it?" etc. She doesn't even want to take a shower in the same bathroom where people got sick in the toilets-even after I have cleaned them! She has reserved one toilet for herself, cleaned it herself, and has ordered everybody not to use it. We keep telling her that if she is going to get it she will. She has done everything that she can to prevent it. I almost want her to just get it and then it will be all over, the worrying! Terrible mom, aren't I-to want my child to get sick! I really don't but I do wish the anxiety would cease. Also, her first day of high school is Thursday, the 5th! But have not seen anxiety for that yet-I am sure it is coming.

Rising to the Occasion

McKenzie is very good at this..."Rising to the occasion", usually. And in this case this past week she did just that. The stomach flu hit our house, and I got very sick. So sick... because of my acid reflux. The pain would not stop and it was intense. My husband had to take me to the hospital. So we left Kenzie here with the baby and took our middle child. That way she would only have to concentrate on the baby. We have not left her with the baby in a long time. But she is the most stable she has been in a long time and actually very helpful. She and Tori, our middle child, do not do well alone together and that I wish was different but hopefully, with time, that will get better too. It made me nervous leaving her here alone with Addy but I really had no choice and I have to start trusting her again. She has proven very trustworthy with the baby. I am so glad we did leave her. She really stepped up and did a great job. Poor Addy, she has three moms and one dad! Right now she loves it but not sure how she is going to feel when she gets older. McKenzie on the other hand loves playing mom and someday hopefully, she will get the chance to be a great mom. But in the way, way, WAY future! Let us pray!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Better Today

Just wanted everyone to know that today Kenzie is much better. She even woke up late and barely made it out the door for church but never screamed or cussed at anybody-a little cranky but nothing like it usually is. So maybe no mania-just lack of sleep and no amatadine. I am excited to see if tomorrow when she goes back on it if she will be even better. I am thankful for this blog and everyone who reads it. It helps to vent.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Amantadine Holiday and Questions

I was told by a mutual blogger friend that her daughter takes a 48 hour holiday from amantadine once a month. She said the doctor from Meridell told them that the dopamine receptors need a break. Anyway, since our psychiatrist is so new to this medication I decided to follow her advice since it came from a very reputable source. So this morning McKenzie did not take her amantadine. Today she is loud, easily irritated, and not calm! But she also has had trouble sleeping the last few days and was up at 5:00 this morning and then woke up her sister at 7:00 by climbing in bed with her. Not sure how that helped her but what's done is done. She also is very talkative-fast, loud, and very snappy as well. Makes me wonder after all I have read lately if this is not mania coming on. Yesterday she was very irritable and that was with her taking the amantadine. So again I am confused. Does she have bipolar just not to the degree it could be? Can you have bipolar to a lesser degree than most people with bipolar? One thing we talked about at the psychiatrist last week was how all of these mental illnesses are on a continuum and they also overlap. It is so hard to get a clear diagnosis. And without a clear diagnosis it is hard to get the right combo of medications. Hell, it is hard to get the right combo of medication period. While I was writing this she just had an outburst with her dad. He couldn't handle her any longer so he sent her to her room. I guess he has tried the resets all day and he finally couldn't take it anymore. I don't blame him. She is driving me crazy and I was gone running errands for three hours. So she went to her room on her way, yelling "I hate you", screaming "I wish you weren't my father", and "Why did I marry him?" I try to stay out of it when it is between him and her. It is hard, because I struggle with supporting my husband and helping my child. I do agree with him that sometimes she just needs to be removed away from everyone else. I guess this was one of those times. She is quiet in her room and it is peaceful out here. But for how long? And what is going on in her room with her? What is she feeling? Is this mania and is she bipolar? Or is it just anxiety with hardly any sleep? Are we in for another medication change? She is so complicated that is for sure-something we all agree on. I just wish I could help her more and wish that it didn't affect the family the way it does.
Monday she goes back on the amantadine and hopefully, it will return her to the calm and happy self she was for a few weeks. I guess if it is true mania coming on then amantadine won't help, and we will know. Know what, you ask? Not sure myself.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


During our vacation Tori slept in the same bed as Kenzie and Tori told me that every night Kenz would ask her if she wanted to listen to her devotion she was going to read from her devotional book. I was amazed. On her own she brought the book to Flagstaff with her and on her own she spent time with God. I am so pleased. It really warmed my heart. It also made Tori happy too-her comment was, "Mom, I am so proud of Kenzie."-an 8 year old going on 16! I always share the hard times, and some good times too-but not often enough. I think it is her trying to deal with her anxiety at night and I can't think of a better coping mechanism. Just thought I would share.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Even though I have backed into a tree(car not to bad), got a terrible acid reflux episode, and Daisy pooped and peed all over herslef while in her kennel in the garage, we have had a really good vacation up here in the mountains of Flagstaff, AZ. It is only two hours away from home and it is 30 degrees cooler. Yesterday we went to Lowell Observatory where they first discovered Pluto and we got to see Saturn through a telescope plus a constellation of stars that were 25,000 light years away. And through it all Kenzie has been great. Tori and her still fight some but then I guess that is normal for sisters. I am not sure Tori knows what to do with Kenzie being in such a good mood and so stable. Tori still likes to blame everthing on Kenzie's mentall illness. But Kenzie has even handled that pretty well. She laughs and is funny-takes jokes and gives jokes well. She is also not cranky in the mornings just a little droggy. That is amazing. I always had such anxiety in the mornings right before Kenzie woke up and now she is a pleasure. Her anxiety at night is still strong but she is managing that. Thanks Lord for this blessing of time-may it last for a long while. And Megan thanks for sharing about amantadine in your blog. It is an amazing drug.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Amantadine Working Well

I believe the amantadine is working very well. McKenzie is much more even in moods, calmer, and more cheerful. She made lunch for her whole family the other day on her own. She helped me yesterday with cleaning the house without having to be asked and even helped her sister with her chores. She was extra sweet to Tori yesterday when Tori did not feel good. And she handled her frustrations with a calm demeanor too. I am almost scared to write this as to jinx it. But I know that there is no such thing as jinxing things. God is in control. We are thoroughly enjoying Kenzie which makes me so happy. I hope the medicine does not wear off. We head out of town this afternoon for a week up north with just the five of us. I am praying we have a wonderful relaxing vacation. I think we just might.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Last night Kenzie asked me all these questions-must be worries she has in her head. She asked "Is there anything that I can do that would make you all not talk to me ever again?" "And if I got divorced would you support me?" There was much more but these are the ones that hit me the hardest and the ones I remember verbatim. Of course I told her that there was not anything that she could do that would keep us from loving her, that we would always be a part of her life. I did tell her that we might not agree with everything she does but that would not change how we feel about her or keep us from seeing and talking to her. She also said she hated her age because she has to go to high school in a few weeks and then there will be driving, and then college, etc. She said she is afraid of it all. I hate that my little girl lives in fear all the time. I asked if she is afraid only at night when it is dark and quiet or in the day too. She said mostly at night but sometimes in the day when she is quiet or we are not home with her. Her mind must roll with yucky thoughts all of the time-I can't even imagine. I told her that she has to hang on to Christ for strength and that without Him she will be lost. That He has angels watching over her all of the time and that she is safe. Can you imagine what it must feel like not to feel safe in your own bed in your own home? We have got to find something that will help her anxiety.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Medication and Still Wondering

