Saturday, January 30, 2010

Not Doing So Well

That would be me and McKenzie. McKenzie is in rare form. Being off almost all of her medicine has made her hyper, impulsive, and very annoying-to say the least. She has been grounded in her room most of the day today for picking on Tori, talking ugly to me and her dad, and not following directions. She even grabbed me by the shirt to try and get me to stay and listen to her "BS" Excuse me, but I am sick of it all. I keep thinking how much longer can we take all this? How much longer can I take it? I want her HELP! I want it NOW! Todd suggested that we put her in the hospital but good would that do-she would just act like everything was fine and hide all of it from them. Plus, very few of her triggers would be there. I think it would be a waste of time and money. But we are getting desperate again. I just hope this Meridell thing can work out sooner rather later.
Last night I took the girls on a walk to the park and then to get pizza and ice cream. I thought it would be a fun Friday night outing but instead it turned into a battlefield with Kenz. Constant complaining, constant nagging, constant teasing and tormenting Tori-fighting with everything I said. It was unreal. I took away all of the privileges I could think of and then finally just had to put her in her room the rest of the night just so we could have a little peace. I am not sure she would have stayed except that Dad came home and when both of us are here she knows better than to mess with both of us at the same time.
I am also struggling with my depression. I think it is because of several reasons. One, I do not see immediate help for Kenz or relief from her. Two, I do not know anybody else that has young kids like me...i.e. the baby. I am too old. All of my friends have older children. It makes me feel isolated. My class that I teach is not doing so good. I usually have two classes and I only have one which leaves me with very little extra spending money and with the economy the way it is right now I need to be careful and grateful, which is hard at times. I know God has me right where He wants me and I do have a plan on what I need to do to help myself. I just need to do it. I'll share my plan in my next post.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What to do Next

Another morning of not wanting to go to fun! She is off the vyvanse and hates it. I cannot decide if she is just mentally addicted to it or if she really does need it. She says she does and she does not want to go to school without it. She had a breakdown about it last night. I am thinking of finding her a placebo pill and see if that works until she realizes that she does not need it or maybe we will discover she does. Who knows? I am so confused on what to do next that my brain hurts. The good thing is that she will be off all medicine except 50 mg of seroquel when she sees the head of psychiatry on Feb. 8th. I plan on writing down all of the medicine she has tried and the results before we go. I think I will fax him a copy beforehand. Maybe we can start from ground zero and finally figure this out. I am hopeful but not expecting immediate results. I did call Meridell today and they can do the neuropsych testing without admitting her. They are going to call me back and let me know how that works and how much. My first choice is to get her there but we need other options too. I also worked on the insurance thing today but need my dear husband to help me with it. I figured out that I cannot do it by myself. I need him for lots of reasons. Thank the good Lord I have him. I have been very down about all of this lately but today I feel better... I guess it is because I am doing something-moving forward.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Intuniv not sucessful

Well, unfornately the intuniv is not working well for Kenz. She is now on the 4 mg. and her blood pressure has dropped too far. She also has complained of headaches, dizziness, and blurriness when she wakes up. Not to mention she is still irritable all of the time. Yes, it helped with staying calmer but what we were really looking for is help with the irritability. She hasn't had any rages lately but then she was not having any when she was not on the intuniv-since she came home from Hope Ranch we have only seen a couple. So we have to take her off the intuniv. It is not safe for her. I am not sure what this means. I have no idea what will happen when she goes off of it. She has to do it slowly or her blood pressure will really be effected. Feb. 8th needs to come soon! For those of you who don't know that is when she sees the head of psychiatry at Phoenix Children's Hospital. I hate that all of this medicine has such yucky side effects. I also hate that my child has to be on them. And I hate that if she is not on medicine life is miserable for her and for us. Actually, I just hate mental illness all together! And yes, I know hate is a strong word. But it is necessary right now.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sat. Morning Cleaning

