Last month, after we left the pdoc's office, Sissy and I discussed the reasons for his concern which were mainly her weight gain and her withholding. Sissy cried, squirmed and said flat out, "I don't want to talk about this. It's scary." But I made her talk about it. Low and behold, she's made some personal progress in eliminating with some regularity (accidents in her pants notwithstanding - at least she was pooping!). We also took some time to review her size. According to Sissy, she hadn't noticed that she'd gained so much weight. So I decided to scroll through old photos and stumbled upon this one that brought tears to my eyes. (excuse the stupid time stamp on the photo)
This picture was taken two years ago, exactly one month before the doctor diagnosed her with bipolar disorder . She looks so ill, her eyes sunken with dark circles, her body so lean and frail. It doesn't even look like my child. This was at the height of her unmedicated manic episodes, a full year before suicidal and homicidal ideations that landed her in RTC. At the time, I only knew that my daughter was not well, was uncontrollable, that we needed help. I had no clue just how ill she was. Looking at this picture now, I marvel that I didn't know.
Sissy and I talked until she gave me her dumb-bunny look , her facial cue that lets me know I've said one word too many and that her brain is shutting down. We both decided that for what it's worth, her current size, although slightly rounder than the average 10 year old girl, is way healthier than her chemo-kid photo. Even Sissy remarked that it didn't look like her, citing the marked difference in her face. So I took a picture of her currently for comparison.
I think you'll agree with me, she is much healthier now and I have the pictures to prove it. Really, it's going to be a hard sell for the pdoc to convince me that we need to take her off the resperidal. My child's illnesses and the medications she needs for them should not be determined solely by her weight gain and her psychosomatic toileting issues. As far as I'm concerned, this is the closest to "healthy" she's ever been in her entire life and that includes the 10 pounds she should lose. It's certainly not worth the emotional trauma of six months of rages and crises while we titrate her onto another anti-psychotic.
If you don't see a post from me tomorrow, you'll know I didn't win the fight with the pdoc and I was too overwhelmed to blog about it.
as for bipolar diagnoses: in children this age, most doctors are reluctant to put that label in a chart because it sticks with them for life even if the diagnosis is proven false later. That said, Sissy has a genetic proclivity for the disorder and after 15 months of daily charting on moodchart dot org, it became clear to both me and her pdoc that she has a rapid cycling form of mania with only brief bouts of depression in addition to a possible schizoid affect
 the dumb-bunny look is our coined name for Sissy's and now I will pretend I'm mentally retarded expression. Her tongue protrudes and lays lifeless on her bottom lip, her mouth open and her eyes rolled upward to the left, her head slightly tilted in that direction. Sometimes she rocks. Don't be fooled, she's hearing everything people say and is processing the information just fine in addition to strategizing ways in which she will get you to shut the *bleep* up and leave her the *bleep* alone. Classic RADs stuff. She just doesn't want to hear it, own it, accept it or deal with it. It's always easier to pretend you're too gosh darn stupid to understand.