I thought I would post the medicine that Kenzie takes just in case anybody else has similar drugs. Currently, she takes vyvanse 40 mg., amantadine 100 mg in the morning. Then in the late afternoon when the vyvanse seems to wear off which is about after 8-9 hours, she takes short acting aderall 10 mg. If we forget that one then we are headed for a disaster. At night she takes another 100 mg of amantadine and 200 mg of seroquel. She was taking buspar for her anxiety but we stopped that because it did not seem to make a difference one way or another. I hate that she is on so much medication and therefore, I do not want her taking anything that she does not have to have. We still have no medicine that helps her with the anxiety except seroquel because it helps her get to sleep at night. Night time is the worst when it comes to her anxiety. We just started the amantadine full force, all 200 mg. of it and so far no bad side effects. She seems pretty good these last two days. Time will tell. I still can't figure out what her diagnosis is and I am not sure the doctors know for sure either. I do know that she does have ADHD and the stimulants she takes for that seem to work and if we do not have them she is so impulsive it causes terrible trouble(looks like mania). I also know for sure she has anxiety. It is the mood disorder that I am unsure of. At times she seems to have some sort of mood issues but does not seem as bad as others I read about that have been diagnosed with bipolar. Does she have mood issues because of her impulsivity and anxiety or is it another illness alongside of these two? Also, they are ruling out asbergers and at times I see that one too. The not understanding of social rules, being literal and not understanding expressions or vocabulary that a almost 14 year old should understand, not being able to communicate her feelings very well, the lack of friends, and the sensory issues she has-although she has gotten better about that one. I hate mental illness. It is so hard to figure out, so unpredictable, and so unfair. I also hate thinking about it all the time. I want to not look at my daughter and wonder what is going on in her brain all of the time. I want to not walk on eggshells wondering when will be the next outbreak. I just want to enjoy the moments when everything is good and she is happy. Today, I am making a decision to lean on our Lord and do just that-enjoy every moment that she is happy and celebrate it out loud.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Okay, totally frustrated-drove all the way to the psychiatrist this morning(45 minute drive)just to get there and find out that she had gotten sick and had to go home. Of course, I was with all three kids-had to wake all of them up to go and it made Tori 30 minutes late to her music camp. And they couldn't even get Kenz back in to see her until the 20th of July. Then I get a call saying she is okay to return to work and she is opening up her schedule tomorrow for the patients that she missed today. So now I have to do it all again tomorrow at 1:00! This time I am calling before I leave the house to make sure she is okay. At least it is not early morning again.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Forgot her Medicine and...

...we all payed for it.
Yesterday was the last dance recital for Kenzie. It was the fourth day in a row that I had to do her hair and make-up. Needless to say I was not very patient. However, she was great all three days. But yesterday she forgot to take her vyvanse which is her ADHD medicine. It seems to be when she does not have this medicine her mind is flying with thoughts and she can't focus or get motivated to do anything. Then if you add on stress we usually have a meltdown because she just can't handle it. Well that is exactly what happened. Not a pretty sight. I was so mad at her for not listening to me and taking it when I told her to. Of all days! All of that upset could have been prevented. She is almost fourteen years old. When is she going to be responsible enough to remember to take her meds? And doesn't she realize that when she does not have them she usually has some sort of meltdown and causes stress and havoc to the whole family? However, she did pull it together, did almost all of her make-up by herself(because I refused to do it), and made it on time to the recital. I also calmed down, enjoyed the recital, even cried during her ballet number. She is such a beautiful dancer. As I watch her I am in awe and can't believe one that she is mine and two that she has any issues at all. She becomes another person at that stage and for that I am so glad. Then I got to go out on a date with husband. It ended up being a good day after all. Then today she fixed her daddy breakfast all by herself. She has done all of her chores without complaining and even organized her desk. She is so unpredictable, but I am very thankful for all of the good today. For all of the fathers out there have a Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Meltdown Not as Bad as in the Past

Kenzie had another meltdown yesterday and I have to say it wasn't as bad as it has been in the past. She did not cuss or hurt anyone. She just cried really hard, ranted and raved, and kicked a chair across the room. I think it was not as bad because of the nurtured heart approach and how we handle things now when they get yucky. I know it still sounds bad to others but trust me for us it was much better. The only thing I hated was when she kicked the chair it scared Addy and she cried. That was the first time Addyson reacted that way. And that made me sad! But we have to look at the positive and overall it was not to the scale it has been in the past. Maybe one day we will be rid of them completely.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Anxiety is Winning

Lately, Kenzie has shared with me about her thoughts. Through this I have to come to realize that she suffers from true anxiety. Whether it is GAD or OCD or a combo of both I have not yet determined. But what she thinks of would just blow you out of the water. Let me share an example with you. Tonight we were outside in the pool and we heard a noise. In my mind it sounded like fireworks. But Kenz immediately thought it was a gunshot and that there were bad guys close coming to get us. She got both of her sisters out of the pool and began to panic. The way she handles her panic is by asking the same question or a series of questions over and over. And guess who those questions are directed to... me! I really try hard to reassure her and be patient but it is hard when the thoughts she has are so irrational and she won't believe any of my answers. I finally had to give her some medicine to calm her down. But she still has to make sure where both of us(her parents) are at all times right now. This is her biggest fear-that some "bad guys" are going to come and do something to her family. She said lately that her biggest worry is which sister she should save first if something bad happened. She is also very scared that I will die. She has a ritual of saying I love you millions of times before I leave to go anywhere and before bedtime-she also has to give me a thousand kisses. You think this would be wonderful but when you know it is not normal, it is annoying and worrisome. My heart hurts for her. I worry too but not like this. I can't imagine what it is like to constantly be worrying about awful things that might happen. They say(and so does she) that is why she plays games on the computer, watches TV and turns up the radio-to block out those thoughts. I have a theory-maybe all of this anxiety is what causes her irritable moods and outbursts. And maybe that is why the bipolar medications that we have tried have not worked with her and why the stimulants do help with her impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and focusing(ADHD symptoms). They said that ADHD can go along with OCD. Anyway, the psychiatrist thought I might be on to something and gave her buspirone which has not helped at all. In fact it seems that the anxiety has gotten worse. I think if we could find some medicine that would help and then therapy on top of that she would be so much better and happier. Anybody reading this that knows anything about OCD or others that have kids with it if you could let me know I would greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

First Girl/Boy Party

Yesterday McKenzie graduated from 8th grade-no more junior high. High school here we come. Oh My Goodness! I think I am more nervous about this adventure than she is. Well, maybe not. I do not have anxiety. She does.

Last night one of the girls in her class had a graduation party and she was invited. I was thrilled for her but also a little skeptic. I could not figure out how or why she got invited because she really has no friends at school. At least she does not do anything with anybody outside of school. But I guess she is somewhat socializing at school or she wouldn't have been invited. She was nervous and so was I. I was worried she would say or do something that the kids would make fun of her for. I was also worried that they may have invited her just to be mean to her. You know those movies where they invite the unpopular kids and pull pranks on them. All kinds of things went through my head. Of course I did not verbalize any of this to Kenzie. She was nervous enough and even had a hard time deciding on whether she wanted to go or not. I did tell her she could call me at any time and ask me to come get her. In the end she did go and everything went well apparently. She even said she thought one of the boys was flirting with her. I am not sure if I am ready for this. And is she?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer is Coming

Summer is right around the corner. The girls only have 2 1/2 days left of school. Yikes! Most people love the summer, but I dread it. One, because I live in Arizona where it is horribly HOT! Actually miserable to be outside. And second, a kid with OCD(anxiety), ADHD, ODD, and mood issues is not fun to have around bored! It is very hard to entertain her all of the time. It gets expensive and old very quickly especailly with a baby in the house who needs her naps. The first week we have her helping at VBS. Then she has her dance recital and dress rehearsals etc. the next week. And one week we will be out of town, but what about the rest? I told the girls that they had to go to two different types of camps so I am trying to get them signed up. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Not Physical Again, pleasssse

Physical again!?! And over cake...yesterday morning(before her vyvanse had kicked in) Kenz wanted a second piece of her sister's b-day cake and I told her no. I had the cake out and she decided that she would just force her way over my arms and get another piece anyway. Blocking it and holding her back-I was bound and determined to not let her have another one-there was hardly any left and Tori had only had 1/2 of a piece of the whole cake at her party. She deserved some too. Anyway, this caused Kenzie to fight me physically by scratching and pinching me. I think she even hit me. Well, I did not handle it very well. I backhanded her and it hit her in the face. I wasn't aiming for her face. I was just trying to get her away from me. In essence I was defending myself. But I was furious! Todd got involved and got her to her room rather calmly if you can even call what she was calm. My point being is that he did a good job to remove her. We told her that when she gets physical all bets are off. We won't be doing the nurtured heart approach. We will be protecting the family and removing her from the situation. Not sure if this is the right answer and really not sure what you do with a 13 year old who becomes physical like that! It is not a pretty situation no matter how you look at it. The sad thing is that she was doing so well. We have not had one of those episodes in a long time. I felt like we were getting somewhere with the nurtured heart approach. Hopefully, we are not sliding backwards again.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where to go from here?