Saturday morning is our morning to do our weekly cleaning. Each one of the girls has jobs to complete before anything else-no T.V. no computer, no friends, etc. We have been doing this consistently for awhile now. I was really hoping that Hope Ranch would have helped McKenzie have a better attitude about cleaning. She had to do way more there than she does here. But I guess it was not long enough to develop habits plus as we all know she is still not stable. So every Sat. morning becomes a chore with an attitude. It is so not fun. I dread it. And that is why I am taking a break right now and writing this. Hopefully, it will help my attitude. Any way, almost always Kenzie has some kind of breakdown. If I ask her to do just a little more than she has in her head what she is suppose to do she looses it. Her idea of cleaning her room is to pick up the things off the floor and shove them somewhere else. I really try hard not to be critical but also teach her the right way that things need to be done. I remember when I was little and I would help my mom fold towels and my mom was very specific on how they should be folded. It drove me crazy then. And even when I was first on my own I would fold them different even kinda sloppy, probably just to spite her. Very wrong of me, I know and trust me I let her know about it which was also wrong. Yea, maybe she could have been more relaxed about how I folded the towels but now I only fold them that way. They look so much better and I have to admit that I am glad that she taught me how to do it that way. It took me awhile to get to that point. I guess as we get older we get more understanding and wiser. Moms do the best that they can at the time and we all are not perfect. I certainly understand that now being a mom of three too. So again I struggle with balancing accepting their work and critiquing it to help teach them better habits. I also wish we could get through one Sat. morning without an attitude and no meltdowns. Maybe someday. Back to cleaning...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not so good

After 3 days of being off the vyvanse against my better judgement I let her take one this morning. Part of me thinks it was a good idea. Her pediatricain says to stay on it for now. And she has gotten worse since being off of it. She is having emotional meltdowns daily again. No horrible rages, but when her daddy turned off the computer on her last night because she refused to get off, she hit him. I heard her cry last night in her room and say that "Life sucks", "I just want to die." Why can't I just kill myself?" "I hate school" "I do not want to go to school." "I hate my hair." "I can't brush this **#$$# hair" etc. She did not know that I could hear her. Her door was closed and she was back in her bathroom. I was right next door in her sister's room putting her sister to bed. I do not think Tori heard exactly what she said but Tori knew she was emotionally melting down. Tori fell asleep while it went on. I think Tori has gotten used to blocking it out. And then this morning Kenz wanted me to brush her hair and when I would not-she is 13-she melted down again, crying saying she is not going to school and I can't make her. She did pull it together. Somehow I was able to give her a hug and encouragement so she pulled it together. I guess I should not say "somehow" for I know it was His Holy Spirit within me. What would I do without my Jesus? I feel very discouraged and down today. I feel like we are headed right back to where we were before Hope Ranch. I know she has to get help. I need to make it happen. I kinda slowed down in pursuing Meridell because I had hope last week that she could stay here and get help. I am back on track in pursuing Meridell, the insurance, etc. We will keep trying things here until we have everything ready to send her. Who knows maybe we will have a miracle or maybe that miracle looks different than what my mind wants it to look like. Even though I do not feel like it, I am trusting Jesus and I will rest on truth not feelings. I will push forward knowing that I am loved by the great almighty! And that one day everything will be perfect-no tears, no pain, no raging, no anger, no bipolar-when He comes again. I can't wait.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Off the Vyvanse

Yesterday we took Kenzie off the vyvanse, which is the stimulant for ADHD. It has been known to cause anger in bipolar kids and more anxiety. I did not see any horrible reactions to taking her off. She did seem a little less irritable. I think it will take time to see a difference, but it did not make anything worse. I think that is because she has the new medicine, intuniv. I am very glad she is off that stuff. Now we will be able to tell if that medicine was causing any of her symptoms or making them worse. I will write more when I know more.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sickness or Being a Teenager

