Welcome to Healingwell's bipolar forum.
I agree with every concern that you have! I also think you are taking the appropiate actions to get to the bottom of all of this as well. Her doctor is one that I would absolutely keep her away from. You need to get her under a new psychiatrists care immediately!
I would then suggest that you have a discussion with her new doctor to let them know that you and her have agreed for you to remain very closely knit regarding all of her medical care and any medication changes. There is a law where your wife can put your name on file to discuss all things medically related back and forth with her doctors. This way you can continue to stay abreast of any changes and discuss your concerns with her doctor.
If you feel it is appropriate. you can get a power of attorney for her healthcare so that you can be making all the decisions for her.
Hope some of my ideas have helped.
Best of luck.
Topomax, while it is a mood stabilizer, it has a history of being referred to as "dopa-max" by the patients and some doctors. It's because it works on the part of the brain that prevents seizures and that is in an area that effects memory at times. A lot of the drugs that are mood stabilizers are anti-seizure meds as well. Topomax has the added effect of making it difficult to finish your sentence. I had the same problem on that medication. Everyone seemed to go around calling it Dope-a-max for that reason. There are other mood stabilizers such as Trileptal (I'm on this one) Lamictal, (has a very good outcome with many people), Depakote, LIthium, Tegretol, Zyprexa (very sedating), Geodon (not so great), and a few others. You sometimes have to go through the different meds til you find one that works best. That takes time and is very very frustrating. Doctors usually start with Lithium because it almost always stabilizes a patient in a short amount of time. Then the patient can either be weaned onto a newer mood stabilizer or stay on Lithium. When my doctor put me on Zyprexa and it had me so tired I couldn't think, I also asked him to change it to a different one. He told me the different ones available and the side effects. It's letting the patient make an informed decision. But if the patient is in no condition to make that decision, the doctor usually tells the patient that there are other medications out there, and that he will find one for her that will work best for her. A HUGE part of the hospitalization is involving the spouse or family so everyone is on the same page. It helps when people don't feel out of the loop. If your wife has signed a paper saying the doctor can talk to you, then you should have the right to talk to him. If she won't sign it, then he can't, by law talk to you. It's all these HIPPA laws and such.
Well, I probably didn't answer your question too well, but I've noticed that the private psychiatric hospitals seem to know a lot more about what they are doing rather than the general hospitals with a wing of one floor devoted to psychiatric issues.