I have to say that I am slightly perplexed on where to go from here with Kenzie. I know her meds. could be improved but not sure how. She currently takes vyvanse 40 mg. from 7:00 to 4:00 and then takes 10 mg of aderall to help make it through the evening. This definitely helps her impulsitivty, her focusing, and her hyperactivity which is all ADHD related. We have tried going off of the stuff and things are horrible without it. She also takes seroquel 200 mg for her mood issues. She is still irritable in the mornings but lately, she has been able to somewhat control it. I wouldn't say she is ever in a good mood in the mornings but she hasn't had any bad rages in awhile either. I have to wonder if that is do to the new approach that our therapist has been teaching us as parents. Or maybe, it is the increase in seroquel or maybe both. I just noticed that Kenzie takes regular seroquel not seroquel XR. I wonder what the difference is and if it would make a difference in Kenz. Also, I know with bipolar you usually need another mood stabilizer too. We have tried so many of them and we see nothing or sometimes things have even gotten worse. So it makes me wonder if she is doing okay on just this medicine does that mean she is not bipolar? Have the rages stopped or will they rear their ugly head again? I do know that her anxiety is still very strong. I think the seroquel helps her with sleep as it pertains to anxiety but I do not see her dealing with her anxiety well in the waking hours. I think this might cause some of her mood swings because she gets so upset with whatever is causing her anxiety. I really want to try the amantadine for her. For those of you who do not know about this drug, it is an old drug for Parkinson's disease. One of my blogger friend's daughter was put on it by Meridell and it made the world of a difference. It has a calming effect and also helps with focusing from what I understand. Anyway, this all is so mind boggling-it gives me a headache. It is just never straightforward when it comes to mental diseases. And when you have more than one thing going on, it becomes so complicated! I am thinking about all of this hard right now because we have another doctor's appointment with the new psychiatrist tomorrow morning and I want to be prepared to answer her questions and get the most benefit I can from the appointment. Plus, my mind is swimming with thoughts and they all needed to be written down. It helps me straighten everything out, I think... what to do, what to do...that is the question.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reversed Roles

Yesterday morning Tori reversed the roles. She had a screaming fit over her clothes! I will say that even though it was bad there was no cussing or being physical with mom. Just mainly screaming and crying and an attitude. I guess "normal" kids have their days too. But I have to say that what went through my mind was not good..."Not another one acting like this too! I cannot handle any more kids that behave like this! Why are mornings so difficult for my children?" To say the least I did handle it very well out loud either. I did not say those things but I did show her my anger and I almost had to push her out the door. You can't leave a seven year old at home alone. The crazy thing is that Kenzie could not handle her sister's explosion and got all upset at her. I told her she was calling the kettle black. I also asked her if now she understood how horrible it is to have to deal with that behavior all of the time? She nodded yes-but I already knew that she knows that we do not enjoy her when she acts like that either. On the good side of things Tori got grounded yesterday afternoon and learned her lesson. This morning she was a perfect angel. It was a pleasure to have her awake and in my company. This is the Tori that I know. Well, we all have bad days!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Where we are at

Sorry, I haven't written in awhile. I have wanted too but haven't for a couple of reasons. First, I haven't had something on my mind that I really wanted to share and second, I have not had the time or energy lately. I am trying to figure out why I have had so low energy lately. I think it is because I keep forgetting my vitamin D-it helps with depression. And not that my depression has been horrible but it has definietly been more there than usual. So I need to get to the special pharmacy and get my vitamin D and see if that helps. Usually when I write on my blog it is because something is burning inside of me to share with others. Lately, things have not changed too much, and nothing is really burning. For the most part, it is the same. We are still working with the new approach and in some ways it has helped but in other ways and at times it gets worse. Kenzie is still testing us to see if we are going to stick to this plan. Lately, she has become physical at times-pinching me, blocking me, hitting her dad, or punching or pushing Tori. It is not all of the time and there have even been days that are good. Today was one of those days. And I think the good Lord for that. I do like this approach because it is consistent. I don't have to think about what punishment or what consequence I am going to give next. I have a plan. I know what I am going to do and say everytime she steps out of line. No matter how she reacts it is always the same for me and for her. That has helped my stress tremendously. The only time that I feel uneasy is when she becomes physical especially towards Tori. I believe she wants to change and I also believe that the medicines are still not right. Our doctor wants us to increase the seroquel to 300 mg. I really want to try the amantadine. We see her next Friday. Todd is having a hard time with the approach. He thinks it is unfair that all of us have to do the changing first. Our therapist says that she sees this attitude a lot with men. She wants us to come in and see her together. Hopefully, that will help him figure out what he wants to do next. She, the therapist, believes that the approach is working. She says that at about 4-6 weeks you usually see a rebound with the kids trying one last thing to see if that will get the parents to give in and go back to the old ways. She thinks this is what McKenzie is doing with the being physical stuff. I hope she is right. She also agrees with me that the medicine still needs adjustments. I guess we are just at a stand still playing the waiting game to see if these two new medical professionals are really going to be able to help us. It is a hard place to be. Some days are good and some are not. I am really struggling with trying to constantly give positive reinforcement. I am trying but it is hard. I think it is hard because there are times when it gets bad and we so desperatly want things to change for her. We want her to be stable. I still feel like we all walk on eggshells around here never knowing what she is going to be like or what she will do next. So it is hard to get excited all of the time when things are calm. I want to retreat and say"Whew, a quiet, peaceful moment!" But then I hear the therapist saying that when we do that she begins to feel invisible because nobody is giving her any attention or energy. Again, life is hard and that is why we need a savior. My seven year old has been telling me lately that she has a difficult life. I respond with nobody ever promised life would be all roses and that is why Jesus came. We need Him when things are not good. If things were always good then we would not need Him. So now if you ask her why her life is difficult sometimes she will say so I will rely on Jesus. I wish I knew that at age 7.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day from...

This day did not start off well...first, Kenz threw a screaming fit this morning, pinched me so hard that I have a mark and it will be a bruise, then cussed at me. Next, Tori threw up in the car-thank goodness it all went in a plastic bag. Of course it was my work day today and I had to take Tori with me. She stayed in the back of the room with a pillow and blanket and nobody even knew she was there. But it made me late-trying to get her to come and all of her comfort stuff. Not that I blame her-I would have much rather stayed at home and take care of her too. But I have nobody to sub for me when I miss a class. Then in the middle of my second class I got a call from my friend who I carpool with and her son is sick and she was in the doctor's office trying to get x-rays of his chest to see if he had pnemunia or bronchitis. Poor guy! She couldn't get Kenzie and so I had to rush out of class and go get her. Then ever since Kenzie and Tori have been together there has been none stop bickering between them. Kenzie gets so jealous when Tori gets sick and gets to stay home. I can't figure this out. She is then annoyed by every little thing Tori does or says. Tori feels attacked and begins to be more annoying. Then Kenzie threatens her and scares her and says horrible things. That makes Tori scared so the screaming and yelling for me begins and continues...will this day ever end? My feet are killing me and I am exhausted. Now I have to cook dinner and get all of these kids to bed. And on top of that I am pms-ing-sorry to the men who are reading this-you may not get that. My husband will though. It sure does make everything seem larger than life! More than ever I need to escape and refocus on what is important. But right now this is all of the escape I can get-this blog. I need to get my strength from my Savior. My blogger freind was going to coordinate a bipolar conference-should could use that about right now. A weekend away with others who get it. Oh, how I wish...
Sorry for all the negative but I had to get it out-hopefully now I can return to my family with a better attitude. Thanks for reading-any prayer would be greatly appreciated too.