The last couple of days have been a little rough and I am not sure if it is the sickness creeping back in or McKenzie just being a teenager. She has been cranky and irritable in the morning, afternoon and evening. Not to the volume that it has been in the past- no emotional meltdowns or rages -so it makes me think that maybe she is just being a hormonal teenager. I mean we all get cranky and irritable at times. And she has had to make quite an adjustment this week. First of all, she has been out of normal school for 52 days. Second, she had been sleeping until 9, 10, or even 11 o'clock every morning. Now she has to be up at 6:15 a.m. The other night she was falling asleep on the sofa at 6:00 p.m. I couldn't even get her up to come eat dinner with us. On top of that she is 22 lessons behind in math and her school is not giving her the 504 adjustments that she is suppose to be getting for her ADHD. (I did call the school today-hopefully will hear back soon). And finally, she is 13 with hormones flying. I know her period is right around the corner. So again, I ask the question, is this her being a typical teenager with some added stress? My gut tells me yes, but it is bummer that she was just doing so well and now she has to deal with all of this added stress. And we do too! Bummer for us as well. It is also hard to know whether to try the two other things that I wanted to do. One, being take her off the vyvanse which has been reported to make bipolar kids more angry and also can cause more anxiety. Two, being up her intuniv to 4mg. I did put a call into her doctor to ask if I should try one of these things and which one do we try first. Hopefully, we will get some direction today.

I also need to find her a high school in town for next fall. So she has a school to go to if and when she returns from Meridell. That is going to be hard work as I know she cannot attend the regular public high school. We would loose her completely. Thank goodness there are a lot of charter schools here in AZ. I guess I need to get working on that as well.

Someone told me that Kenzie could just get evaluated at Meridell with tests, etc. and not attend there. This also might be a possibility. Another thing to add to my list to do-call Meridell. We are still working on getting better insurance. Hopefully, that will happen soon too.

Lots to do-keep moving forward with my eyes fixed on Jesus!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Great First Day and Another Good Morning

WoW! Kenzie had a great first day back to school. Two girls gave her hugs and everybody seem so kind and welcomed her back. Even one girl from her school who also deals with anxiety sent her a heart on facebook. When I saw that tears came to my eyes. I really hope she can make some friends and actually do something with them outside of school. She still seems to be in good spirits with a much better mood-more even, calm, and happy. She had another good morning this morning. She even washed and dried her hair before school and she was on time with no yelling or screaming! She was not even snappy. What a praise!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fresh Start and a Good Morning

This morning was the first day back to school for both of my kids from Christmas break. But for McKenzie it was the first day back to her old school since she has been home from the boarding school. Usually, mornings are the worst for McKenzie but this morning she did great. The mornings as all day have been much better since this new medicine, intuniv. But I knew that going back to her old school was going to create a lot of anxiety for her and frankly, I was worried. But now I can put the morning aside and focus on this afternoon when she comes home. I have been praying all day that she has a good day. She was moved from her original homeroom to another one and that rocked her world quite a bit this morning. But she sucked it up and kept going. I am sure I will hear more about it when she gets home. Her old homeroom teacher is her favorite. However, she is pregnant and is due the first of May. So she will be gone the last month in half at least. If Kenzie was in her homeroom there would be a substitute the last part of the year which would also rock her world, that is if she is still here and not at Meridell. So maybe it is better that her world gets rocked right now. God is in control and I rest in the fact that He has a reason for everything.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Once a month Todd and I switch kids and take them out to do something fun on a Saturday night. Last night was my night with Kenzie. She has been wanting to go scrapbooking with me and we finally got to go. I used to go with friends and it was a time to get away so it was hard to share that time with Kenzie. But I am so glad that I did. She loved it and I think it is a wonderful hobby for her to have. Plus, it is something that we can do together where we get along and we actually both enjoy it. The only thing that drove me a little crazy was the fact that she kept asking me to cut the paper that bordered her pictures. She is convinced that she cannot get it even. And yes, I will admit it is not the easiest thing. She just needs practice and more self confidence. I remember when my mom taught me how to sew a comforter and lining up the pattern was so hard. She made me keep trying so I would learn how, but I remember being in tears because I was so frustrated. In the end she fixed it for me. I have made several since then and I know that I could not have done it if my mom had not been so diligent in teaching me how to do it by myself. I did almost all of them for Kenzie last night because I did not want the night to be ruined with a break down. I so enable her sometimes for this very reason. I think I will tell her this story and next time make her keep trying. That is the only way she will learn. And hopefully, she will be stable enough to deal with it. On that note she is still doing better with this new medicine. It is not perfect, but no more rages or out of control emotional break downs in quite sometime. She is also less angry. I think she needs to get off her other ADHD medicine and go up to 4 mg. of the intuniv. I think I will call her doctor this week and ask if we can try that.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Well, I am very excited to say that I definitly see an improvement with Kenz. She was a little cranky yesterday morning but the rest of the day she was enjoyable to be around for the most part. We went shopping which usually she hates, but yesterday she really seem to enjoy it. For the first time she shopped for clothes that most of her aged girls wear. Yea! I so badly want to help her be as normal as possible and her clothes have always been an issue. I know that should not be a big deal, but when you have no friends and you are in junior high it is a big deal whether we like it or not. So for the past several years I have tried to get her to wear jeans and shop at some of the more"hip" stores with no luck. But yesterday she was wearing her jeans for about the 6th time since she got them over break and we bought shirts at Aeropostle-of course, on sale. She even wanted me to look for clothes and bought me a necklace with her gift card. She just didn't seem so irritable and unhappy. Maybe the new medicine is helping. Again, I am trying not to get my hopes up too high and next week will be the real test. She is starting back to her old school that she left in October to go to the boarding school. I know she is anxious about this and she would rather not have to explain to the kids where she has been. We are still pursuing Meridell, but there is some definite things that have to happen before we can send her. So in the mean time she has got to be in school. She is way too hard to home school and she will just get farther behind. And who knows maybe with a miracle she can stay here. We are still moving forward with Meridell plans but also are not ruling out other options. We have to be open to what God wants not what we want.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Medicine Might be Working

