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.