Friday, April 16, 2010

High School here we come...

This week I have been really looking at high schools for Kenzie. Yes, she will be a freshman officially in August. Scary! Anyway, I started this process in Jan. when I realized she might be here next year after all. I knew that a regular huge public high school would not work for her. We would surely loose her to who knows what! I have always wanted to send her to a private Christian school but several years ago I realized that would probably not be a good fit for Kenz. All of the Christian schools that I have looked into are very rigorous and high pressured. That will not work for her. So I started by looking at charter schools here in Az. I started with 19 of them from a list by the state. Then I narrowed them down to 9 due to proximity and type of school. Then I began to call them and ask all kinds of questions. I got it down to four that really appealed to me. Then I looked at the internet for any bad things that might have been reported on the school. One of them out of the four did not get good reviews on this one website and you have to wear uniforms. Kenz is totally against that! So I put that one last on the list of four. I decided to visit the remaining three. We went and saw two out of the three so far and I think I have found the one. Kenzie was in agreement too. We enrolled her today, but I plan on looking at the third one just to make sure. The name of the school is Leading Edge Academy and the high school is specifically called Gilbert Early College. It is called this because when they get to be juniors and seniors they can take a shuttle to the Gilbert community college and take courses there. It is also college prepatory. It is housed at a church and get this, even though it is a public charter school, they offer "chapel" once a week. Everybody that goes there says it is a Christian charter school without the tuition. Cool, huh? They also have a performing arts elective and put on a play every year with dancing. Right up Kenzie's alley! When they showed me the auditorium( where they will perform the play) and right in the middle was a big lit up cross, I knew this was the place-along with everything else they told me plus everything we saw. It is a very small school-only 25 freshman next year at most. Right now there are only 77 students in the whole high school. I thought my high school was small. I had a graduating class of about 60. But small is what Kenzie wants-I think it helps her feel less overwhelmed. She left saying "I really like that place, " whereas the other place she said "I don't want to go to high school. It scares me." I am worried about high school and Kenzie and how it all works out with everything that is going on with her. But scripture tells us do not worry about anything but bring it to the Lord in prayer. So that is what I will do. I do feel a little better finding such a good fit-at least we hope so. Things could change.

As far as an update on Kenz and how her behavior and moods are doing...it is up and down. I still do not believe we have the right combo of medication but the psychiatrist is right there working with us. We played phone tag today. Hopefully, I will get to talk to her on Monday. The therapist is awesome and the method is helping in some respects. Her moods still can be so angry but the nurtured heart method usually helps it not spin out of control into a full blown rage. I have to look at it as the cup half full and notice all of the good and keep working on getting the "bad" better. The therapist says that Kenzie is testing us and part of her wants us to go back to the old way because that is what she is used too. She says to hang in there and outlast Kenz. So I plan to with all of the strength from Christ. What would I do if I did not have Him as the Lord of my life?

Friday, April 2, 2010


Recently, I have learned that stress causes havoc! The last few days have been very stressful for me and therefore, it has transfered to the kids. I have been stressed because we decided to have an Easter Egg hunt and cook out tomorrow night. I am not very good at planning and always seem to be rushing around at the last minute. Also, trying to get three girls ready, okay four, for Easter Sunday morning is quite challenging as well. I need to refocus and remember the real importance of Easter-Christ death and resurrection. Without it we would have nothing. I am so thankful for His continual guidance. I sit down to write this blog and sometimes it is to vent but somehow I end up writing what I need to, what is good, or what I need to be reminded of. I believe it is The Holy Spirit leading me and guiding me through this process. How awesome is that!
Kenzie has had a rough last few days. I am sure me being stressed has added or even contributed to her behavior. It also could be the increase in her seroquel or maybe she feels stress too from the planning of the party. She is quite involved or rather should I say "in control" of this event. She wants things a certain way and if they are not going to be that way all hell breaks loose. I have not been as uplifting or encouraging either as I have been-also due to stress which causes exhaustion. When you are tired I realize you do not have any energy to give positive energy. On one good note I did spread out the cleaning of the house. I only have dusting and vacuuming to do tomorrow before the party plus last minute things. Always right before the party I ask myself "Do I ever want to do this again?" or "Why did I decide to do this?" But somehow I still plan more events and they all become stressful at some point. Maybe eventually I will someday figure out how to plan accordingly. The bottom line is I need to refocus and get my strength from Christ and try to enjoy being with my family and friends.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Great Morning-such a Praise!

This morning McKenzie was her usual grouchy self but she kept it to herself. Then her sister decided to throw a crying fit about her shoes. This usually drives Kenzie crazy and she says something really mean and cruel. Of course this just makes the situation worse with Tori. But this morning Kenzie was very quiet. So I noticed and took the opportunity to tell her that I was very happy to see her being quiet and not saying anything mean to her sister. I told her I knew it was probably driving her crazy and that it was very hard for her to stay quiet and I was very proud of her for doing so. I wish I had used the words "self-control" but sometimes I can't think that quick. Oh well, I"ll get better at this and next time I will remember to use those words. Anyway, the next thing I hear is Tori laughing because McKenzie is in her room hugging her and tickling her. Which, of course, totally helped. And boy, did I praise and encouragement that behavior. I even shared it with my carpool friend right in front of her. Normally my friend gets an ear full of negative stuff. I bet she was glad too to hear good things rather than bad. Well, what a Praise! Thanks, Jesus AGAIN! I am constantly amazed by His answers to prayer. And I am so joyful and thrilled with Kenzie's response to this new approach.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I know that I have explained the first part of the Nurtured Heart Approach but I thought I would write an explanation on how the discipline side of it works. It has helped me stay very consistent and I thought maybe it might help others especially those who are raising a "difficult" child. I say "difficult" because that is what the book calls them but "difficult" can look like a lot of different things. I even think it is good for your a typical child. This is how it works.

First, you set up your rules-very simple and clear ones always starting with"No" like no hitting, no arguing, no talking back, etc. Then you explain to your children that they are no longer going to get any warnings. They know the rules and if they are broken it becomes an immediate time-out. They are also not going to get lectures, speeches, asking them to say sorry, etc. It will just be a time-out and then right back into the "game". Now, you have to describe to them what a time-out looks like. A time-out is a time where the child is quiet-no talking-just sitting or standing still. No playing with anything including other siblings. It can happen anywhere-the car, the store, the living room, etc. It is immediate and only starts when they are quiet and disengaged. Now you may ask what happens when the child refuses to take the time out. You merely say "Time-out will start when you are quiet," every time they continue to talk, and you disengage from them. There is no designated amount of time. You get to decide depending on how quickly they stop and get quiet and how long you think they need to regroup. You, the parent are in control. It could only be a few minutes. In the book, they say sometimes it could only be a few seconds. I have not gotten there yet. But the idea is to teach to them that when they make a mistake, they need to stop and regroup and start again fresh and new. It also allows you to know what to say each and every time and to not give the behavior or the child any extra negative attention, the attention that they have gotten so use to getting when they misbehave. After the time-out is over you go right back to encouraging and praising the child with something like "I like that you took you time-out so quickly and quietly." or "Thank you for sitting still and quiet. I know that is hard for you," or if you want to get in a simple teaching principle you can say, "Thank you for no longer arguing with me and stopping and taking your time-out." The book explains it better. So if you are interested I would get the book and read it thoroughly. It gives lots of examples. So far it has worked very well for us. I have learned some things from doing this approach. First, if you give the time-out for too long it looses its effectiveness. Second, McKenzie almost always has a horrible come back when I say, "That is a time-out." I usually get "OMG" or a cuse word or my favorite, "for whaaaat??" I have realized this is to get me to engage with her and begin to give her my energy and attention. So I have learned to ignore those comments, say nothing except, "Time-out will start when you are quiet." And guess what, instead of her exploding more and more and getting argumentive she finally gets quiet. So last night I told her out of context when things were going good that if she responds to a time-out given with "Yes, mom." and nothing else that the time-out will be considerably shorter. So we shall see if she heard me. I will say that this with encouraging the positive behavior has decreased the amount of bad choices and the explosions. However, it has not changed her mood swings, her anxiety, or her impulsiveness. That I believe that is the mental illness part of it all. And that I believe will need to be helped with medication. Our therapist also has told us that she will help with the last part of the approach that is also in the book. It is the "credit system". When I read that part, I was very overwhelmed. She told me to hang on and we would get to that later. So I am sure I will have more to share about this amazing approach.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


