Sunday, January 23, 2011

The queen of the diagnosis...

Advance warning: this post will probably not be filled with the same humor and lightheartedness of my usual ramblings. It's been a serious kind of week and I'm really just frazzled by it. You have been warned.

Brat is a strong kid. And I don't mean in the she can pick you up and toss you across the room sense of strength. Although I'd put my money on her if there was a true battle going on. She's a tough cookie.

No her strength is an internal strength that most kids do not have to deal with and many days I wish she didn't. But she rocks it like nobody's business.

It all began when she was little but it didn't come to light until she started school. That was when we got the first diagnosis. My child that talked to me nonstop apparently did not talk to anyone else. Having been mostly at home, we never really noticed anything beyond the fact she was shy. Oh there were other issues, but that's not what I'm getting at here. So with some therapy and stuff we heard the words severe and anxiety disorder and selective mutism.

Following that came the first round of medications. We saw some slight improvements but then some of her other problems became more pronounced. The therapist suspected ADHD, but I was adamant that she didn't suffer from this. Nonetheless I allowed a test run on Adderall and my life went to hell really fast for a week or so.

It was after this botched medication experiment that the words bipolar disorder became a regular part of our vocabulary. I would later be officially diagnosed the same, but this story isn't about me.

Now we added new meds and we really started seeing some changes. In second grade, Brat stood in front of the class and spoke for the very first time. I happened to walk in the school as her voice boomed from the loudspeaker while she made the morning announcements. Parent volunteers hugged me and cried. No one could believe they had heard her voice.

I should back up and say that in the beginning the therapist pointed out that Brat showed some autistic signs. however she was very social and quite intelligent at her age and those went against the traditional autistic signs. Generally autistic kids that do not speak are not prone to be in the center of a group of friends.

Back to the story. As life went on, Brat's meds went through changes and so did she. As she got older her differences from the other kids became more pronounced. She was far behind. Could this be from not speaking? We were unsure. We continued with the meds that were working and strived to help her.

She had to move schools due to becoming the kid that everyone picked on. She thrived at the new school for a couple of years and all was well. Then her differences kicked her hiney again. She wasn't picked on, but she was ignored. She was alone. She was struggling.

I ended up pulling her out to homeschool her due to lack of cooperation with the school and in the process she also underwent testing.

It was then, not too long ago, Brat received another diagnosis. She suffered from Asperger's Syndrome-- a high functioning form of autism. So now our work was in a different form.

Through all of this Brat has managed to take it well. The kids mostly just ignore her if they don't 'get it'. She has a few that tend to make her life hell. But she is pretty good at defending herself and ignoring them. Unfortunately the adults are not as easy.

Several have told her things like "kids don't get bipolar disorder". Some have eliminated contact with us due to behaviors she has had. It's just been hard on her. But she rocked being unique. She embraces her differences and wants to make a difference in the lives of others.

Sadly this past week Brat received yet another diagnosis. During a routine appointment to discuss a completely different matter, she was diagnosed with a pretty severe case of scoliosis of the spine. She has xrays this week and begins physical therapy on tuesday.

No kid can just keep taking it and never have a problem. She's had a hard time accepting that yet another thing is "wrong" with her. She went through a couple of really depressed days.

Yes she's the queen of the diagnosis, but when do we get a break? When does she get to go to a dr and they simply say all is well we will see you in a few months?

She's 12. And in her 12 years she has had to endure more stress, trouble, heartache and judgment than most adults I know.

I'm writing this because I want to take a minute to just say Damn,....this sucks. because it does. But also to give props to the girl who has faced so much and still finds the time to do amazing things. She wrote a new song this week. It's really good and I'm so proud of her.

She doesn't understand why she had to be the one to get bipolar and anxiety and autism and now scoliosis. But she knows she's strong enough to handle it. And she knows that she will be strong enough for whatever she has to face next.


1 People Have Had Their Say:

Francie said...

Bless her little heart. My heart goes out to you both.