Thursday, April 29, 2010

29 Days

Sunday morning was the first rage since we increased my son’s medication. It’s been 29 days of peace and stability. This is the longest period we’ve gone, in at least a year, without a rage. During this time, I’ve had the opportunity to feel what it’s like to live a normal life, where things don’t go to complete hell. After a while I started to forget how bad it was, I even started to imagine that he’ll outgrow his brain chemistry problem. That maybe it’s all going to be ok.

Then, on the way to church I’m quickly reminded how sick my son is. It all started with him picking on his brother and refusing to go to church. This lead to a rage that started at home, then once again as we approached the church’s building. I had to pull over the car just to regain control of him. Then once in the parking lot, he continued raging violently. At one point, I desperately scanned the parking lot looking for any families running late to church to help out, he was that out of control!

Thankfully my husband arrived minutes later in a second car and took over as I took my smaller children into their church classrooms. As I tried to sign in my youngest child (5 years), he refused to join his class as he hugged my leg, still terrorized by his brother’s rage, while I had tears streaming down my face.

A lot of church goers joke about Sunday mornings being filled with drama and distractions, as satan’s way of keeping you from church. For me, this morning was at the top of my list as being our worst Sunday ever. Unfortunately, even though I finally made it to service, my mind was still in that parking lot.

As I look back at all the progress that my son’s had, my initial response is disappointment that he’s had another rage. But the truth is, today was also a reminder of our life without meds. You see, before medication, these rages were occurring all the time, we were living this nightmare constantly. We were becoming desensatized to the chaos, expecting it to show up at any given moment. Now that we’ve had 29 days without a rage, I’ve started to see with new eyes how bad it had been. I wonder now how we’ve survived all those past rages, how did we live without medication?

So instead of being discouraged, I’m feeling pretty good. We’ve had amazing progress and as I’ve been reminded, the medication doesn’t cure my son, but helps him. I wish you yourself could’ve seen the smile his precious face has been wearing throughout this stretch of time, my son has been helped tremendously by his mood stabilizer and I’m anxiously anticipating the next 29 days or more to be filled with joyful peace. At least now I know it’s possible!

If you are currently using meds for your child, what’s the longest time you’ve gone without a rage?


  1. I am not a parent of a mentally ill child. Instead, I am the teenager that has had symptoms from day one. Currently, the longest we have gone without a rage - and remember, this is after hospitalizations, medication, therapy, etc - was two months and a half. In that time, while still depressed and anxious, I was coping well, socializing, and found some enjoyment. And that's a lot of progress.

  2. I am so glad that you had those wonderful days to enjoy! These days, I get moments at a time when Jada's laugh and smile are genuine and she is happy. I know how wonderful and treasured those moments are so I can only imagine 29 days! The longest we have gone? Not sure on that. We are still trying to figure out the right doses of what to get her stable. I feel bad for or other kids too. The things they must endure. I hate knowing that at times, Erin is afraid of her sister and that she doesn't feel safe.

  3. Erika- Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. I really have no idea how long he's gone without a rage. Recently he's gone about three months without a major violent rage, but has had many, many minor episodes.

    It's tough reading your blog because I totally know what you're going through. It's a tough road. Hang in there!

  5. Hi Sarah,
    I love your family picture! Thank you for reading my blog, I just checked your blog out and added it to my blog list, I look forward to following it.

    In case you check back in, I have a question:

    At what point did they determine your son was bipolar? What symptoms or events did they base this decision on? I saw that our boys are the same age.