This week we went to two appointments for Kenz. The first one was on Tuesday, the new psychiatric nurse practitioner, Laura Jensen at Melmed Center and the second one was on Friday with Lisa, the new therapist. Both were very good and encouraging. From the psychiatric appointment, Laura wants to try an increase in her seroquel to see if that will help her mood issues. We have to get it up to 200 mg. and give it two-three week trial before we will really know if that will work. Then Laura is looking into the new medicine, Amantadine. It is an old Parkinson's drug that I learned about from my blogger friend, Megan. Her daughter takes it and it has helped her tremendously with irritability. But it is not a commonly used drug so Laura wants to research it first which I am very thankful for. Not that I do not believe my blogger friend but I am just glad that Laura did not just take my word and wants to investigate it on her own. She is the medical professional. She is so funny and down to earth. We really like her a lot. She has heard about amantadine but has not used it on any of her patients. If neither of these work then we might go back and try abilify again. It has been three years since Kenzie tried that drug and it made her very sick to her stomach. But who knows now, it might not. I really like that we have a plan of action in place. We go back to see her in May but I can call her if we need to change things before then.
Then we went to see the therapist yesterday. This was the first time that Kenz met her. She really liked Lisa a lot better than her other three therapists. I think that is a good first start. She helped Kenz understand how the brain works and what happens when she is angry or full of anxiety. She plans to give Kenzie coping skills to help get her brain to the frontal lobe instead of staying in the back part when she is upset because there she cannot reason or think logically. Have you ever been so angry that you cannot speak? Or how about when someone upsets you surprisingly and you can't think how to respond but later you have the perfect words. That is because your brain is only functioning in the back of your head. You have to do things to get back to the front part. For example, she told Kenz to count by fives on her fingers and then backwards until she is calm down. She also made sure that I knew not to remind her to do this. She said that it would only annoy her and then she would not want to do it. She said all of this to Kenzie not me but of course I was sitting right there. Very clever, lady! She also really encouraged her emotionally. Kenzie told her three things that she wants to improve and they were 1) conflict with her sister, 2) her relationship with her dad, and 3) her rages and anger to stop. From that the therapist told her that she could tell that Kenz loved and cared about her sister and her family, that she was very smart, and much more. This therapist really knows how to talk to kids. She was amazing. I like her a lot too. Well, that afternoon Kenzie really surprised me. I have been sick again! And with Spring Break I have tried to keep going and entertain the kids. Yesterday it really caught up with me. My house was a total disaster and I was exhausted. I made the comment that if only I had a magic wand to clean this messy kitchen and oh, how I wish she would help me, never thinking in a million years that she would. Because in the past she would just brush that comment right off her shoulders and continue to do want she wanted. But yesterday while I was resting she cleaned the whole kitchen: dishes, "stuff" put away, and even wiped down the counter. Then on top of that she heard the baby, got her up, and fed dinner to her. When I came out, the baby was playing happily and the whole kitchen was spotless. I cried and gave her a big hug! I told her again and again how happy and proud she made me. I also have told everybody else too. I guess when you build a person up from the inside they want to keep acting and feeling that way. I am amazed at how well this approach helps McKenzie. It just goes to show you how badly she wants to be a respectful, accepted, young lady. I feel like she is well on her way. I truly have hope again. Thanks Jesus!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Approach Really Helping

The therapist gave us a new appraoch to try with McKenzie called the Nurtured Heart Approach and I really love it. Already I have seen it help so much. What am I doing different? Well, to begin with I am really emphasizing the good things she does and trying to even notice when she is not making wrong choices. For example, she may be just sitting quiet in the car and I will say "Thanks Kenz for being in such a calm and good mood." or I might say, "Kenzie thank you for not fighting with your sister." I am really trying to make sure she does not feel invisible when she is behaving. The therapist says that intense kids like Kenz can feel invisible when they are making good choices because nobody says anything. In our minds we are thinking"Whew, she is not causing any problems better not say anything!" But the problem with that is that these kids want to be noticed. They want our energy and our attention. When they get it over and over again when things are positive their mind starts changing and realizing that being good is getting more of what they need than being "bad" (for a lack of a better word). It also works the opposite way which is why traditional parenting does not work with these kiddos. We give our most energy and attention when things are going wrong. Already I have seen less fights with her sister, less disobedience to me, and less ugly talk. I have also seen her wanting to do good things. For example, today she folded all of the laundry and then put it away in everybody's room. She has never done that. It was also done without complaining. Wow! She also shelled all of the green beans when I asked her for help at dinnertime. And when Addyson was fusing the other night she offered to let her come and take a bath with her. She drained the water, put colder water in the tub so it would suit Addy, and then played with her while I was busy cleaning. She has gotten off the computer when I have asked without an upset several times-not always yet but it is better. I still know there are things that she can't help that need to be helped with medicine but I also know that we needed help at home on how to deal with her and I think we have found it. My only fear is that it will wear off. However, I also know that it helps my mood. I am focusing on the good things and not as much on the bad things and that really changes my perspective of her and of life in general. I still need to read more to find out how to give consequences and not give any energy towards it. But so far the beginning has been nothing but good. The way I see it is that this approach can only help not hurt. Being positive and encouraging is definitely the way of the Lord.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quiet Times Are Sweet

This one is not about McKenzie. This time I want to share something that is on my heart and so wonderful. This week I have been waking up 15 minutes earlier to spend time with God. Since I have been sick I go into the bathroom, turn on the shower as hot as it will go and make myself a steam room. It has been wonderful. My Bible study teacher has taught us a new approach to studying God's word and applying it to our lives. I love it. I feel so much peace knwing I have God's word on my heart all day. Here is the approach in case you are interested: Read a verse, write down what it is literally saying, then write down in general what it means, and then what it means to your life asking it in the form of a question. Then sit and ponder and listen to what God is telling you. For example, today I read Psalms 116: I read the whole section but the part that stuck out to me was walking in God's presence for the rest of my life. So I asked myself, "Do I walk in His presence every day, how about every minute of the day?" This is the answer I heard: I need to walk in His presence every day. He is with me every minute and I need to rely on Him through everything. He is my best friend and will be there if I reach out for Him. This method of studying has been the best quiet times I have ever had. I hate getting up early and to get up 15 minutes earlier is a killer for me but I have been doing it and each day it gets easier. I don't want to miss that time with God. It is so important and so awesome what He teaches me through it. I am excited to discover what He will teach me next. Praise Him for getting me to that study. He never gives up on us and never lets go. Speaking of that, I now will share with you a sweet moment for Kenzie...
She heard a Christain song on the radio when she was sent to her room that really spoke to her. First of all, this is amazing because she hardly ever chooses to listens to K-love, the Christain radio station. Second, she really listened to God and what He was saying to her. This is what she wrote down-"There is hope for you because God won't forget all of the plans He has for you; He is not finished with you yet." Beautiful! I know this lyric is from a verse in the Bible. Anybody know exactly where it comes from? I told her with great celebration and energy how proud of her I was and that I knew God was in her heart because He spoke to her and she listened. I wish I knew the name of the song. I would love to know all of the lyrics. But anyway, I am so encouraged. He constantly shows me that He is there right with me every step of the way through this journey of life. May He be with you too.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Appointment Today

