Sunday, January 29, 2012

Doctor Update

Last week was a very busy week for us. We met our son’s new nephrologist to evaluate his kidney condition (a birth defect) and I met with our son’s new therapist. I’m happy to share that both were very successful appointments.

After a very thorough evaluation, our nephrologist decided that we should not do the kidney biopsy after all. He felt strongly that there was a 99% chance that we wouldn’t gain any new information from the biopsy. He explained that we already know his kidneys are scarred from the kidney reflux and it wouldn’t be worth the risks associated with a biopsy to confirm what we already know from the ultrasounds.

He felt confident that the protein in his urine was not from any medication taken for his mental health, but rather, this protein and it’s measured volume is typical and expected for an 11 year old child that had scaring on his kidneys as a baby. He also reassured us that these meds aren’t as dangerous to the kidneys as most would assume and if there was ever a problem with the Lithium, we would know by the blood and urine work that we’ll be doing on a regular basis. He said that he has numerous patients on Lithium with previous kidney damage and they’re doing very well. So at this point, our plan is to check his kidneys every 3 months and monitor the protein levels while continuing with his current medications.

Next, I met with our new therapist. I chose to meet with her alone this time to avoid my son listening once again to all his past symptoms and episodes. I have a feeling it was stressing him out.

I will admit that I was apprehensive in meeting with this therapist because I read a bad review online, but since I was told she was good with bipolar kids from a local psychiatrist and I figured that all therapists have at least one bad review, I thought I would give her a try. After an hour long visit with lots of questions and serious note taking on her behalf, I felt pretty good with this therapist. She seemed to really understand that my son wasn’t a bad kid, but a child who has serious symptoms from what she believed to be bipolar disorder. She appeared compassionate for all that we’ve been through and was able to relate to our experiences. She even shared that she had to hold a child down in a rage for 45 minutes once, agreeing that once their trigger is turned on, you have to wait it out. At the end of the appointment she asked if I had a photo of him, which of course I did and proudly shared how adorable he is with his bright smile. I appreciated this moment because it made me feel like she really wanted to know my son.

Whether or not you label my son with “bipolar disorder” or some other new diagnosis (we’ll leave that up to the DSM guide), what matters today is that the therapist understands that my son’s symptoms are real and that she has skills to help us. So far, I feel like we’re off to a good start!

The next step is having my son meet her later this week, wish us luck!


  1. I wish you so much luck right now but I doubt you need it. Why? Because you do your homework. I must admit to being very relieved your son will not have to undergo a biopsy. Whew! It sounds like things are falling into place. Good for you Mama Bear.

  2. I'm am amazed at the kidney doctor and what an amazing update that your son doesnt need a biopsy. What a blessing!!!! One less trauma for your boy. And how encouraging that he sees other patients on lithium without kidney damage. Hooray!!!! Huge praises. And I'm also glaD you feel good with the therapist. That's wonderful.

  3. So glad to hear both appointments went well. Your son's doctor sounds great. And the new therapist sounds good, too. You were wise not to let one bad review prevent you from checking her out yourself--sounds like she's very compassionate and may be a good fit for your son.