I think the new medicine, intuniv, might be working. Kenzie woke up this morning in such a better mood. No screaming or snappiness-just a little extra tired. The medicine can do that, but hopefully after she gets used to it she won't be so tired. I am hopeful but trying not to get my hopes up. We still have to figure out the other medicines-whether she should go off the vyvanse which is the other ADHD medicine and do we stay with the seroquel, the mood regulator? We still need to get in to see a good psychiatrist. We do have an appointment with the head of Phoenix Children's Hospital Psychiatry Dept. on Feb. 8th. I am hoping to try another one before then, but he charges $445.00 the first session and $265.00 for the hour ones after that. This mental illness can be so expensive to treat. It is not only unfair that it is a cruel disease but also it cost so much to treat it and it is hard to treat. Nothing easy about it, that's for sure.
Also, I had to tell you that I may have exaggerated a little bit in my last post. I do get time to myself at times. My husband is great about giving it to me. He keeps telling me that I just have to ask. But I do forget at times. and anyhow it is my job to be a mom. It is what I signed up for and most of the time I love it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pulled in Three Different Ways No Wait I Mean Four!

Sometimes having three children and one husband I feel I am being pulled in four different directions. God's word says we are suppose to put our husbands first and boy do I wish I did this better. But with three different kids, one being a baby and one being mentally sick, it is very hard to accomplish. And then there is sweet Tori who if I am not careful gets neglected. She is my pleaser and loving one. The other day she had had it. She was complaining of everything hurting. First, it was her stomach, then her knee. I finally realized she just needed attention. So I held her in my lap for quite sometime. My thought process was confirmed when the baby woke up and McKenzie brought her to me, Tori said, "Mom, do not put her in your lap. I am here!" I didn't. Todd took care of the baby. I told Tori that when she wants attention to just ask me. She then proceeded to ask me to play trains with her. So then we began to set it up and in walks Kenz and she wants to join us too. She is 13! I knew if she joined us it would not be want Tori wanted and she would control the play. So I told Kenz that this was just Tori's and my time. Well, that did it. Kenzie then began to go off on a monologue about how I never spend time with her one on one. At that point it was useless to defend myself. But it was at this point when I felt so pulled. I keep trying to tell them all that I am not supermom or superwife. But they just continue to think so, I guess because they expect me to be in four different places at one time and do four different things at one time. I am sure other moms feel this way. I can't imagine families with even more kids and how the mom must feel. But lately over this break I have really felt it. It is a wonder that I ever get time to myself or even time to write this blog. However, it is a blessing to be blessed with a wonderful family who loves me and for that I am grateful. I need to remind myself of this more often.