Sorry I haven't written in awhile. I have been sick this week with a sinus infection and have not felt good at all. When I have had a minute to myself I have wanted to rest not type. Anyway, I am feeling better and today we went to the therapist appointment. I was very impressed and have great hope again. I hope that it will not be crushed once again. We shall see but for now I do have hope. She believes that she can truly help transform Kenzie from the inside out. The approach she uses is called the Nurtured Heart Approach. I have a book and I can't read it fast enough. The only thing I am a little leery of is that it talks about medication not being good for kids cuz it tells them something is wrong with their brain. Well, in my opinion something is wrong with their brain and they do need medication. But I am not going to let that get in my way of reading it through and then trying the approach. She says that if she took her son to a psychiatrist he would probably be diagnosed with bipolar, anxiety, and ADHD too. And she says this approach works with him. So I will try anything. We are desperate and if it helps her feel good about who she is then that is awesome! And I am not planning on taking her off any medicine. Her doctor is the one who recommended this therapist and has highly wonderful things to say about her. I am going to ask about the medicine piece next time we go. She is on vacation next week so Kenzie will go the 26 of March to meet her and then she will come to the house the following week. I will let you all know more after I have tried what the book says to do and after I read more. Thanks everybody for praying for us. I do really like this lady, and hope is good.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Potential Great Therapist

Yesterday I got a return call from the therapist that the psychiatric nurse from Melmed recommended. I am so excited. I was thrilled with everything she said. She is going to meet with Todd and I next week, Thursday at 9:30, for 90 minutes and then we will set up a time for her to come the house to observe Kenzie and the rest of us. She is even willing to be here at 6:15 a.m. to observe, Kenzie's worse time of the day. I do realize that probably Kenzie will put her best foot forward when she is here, but the therapist said she would expect that and that she will still be able to observe things and get a feeling of how things work in our home. I am also not going to tell Kenzie when she is coming. I am going to let that be a surprise so Kenz will not have time to prepare herself to be on her best behavior. That might seem terrible, but I want help. I really believe that if she could see that side of McKenzie then she will be able to help more. I love her philosophy on helping children. She believes that when a child is that sick then the whole family suffers and it becomes imperative that the whole family strive towards wellness. So she not only works with Kenzie but also the whole family. Yah! This was what I was so excited about receiving at Hope Ranch, but now I think we will be able to get it here. She is even not that expensive. You think that with her coming to the house at odd hours she would be a fortune but she is very reasonable. However, it is still going to be an investment so please pray that the funds will continue to be there to help us all the way through this process. I am really excited about getting new ideas on how to help her and guide her. I also really like what she said when I told her that we have trouble figuring out what part of her behavior is manipulative and what is really part of her illness. She answered me with a question, "Whether it is or it isn't you still want her to have appropriate behavior, right? And of course, my answer was yes. So her point was that we still have to help her function appropriately in the world and she has to be taught correct behavior. On how we get there just might look different from other children.
Also, my husband tells me that I can be very defensive when I am given constructive criticism. So I am praying that I will be open and receptive to whatever she shares with me. I think that because I want help so badly that I will be more receptive than usual. But just in case, please pray for that one too. I am also excited that she will be able to help with all of the damage to Tori that has happened because of this terrible disease. All in all I am very ready for her to get started. The sooner, the better.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I am in awe of how many people read my blog and really care about our family. Sometimes the comments that come in just blow me away. Sometimes I end up in tears. And a lot of times I learn so much. So I just wanted to say thank you to all that read, care, respond, and pray. You will never know just how much it means to me. I just recently told my mom, "It is so cool to know that there are people across the country reading, caring, and praying." I just hope that my blog helps someone else as much as it has helped me. So, thanks everybody. You all are very appreciated.

Aderall Working and a New Tool

On Wednesday right after the appointment, I gave Kenzie the aderall after school. I am very pleased to say that it is working. No more hyperactviity or impulsiveness. She is very calm and easy to be around. She can still be a little irritable, but for the most part it is good. She still has a lot of issues to work out with Tori. I am hoping that the therapist will help with this. Now if we can just get the mornings better and the irritable mood better. I went on the website that the therapist has and the name of the approach she uses with children is called the Nutured Heart Approach. It talks about how when a child is doing negative behavior that we give lots of attention to that behavior to try and correct it. That in return gives them attention which most of these kids crave so it becomes a cycle. They act out; they get more attention. This program talks about how to give less attention to the negative behavior and make more opportunities for good behavior so you can give them positive attention. That is it in a nutshell. I am sure there is much more to it. I am excited to learn more. But from the little I read I am already looking for good behavior and really emphasizing that, praising, and rewarding. I am also really trying to spend quality time with my kids. This is so hard when there are a million other things that need to be done. Again, I hope the therapist will help me balance all of this.

Speaking of balancing, my husband gave me a great tool that has helped me with my lack of organization and getting things accomplished. Here is what he told me to do: List each morning three things that you want to get done that day and then prioritize them. Write them down so you will not forget or get distracted. This part is crucial-when I have forgotten to do this step I easily forget what the three things were and then I get distracted and end up doing other things. After you do each item, cross it off and move on to the next one. When I have done this, it has helped me so much. I really feel like I accomplished something that day and that helps with my depression as well. I just need to be better about writing them down. Thanks, honey!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Very Sucessful Appointment, Finally!

Today as many of you know we went to the Melmed Center and saw a psychiatric nurse practitioner. She was amazing. Finally, we found somebody who cares. She was very thorough. She asked McKenzie very good questions, and she asked us good questions. She listened and did not talk down to us. She is very up on childhood bipolar and told us about the cabf website which we already knew about but it was good to know that she was very familar with it. When we asked if she thought she could help us, she replied, "I would like a chance. If I cannot help I will let you know." She even got us in sooner for our next appointment by giving up her lunch hour or dictation hour. WoW! Someone who is willing to go the extra mile! She does believe that McKenzie has bipolar with ADHD and anxiety. She also looked into Aspergers which is also a possibility. She had us do a survey test and it rated "high" for Aspergers. There was also very high, moderate, and low. She is going to be investigating that too. She gave us a name of an in home therapist-someone who will come to our house, observe, and help us. She went up 50 more mg. in the seroquel and gave her 10 mg. of aderall for after school to help with the hyperactivity and impulsiveness. She also wants us to do an OT evaluation to test for the sensing issues (aspergers) to see if that would help as well. See what I mean, she was very thorough. She even gave us a mild sedative to give her when she rages if we feel we need too. I know we still have a ways to go and that this change in medication may or may not be the answer but it is a start. And I feel like finally we have somebody who really cares about our little girl and wants to help her. Praise God! She even gave us a hug at the end and teared up when I did. I am so very hopeful.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bad Rage

This morning Kenzie had a very bad rage. I am not even sure what caused it. It was like she woke up that way. Screaming, cursing, pushing, kicking the back of the car seat, and even threats of "I just want to die!" "I do not want to be here anymore!" It got so bad that I had to pull the car over and wait. Then I realized I'd better call my carpool friend and let her know we were running late. When my friend answered the phone I almost started crying and Kenzie could hear me. Well, that triggered it and she just suddenly stopped screaming and kicking and started crying and saying she was sorry. It was like she was coming down from a high. It was like something you see in a movie. It left me shaking and mentally exhausted by 7:15 a.m.! I just do not know what to do in those circumstances. I start by taking away her privileges and then it just escalates and before you know it all of her privileges are gone and she is stuck in her room when she comes home from school. I do not know what else to do. But I know that I have to teach her that acting like that causes consequences. Because when she gets older those consequences will look very different like no one wanting to be around her or loosing her job, not ever marrying, etc. I know part of her cannot control what is going on in her brain but she seems to be able to turn it off and on when she is around other people. She doesn't have these rages at school. So, why just around us? The whole thing is yucky for a lack of a better word. I could think of others but I won't write them. It just reminds me of how much I need Christ and how much she needs the Savior. I hope she can figure that out through all of this. Melmed is tomorrow. Waiting and hoping...

