Monday, May 31, 2010

The Balancing Act

I've been wanting to write a post for a week now about medication and an update, but then things change so quickly that I end up staring at the computer not really sure what to write. At first the Abilify seemed to be working. But then Taz started getting really irritable in the afternoon and crying for several hours at a time starting at around noon every day.

We added a second dose of Abilify last week and kept the Risperdal as just a PRN for when Taz starts getting manic. The afternoon crying spells seemed to clear up but now he is just irritable all day with some stable times in between. The "good" thing is that he is not manic much anymore. When he starts heading that way the small Risperdal dose brings him right down. But the whiny irritability is fluctuating daily. On Sunday he whined for literally 5 hours about going to the beach. We couldn't go that day but went on Monday instead. On our way to the beach on Monday he whined about wanting to pet a horse. It seems like nothing makes him happy.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. I will report all of this to the psychiatrist either this week, if it gets really bad, or at our next appointment a couple weeks from now. He mentioned last time about adding an anti-depressant if we can't find anything to treat the mania without causing the depression.

I'm now realizing just how much of a balancing act medication is. It's just like a scale, to keep things in balance you have to have the exact amount not to tip it one way or another. It's a very delicate task to keep the scale perfectly even. Same with medicating a child with bipolar.

And right now I feel like it's an impossible task. Think of just how many combinations of medication, dosage, and timing there are. And just when we may find something that works, Taz will go and have a growth spurt and we'll be starting all over again. What's the point? Is it really worth it?

I'm hoping so. The alternative to continuing to try is to give up. And what I know about not medicating is that we're guaranteed a tormented, out-of-control little boy. With medication I wake up every morning hoping this will be a day where we see our bright sunshiny boy! And sometimes we do. Not as often as we'd like. But still enough to keep us going.


  1. I understand your statement, "The alternative to continuing to try is to give up." I also know that as mom, you will continue to try until you have taken your last breath. That's what we are not alone although I know it feels like it.

  2. Last time we were at the psychiatrists, I mentioned that my son still has some days where he's really edgy, but usually there's a trigger - an upcoming birthday, let-down after his tri-annual visit to biodad, etc. I said that it FELT manageable, tho. She pointed out that he'll never be exactly 'normal', but the key is to help him function. Thats what we try to keep in mind. With my son's meds now, most of the time he's content and cooperative and easy, but not always. I wouldnt necessarily use the word 'sunhiny'.

  3. I have said your same words SO many times in the last several years, "nothing makes (her) happy." WOW! I wondered if anyone else dealt with this issue - Ava is NEVER EVER EVER happy. Nothing is EVER enough. It's so exhausting and quite honestly really hurtful sometimes when I go so far out of my way to do special things and it's hardly noticed b/c she wanted MORE of something or something longer, etc etc etc. Once again - I feel your pain!! ;)