Monday, December 26, 2005

Reading the Signs in My Complex Son

When I wrote a Change is Coming on November 13th, it was clear something was on the horizon but it is always hard to be sure what. By Thanksgiving Day we had increasingly out of control behavior. Having ruled everything physical out it was clear that we were in a manic phase. His Bipolar meds had to be changed.

We are reading the signs again this morning. Billy Ray slept long nights several times last week. His support staff had to wait as much as a couple of hours several mornings to start his schedule. Of course, that changed on Saturday the one day we could sleep in because we don’t have to get up to let support staff in. He woke up at 6 ish.

Saturday we had some confusion/agitation probably because of Christmas and having people in and out during the day. He did okay when our consultant/friend, Keddie came with one of her special friends and brought Billy Ray a bouquet of balloons. Of course, he didn’t show his excitement with the balloons until after she left so Keddie didn’t get so to see how much he liked them. Later Ron, his support staff and Ron’s niece came by. He enjoyed their visit but was agitated when Ron left.

Sunday he was great in the morning. Co-operation with allowing Mom to get ready for church after getting him ready is rare but it worked this week. He has been too manic to go to church for several weeks. It was a treat for both of us to go.

A favorite part of church is the music especially songs that he can clap to. When he can get into the music like he does it calms him enough that he can sit through the rest of the service without too many incidents. Yesterday there were Christmas carols during the main music part of the service. I expected we’d have problems with him during the sermon because he hadn’t had the kind of participation in the music he needs to stay calm. Didn’t happen. He was quiet and calm during the entire sermon. He was thrilled when a song after the message was something he could clap to. He enjoyed himself and the congregation enjoyed watching him as always.

Instead of just appreciating the good times, it is always necessary to ask “what’s up with this” because exceptional calm can be a sign of something coming too. Further “signs” came later. He fell asleep at 2:30 p.m., waking up for half an hour about 8:30 p.m. and going back to sleep until 5:45 a.m.

So, as always, I am reading the signs this morning. Is this the end of his manic phase and he is catching up or is something physical coming? I thought I would share this sign reading experience with my blogger friends to help you learn to read signs in your own child.

Until tomorrow,
Peggy Lou Morgan


Lora said...

I often wonder if Griffin is bipolar because of the surges of energy that he has that seem to be more than "normal" amounts. Also from the information that I have gathered there are more and more cases of BP being seen in autistic children. Do you know at what age children are usually diagnosed with BP? I am not "eager" to find that he has BP because I do not want to give him meds for it but if he does I had rather know now so that I could help him with it even if it does mean giving him medications. (Hope that made sense).

Peggy Lou Morgan said...


Some of what you describe could be from Autism or ADD. Don't panic. I would mention the possibility to his doctor at some point. Often bipolar is not disagnosed until later in life but I think it is becoming more common to diagnose earlier.

I have been told there are links between Autism and Bipolar but I couldn't find a lot of links I considered credible enough to post when I did the piece on bipolar.

Keddie said...

A great picture of Billy Ray!