Monday, February 22, 2010


Lately Kenz has been so hyper especially in the early morning and the late afternoon and evening. Of course, this is when her ADHD medicine wears off. Some people think it is a rebound effect, meaning it is worse than when she is not on the medicine. I think it is just because it has worn off. Because when she was off the medicine the hyperactivity and impulsiveness was just spread across the day. So I am not sure which is worse dealing with it all day or dealing with it intensely for a shorter period of time. The 25 mg. of seroquel that she is suppose to take after school does nothing but make her more hungry at dinnertime. The hyperactivity is driving me crazy. At night I want to settle down, be calm and quiet. That is the last thing Kenzie is. She is so wound up that she giggles this hyper giggle under her breath like she is so excited about something that she can not contain it. The problem is there is nothing to be excited about. She pounces on beds, picks on Tori, gets in people's faces and is extrememly annoying. She takes Addyson and swings her around and around in her arms until they are both dizzy. She jumps up and down with Addy in her arms and plays wildly with her. (I am watching every second of this and I take her if it gets to much which I almost always have to do) Thank goodness Addyson seems to like this which scares me in itself. I try not to think about it-but the question is there... Will Addyson have these same issues? Will she have to deal with mental illness? I pray every night over her brain asking God to develop it healthy. I do know that I will have to accept whatever card He deals me. And I also know that God will be there every step of the way no matter what. But back to Kenzie and her hyperactivity... here is an example, tonight Tori called her into the bathroom to show her something cute Addy was doing and when I came in to check on them she was slapping Tori's head hard and then Addyson's too-not hard but playful like-back and forth. At first it was gentle with Tori then it got harder and harder and faster and faster-that was when Tori started complaining. I do not know if I handled it right or not but I started hitting Kenzie's head too. That didn't help, she kept going like it was a game. The only way I got her to stop was tell her if she did not then dance would be taken away. She wants me to spend time with her and that is the last thing I want to do when she is like this. It breaks my heart. I try telling her but she seems not to be able to help it. I really hope that we can figure out something that will solve this problem. I do know that the intuniv 3 mg. helped with this. However at what risk to her blood pressure. There has to be something else. My patience is running out. We go to Melmed on Wed. I am praying it is a good fit and is the beginning of some real help.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Behavior Checklists

I hate filling out those behavior checklists for Kenzie. I can't even tell you how many I have filled out over the last four years. And now another packet full of them for Melmed Center. I am glad for the fact that they want to know as much as possible but it is painful filling them out because it just reminds me of all of her issues. And sometimes that makes me so sad. I guess sometimes because we live with it day in and out we forget the little stuff that we encounter daily. Which is good to some extreme, but it is also good to be reminded or rather be able to let the professionals know all of it. So even though I hate filling them out I do know that they are there to help figure her out and that is what we so desperately want. Thank goodness there was a part where I had to describe her strengths. This is what I wrote: She is a beautiful and talented dancer. She loves to help other people. She likes to feel needed. She loves little children and babies and she is great with them. She accepts all kinds of people and tries really hard to reach out to those who are struggling especially if she sees that they are being made fun of. She loves to give gifts to others. She has a big heart and when people that she loves are having a hard time she rises to the occasion and really tries to help or lift their spirits. She wants to be healthy and is very brave. And she loves her family very much.
Tonight she had a meltdown and was hysterical. I held her in my arms and sang to her like I did when she was a baby. It worked but it also made me cry because I could see her as that precious little baby that was so innocent, happy, and content. I so wish for that for her now.

New Dance Studio

Last night Kenzie tried a new dance studio. For those of you who are reading and don't know that before she left for Hope Ranch, she was on a dance performance team at a dance studio here in town. She has been dancing for straight four in half years and also when she was 4, 5, and 6 she danced then too. She is a beautiful dancer and she says that when she is dancing everything else just goes away. So I know it is good for her. The hard part is getting her there. For whatever reason it causes her great stress to get ready for dance class and to be on time. Right before she left in October it was nearly impossible to get her there. It would cause almost daily meltdowns. She was taking six hours of dance a week. So because of all of this we have been hesitate to put her back in dance classes. We wanted her to have a fresh start at a new studio where they did not know her past and all of her issues so they could just evaluate her on her dance and nothing else. So last night she just tried one class, jazz, to see where they would place her and if she liked it. Change is hard for her so even though she really wanted to go back to dancing I think being at a new place was difficult. The anxiety definitely was there. She had her usual fit about her hair right before we had to leave. However, she did make it on time and she does want to go back. I was very impressed with the new studio. We will have to start slowly and see how she does. I hope she does well and handles it okay. I love watching her dance and I think it does wonders for her.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Melmed Center

A friend of mine suggested going to Melmed Center here in Scottsdale. We went there in the very beginning and this is where she was first diagnosed four years ago. We really liked it but left because our insurance changed. Well, now our insurance does not cover any mental health at all so it does not matter where we go as far as that is concerned. I don't know why I did not think of going back there, but I think it was because I thought that Kenzie was too complicated for them. However, I decided to call them to see if maybe it would be a fit. They told me that they could definitely give her a diagnosis and if it was "extreme bipolar" they would refer her out. However, they could handle all other issues-ADHD, anxiety, mood disorders, ODD. They are a team of specialists-developmental pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, etc. who work together to come up with a diagnosis and a care plan for them and they really seem to care about their patients. Anyway, the down side is they do not have a psychiatrist on staff. So I am asking for anyone who would like to give their opinion on this facility to do so. You can go to their website -www.melmedcenter.com and look and if you have an opinion, please share. We do have a two hour appointment on Feb. 24th-it was a cancellation and we are so blessed to get one this quickly as the first time I called they did not have one until April 20th. Our appointment will be with a psychiatric nurse practitioner-Laura Jensen. We can cancel up to 48 hours prior. So I am still researching and deciding that is why I am asking for anyone who is willing to give an opinion on the place.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We won't be going back...

...that is to that psychiatrist-the one we saw yesterday. In my opinion that was one of the worst doctor's appointment we have ever had. I do not even know how to explain it. But I will try.

