Hey all....just wanted to share some good news with you. As many of you know we recently took our 19 year old daughter, Kait, to the AMEN clinic to have a full evaluation with SPECT Imaging done. Since she was around 14 we have had many problems with her behavior with alot of irritability, manipulation, lying, impulsivity with drinking and drug use more than the normal college student would be doing etc. Since our 16 year old daughter, Erin was diagnosed BP/ADD last year we KNEW that something was definitely up with Kait as well. Although her behavior didn't show definitive signs of depression or mania as Erin demonstrated, there was significant characteristics that made us intuitively certain that a underlying biological component was causing her "abnormal" behavior. We were more inclined to think that it was more ADD than BP and didn't want to waste any more time in finding out and so we took her to the AMEN clinic around 6 weeks ago where she was diagnosed with ADD type 6/mood disorder. The SPECT scan showed more evidence of ADD but with the mood centers of the brain involved as well.
The treatment suggested by the pdoc there was to start Kait on Lamictal and see where she was once she reached a therapeutic dose. After that they suggested if she still was in that "stuck mode" and/or having problems with focusing and concentration that an ADD med be added such as the Daytrana patch which had less of a chance of being abused.
In speaking to Kait by phone there has been a subtle but clearly noticeable improvement. At 75mgs we noticed her calling more often to talk and the conversations were actually very pleasant whereas last year we only seemed to hear from her when she needed something and most of the time ended up in an argument or with her hanging up. But since being on the Lamictal she has called and actually asked how we are sharing the events of the day. AND....when conversing with her there has been less jumping from one subject to another and the conversation was much more focused and enjoyable rather than rushed with a mission in mind.
Big news came today after being on 100mgs of Lamictal for the past two weeks when Kait informed me that she had been to see a counselor on campus a week ago. She made an appointment all on her own to followup with a Nurse Practioner within the Behavioral Health center and gave her a copy of her report from the AMEN clinic. She went on to tell me that she shared her progress and told the NP that she was still having difficulty focusing and concentrating and thought that she may need an ADD med. The NP suggested that Kait up her Lamictal to 150mgs for two weeks since she believed that she needed to still reach a therapeutic level before adding another med. Kait is doing an internship and it will be quite sometime before she will be able to coordinate an appointment with the pdoc that sees Erin here at home. I figured that Kait would be due for another titration up on the Lamictal and was actually pleased with how the NP handled the entire situation. Kait and I spoke about my concerns about adding a stimulant before seeing how she was doing on the Lamictal and how carefully she needed to be monitored if another med, particularly a stimulant were added. I told her how easily she could be induced into a mania or psychosis if she were predisposed to BP and that if the Lamictal improved her symptoms it would be best not to add another med on. I shared with her how Erin's pdoc felt about treating the ADD and Kait actually listened and told me that the NP said the same thing. But she went on to say that she just knows that she needs something to help her focus and concentrate and that when she tried the Adderall last year on her own that it actually helped. I told her that we should give it time and that once the Lamictal was up at the right level that we would re-evaluate. Kait went on to tell me that she wanted to be honest and not lie to me, that she had tried a small dose of Adderall the other day and she felt it really helped her. She promised me that after talking to the NP and me that she understood how using Adderall without an okay from a doctor wasn't good and that she wouldn't take anymore. I went on to say that if the time came for her to take something that we would go with what the pdoc at the AMEN clinic suggested (the Daytrana Patch) and she agreed.
When I asked Kait how she felt she was doing on the Lamictal she agreed that there were changes such as her not having to go out every night in order to have fun. That she was able to stay home and take in a DVD or just sit and talk to friends. She said that she also was not into partying like she was last year and that she was hanging out with another girl who is carpooling with her to the internship and doesn't party like her other friends. That in itself was a big improvement. Kait went on to say that her friends have noticed like I did that she is less flighty in conversations and easier to understand. What impressed me the most was that she said that she would know for sure when she came home if things were better because that is where she had most of her problems. I was really shocked at the insight that she had. She said that she got Monday off and is going to come home Sunday for a night, possibly two. This will be her first time home since going back to college.
Erin is also doing well after a little setback over the weekend. She is back on track since missing a few doses of her meds and losing some sleep over the weekend. She got a 92% on that English test on a book they just finished reading, The Crucible, and she handed in an essay today and her teacher pulled her aside telling her that she did a wonderful job on it and that her writing is like a college students and how impressed he was with it. She told him that her mom had helped her a little bit (which I did but 98% of it was her work, I just pointed out some areas that could use some tweaking).
So....things are going pretty well in Goodyland. My greatest relief is seeing the improvement in Kait....of course I don't yet know if it is genuine but something in me tells me that it is. Time will tell.
I am debating whether to call the campus and talk with the NP but it would be better if Kait allowed me to conference in when they meet the next time in two weeks so that she doesn't feel as if I am going behind her back. Any thoughts on that??
Well, just wanted to share some good news. It's actually nice to be able to do so. Thanks for allowing me to share.
((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody