So the next step was obviously adding more medication to treat the symptoms. He made sure we were aware that we needed to get this under control before he gets bigger and risk the possibility of having to live outside of our home or have to change schools where he would be exposed to more troubled kids.
Looking at the next two options of either adding a second mood stabilizer or trying another antipsychotic, he encouraged us to add another mood stabilizer. Since we’ve already tried Depakote, which he had an allergic reaction to, and Lamictal which he had side effects, he suggested we try Lithium. He explained that it was very successful with adults suffering from bipolar disorder and didn’t have the possible side effects of agitated moods that we saw earlier with the antipsychotic. The downfall is the regular blood work that is required to monitor the Lithium levels in the blood. If too low, it becomes ineffective, but if too high, it becomes very dangerous. As the child grows, the levels need to be adjusted and monitored. Of course, like everything else, there is a list of side effects, but we need to move forward because he can’t continue where he is now. Our son is asking for help.
So today we started Lithium and the first blood test is in 5 days. He’ll have a blood test after every increase until we get to the therapeutic dose. Then after that, he’ll get checked a few times every year, unless there is another increase, then yep, more blood work.
I can say I feel pretty good about this next step. What if it works? I’m thrilled to think that my son may get his life back. I thought it was encouraging when my son said, “Maybe I’ll be able to raise my hand again in school, I haven’t done that since the first grade! And maybe I will be able to fit in with the boys at school and I won’t be all alone at the school parties.” Even though I’m nervous about this next step, I think we’re all feeling a little optimistic.
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I want to thank you all for being so supportive and providing me so much feedback. I have read many of your comments several times as I prepared for this appointment and feel so blessed to have you by my side!
(((Big hugs to you all)))