First of all he said that McKenzie could not be bipolar because there was no bipolar in our immediate blood line-brother, sister, or parents. I guess great grandparents do not count and depression does not either. But according to what I have read depression in the blood line can also be an indicator. I think also that I have read that that bipolar does not have to be in the blood line. Todd has grandparents that were alcoholics which can be an indicator of bipolar. I need to research this some more. If anybody knows, please share. Whether she is or not there are still mood issues that need to be addressed and he only addressed the ADHD. He did nothing to address the anxiety either. He asked Todd and I a bunch of questions about ourselves and very little about McKenzie. His thought process was that she was a mixture of us so if he found about us then he would understand her better. From what we got from him in a nutshell was that we did not understand ADHD and that we needed to change our environment to accommodate her. He basically said that if we wanted the rages to stop then we needed to figure out what triggered them and alter those triggers or stop them. Later I thought about that and thought how do I stop the trigger of Tori being sick, or do I let her be late all the time to school with no consequences, or let her watch as much T.V. as she wants and never go to bed at a decent hour and eat whatever she wants whenever she wants. That is crazy-it teaches her nothing and especially not how to deal with rules and limits. It also is a terrible example for our other children. He then proceeded to ask me what caused her rages if homework was not an issue. He assumed without asking that homework was an issue which it is not. I told him that one of the things that caused them was when she was told to get off the computer after her time was up. He then proceeded to tell us why not let her stay on the computer if it keeps her out of trouble. And yet, the therapist told us that too much computer and T.V. was not good for her brain. When I told him that, he made a face and said she could learn on the computer-that there was so much to learn. Yea right, webkinz, facebook, and gmail are such good learning tools. He kept asking me when the rages happened and he wanted me to say in the morning and evening only. He was trying to say that the rages were a result of the vyvanse wearing off. This might be the case some of the time. However, I kept telling him that the rages were unpredictable and not always in the morning or evening. He also tried to tell me that the vyvanse could be the cause of her mood issues and yet, when I told him that she was irritable and angry both on and off of the vyvanse, he said, "are you sure?" I felt like he was putting us in a box and not trying to listen and really understand McKenzie. He also did not read the letter that I faxed him until the first 3 minutes of our meeting and then he did not even read it all as I had to explain to him something that was clearly written in the letter. Todd felt he talked in circles. And when Todd asked clarification on something he answered, "Not exactly," and then never explained it further. He cut us off after 30 minutes saying we needed longer but when I told him that I tried to get a longer appointment and was told no he said nothing. He gave her an extra 25 mg. of seroquel in the afternoon when she came home from school to calm her down, told us to get her a new therapist, and that was it. He then proceeded to say come back in two months! Two Months! Forget that dude, we will not be coming back. Why do they not care? Why can't we find somebody who does? This was the head of psychiatry of Phoenix Children's Hospital! Scary! We need someone who is going to listen to us and really care and want to work with us until we figure this out for Kenzie.

Monday, February 8, 2010

First Rage in Awhile

Bad morning-Kenzie had her first bad rage in quite awhile. It was triggered by Tori being sick and getting to stay home. She felt that she had the right to be either late or also get to stay home. Then after that it was just a spiral downward-screaming and ratting and raving about everything. She even went so far as to kick the dashboard with her feet and then hit it too. The worse part was the verbal abuse Tori got all the way to school. Kenzie usually takes it out on Tori and this time it was no exception. She accused Tori of faking being sick. She talked all about how it wasn't fair that Tori always gets all of the attention and how I probably didn't even take her temperature. Which of course, I did. It's bad enough to be sick but then to have your big sister verbally abuse you for 25 minutes is just not fair. I took Tori to get a donut afterwords in hopes that it would help with the wear and tear just a little. I guess in one way it was good that this rage happened as we are seeing the psychiatrist this afternoon. She was doing so much better that I wasn't sure how I was going to adress the situation with the doctor. But now I can explain how she goes through these cycles and you never know what will set her off or if and when it will. It is so unpredictable. But man, do I hate those rages. They are scary and I hate that my other children have to deal with them too. I am an adult and can barely deal with processing that it is the sickness not really her. How can you expect a 7 year old to do that? And a baby just feels the tension and turmoil which I am sure does not help her mood either. The baby fussed most of the way home which she usually does not. You have to wonder if that was the cause of it. This morning I had to vent. Now I am done and off to get my mind set for this afternoon's appointment.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Doing Way Better

The last few days have been really good for Kenzie. It is a nice break from all of the havoc we had the week before. As I said before she does need the vyvanse and it does help her. Her mood is really good right now, but I have no idea for how long. I almost hesitate to write this because I am afraid it will jinx us. Well that's not right...God is in complete control and everything happens for a reason for those who love Him. This is the time when I start doubting again that she has bipolar. Aren't they suppose to swing in and out of the moods all day everyday? I guess that would be a question for other parents who have bipolar kids? So I am asking...do you all have times when your bp child seems almost normal? I guess she still does have all of her little quirks and maybe because it was so bad last week that this week seems so much better like almost normal. But it could be too that we are so use to living with all of it that we don't notice as much anymore. I will say that she has not had any rages or bad emotional meltdowns in the last couple of days. And she has not been that irritable either. So I guess I need to be thankful and take it when I can get it.

Her anxiety is still the same. The other night I realized that she was trying to manipulate me AGAIN right before bedtime. I realized that she is using this tactic to stall so finally, I asked her, " Why do you not want to go to bed?" Her reply at first was, "I do not know." Then I asked her what she was scared of and she said that she was afaid that somebody would take her in the middle of night. She tells us all of the time that this is the reason she says I love you so many times. She wants it to be her last words in case she is taken. She has now expanded this and says I love you to everyone including Addyson even if they are asleep. She sounds like John boy from "The Waltons". My sweeet husband reminded me that I need to be thankful that at 13 she still wants to say "I love you" to us. He is right and I am thankful but I know it is still not normal and that is want is disheartening.

Monday is the appointment with the new psychiatrist. I typed him a letter with all of the medications she has tried, the results and or reactions. I also gave him a summary of where we are today. I faxed it to him on Thursday. I hope he reads it before Monday, but if not, I am taking a copy. Please pray for us on Monday.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bible Study

Yesterday I went to the Women's Bible Study at my church and just loved it. The teacher was amazing. I learned so much and I am excited to go back. I also shared my journey with McKenzie to my new small group and was thrilled with the warmth and support I got from the ladies. I pray that I will be faithful and continue to go. I know that this will be a tremendous help with my depression and feelings of isolation.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Back on Vyvanse

I guess I have decided she does need the vyvanse more than not. She was much better this afternoon. However, it may be that she needs other medicine to help with her mood or another stimulant or ADHD med. that will help her with those symptoms. I am getting more anxious about the meeting on Monday Feb. 8th at 2:30. I just so badly want it to be a good one and the doctor to be a good fit. But if not we will keep plugging along until we have figured this out. I also want to share that blogging has been such a blessing. I have learned more through this experience than I have in the last four years. It has really shown me that I need a network of parents that are going through the same thing. I really need to find some here in town too. I am sure they are out there. Maybe the doctor knows of a support group or maybe I could start one here.

Oh, and I said that in my next postI would share what my plan was to help with my depression. I have realized that I let the day get away from me and I end up feeling like that I got nothing done which contributes to my depression. I am very disorganized. I found that if I make a plan and write it down then it usually will get done. I stay focused and busy which keeps my mind from engaging on depressing poor me thoughts. I have been doing this and it has helped tremendously already. I also am going to start going to a Bible Study this week. I know that will help as well. God is so good-He never leaves us even when we feel alone and lost.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Discovering the Effects of Vyvanse

Kenzie has been off the vyvanse now for one week and I can now tell what the vyvanse does do for her that is good and what it also does that is not good. Let's start with the good: being on the vyvanse helps McKenz focus and keep her attention directed on one thing at a time. It also helps her not be so impulsive and wild. She is much calmer and not as annoying. But it also causes her to be more irritable, hardly ever laugh, and be more depressed. It is a catch 22-we can't live with it or without it. Crazy-huh? I am going to let her have one more week of vyvanse 40 mg. until Mon. the 8th when we have our psychiatrist appointment. At that time hopefully he will help us figure out how to treat the impulsiveness and the lack of focus without effecting her mood. Oh yeah, the vyvanse curbs her appetite which is good-otherwise she eats 24/7 and is going to be huge at this rate. She does not need that to deal with on top of everything else. She says she hates being hungry all of the time. I am glad I had her go off of it for awhile. It really gave me a lot of info to give the doctor on Monday. Only 6 more days! Please pray for our family, for her, and for the doctor.