October 15, 2020

Finding a place where hippa is not a thing and egg shells

 **So I wrote this SEVERAL weeks ago, and today, Oct. 14th, I crumbled - so I will share this and tomorrow I'll share a bit my emotional status**

Without going into many distressing details: our life was recently turned upside down.  

Labor day weekend, Laddie didn't like it when Coach and I tried to review guidelines to follow in order to continue to live with us.  Um, 'didn't like it' - understatement.  The conversation lasted for 30 seconds.  

Coach called after him as he stormed off to his room:  Come Tuesday you can't use our car to drive to work UNLESS you sit down and review our guidelines.

One of our requests - don't drive 80 mph on a 40 mph road.  The next point on the list - no retaliating against Reg for telling us this, if you do you'll be asked to move out.  

Lad hasn't been receptive to our other attempts to urge him to DRIVE SAFELY, and guess what - after the blow up I discovered that he got another speeding ticket.  Not sure when he'll realize that we can see all of his banking transactions - his account is tied to ours.  So, yep - I can see that he paid a hefty speeding fine in court  when he apparently lied to us about why he took the day off.  This is not the end of the world and not necessarily my business (we do pay the car insurance though and his brother felt unsafe), but ironic because we've been telling him to slow down.  

Well, we all know, speed-demon that I am,  I'm not one to talk - but I've never done 80 in a 40.  Promise.  

There's much more to the story, but our TALK was a long time coming.  We've been walking on egg shells, wanting to discuss this or that.  The timing always seemed off and any mention of the smallest detail would upset him.  

Sometimes things just fall into place. I took this pic a few weeks ago when Tank was making eggs. Was not sure where I would use it, but hey - since I have no photo of our stress, THIS FITS - get it, egg shells?

We convinced him to see a neurologist, get a head CT, (he hasn't been himself since his last concussion) claiming that we wanted to see if they had any suggestions for the headaches he gets sometimes.  All true, but was there medically more to the story?

We feared he might refuse the scan before the appointment if we rocked the boat.  Then he had the scan, but we hoped he'd follow through and get the accompanying blood work done. More egg shells.   

Coach and I think his issue stems from before his concussions and has progressed into a full blown nightmare (I've self-diagnosed him, he meets EVERY criteria on the list of what I think he's suffering from, but I'm going to bypass all that).  We want to cover all the bases.  And guess how much those bases cost?  Well, we have a bill to pay for the head CT for $1,500 after insurance.  

AND what I love is that we can convince Lad to see the doctor (this was NOT easy), go for the test (held our breath that he'd show up), pay for the test,

BUT NO ONE CAN TELL US WHAT THE HELL THEY FIND, IF ANYTHING.  Take a bow, Hippa, my constant companion.  Lad is 22.  We can provide the insurance card, the moo-la to cover the fees, but then we exit stage left.  It's dark in stage left.  I hate being in the dark. 

College -the same as far as sharing of information ie:  grades, passing, etc.  I think parents should decide when a kid meets 'adult' criteria.  Stamp their drivers license.  Something.  I suppose helicopter parents would mess that up for the rest of us.  

"Dear college workers, Little Johnny still needs me.  Can you tell me if he eats 3 meals a day and if he wears his winter coat when it snows?"

Lad is NOT hitting the mark for adulthood.  So we shelled out tuition (he paid for a lot of it with money he earned) but no one could tell us whether he was passing.   

Last summer we paid for 3 summer school classes.  He insisted he could handle 3.  I found out after he returned to college in the fall, that he failed ALL 3 CLASSES.  Good-bye stack of money.  I admit, the only reason we discovered the truth (he lied, telling us he passed all 3) is that I opened a letter addressed to him from the junior college while he was away at school.  Go ahead, call the authorities.    

Still - he's a child.  I don't care what age appears on his drivers license.  Ed will be 20 in October - he reached adult status years ago.  Not to compare, but . . . well, yes - comparing here.

So since that day:  Lad sort of moved out.  We don't know where he's staying. He doesn't have many friends.  He told family friends that we kicked him out.  (Not even close to true.)  He uses foul language when addressing Coach and I.  Sends wacky text messages.  Storms back into the house unannounced, grabbing more stuff, showering.  Kicked Reg out of the empty room Lad and Ed share. Reg was taking a test on Zoom because that room has a desk in it.  

Overall his perception of reality is a mess.  It's heartbreaking and hurtful and incredibly stressful.

You know what's exhausting?  People assuming:  college kid struggling to adjust to living at home after college.  Not at all. 

We hid our car keys, wouldn't let him take a car.  He bought a used car.  He works at a dealership and buying a used car was the plan but he was waiting for a car with good gas mileage, right price to pop up. 

I called our car insurance people.  Can Laddie add his speeding-ticket-self to our insurance?  The lady, who has known us for years, assured me that he hadn't called and he couldn't be added without our permission because the policy is in our name.  

Me to the lady on the phone, who may know me - but now KNOWS me:  


(silence as she wonders how long I've been off my meds) I mean, this is what I'm talking about.  Everything should work like this.  It's MY POLICY.   I'M PAYING.  HE CAN'T BE ADDED WITHOUT MY SAY-SO.  I WISH TO GOD THAT THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND THE COLLEGE PEOPLE WOULD GET ON THE SAME DAMN PAGE.

She laughed, and that's all I've got right now.  Laughing at shit whenever possible.


Ally Bean said...

What a mess. I'm sorry to read about this but am fascinated to learn about the dark side of HIPPA and College Procedures. I get the the kid is an adult by objective standards, but whoever pays the bill should be able to see what's going on.

Good on that insurance company for seeing the light.

I have no experience with nor advice about how to handle your relationship with your son. Instead I'll tell you that I'm sending good thoughts and healing vibes your way.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I also think that when you're paying for your child, you should be privy to details. health, school, etc...
My heart hurts for you guys going through all of this. If he could only know how much you DO care and love him; it's a shame he's blinded by all of that. I didn't realize he had concussions in his past...that really does add up.

Still keeping you and yours in my prayers and hoping beyond hope that you get some sort of resolve that works for all of you.

Ernie said...

Ally - Yes, HIPPA should be considered 'progress' but there was no HIPPA when I was in college. My parents were privy to my grades, although without internet my grades would've shown up in the mail occasionally - I guess. I wasn't a slacker, so was never an issue.

I have yet to pay the $1,500 bill, but I intend to call them. They are welcome to Lad's cell number. There other option is to take payment from me - but that is only happening if they decide to share the results with me.

I truly appreciate your healing vibes and good thoughts. Thank you!

Ernie said...

Suz - I would vote that if an 'adult' child can pay his own bills, then parents don't need to see them, otherwise they should share, particularly when there is mental health concerns involved.

He had a concussion in grade school - not horrible. Senior year of high school he had a bad one - missed a week of school. Ironically we thought we were in the clear when he switched from football to water polo in college. Then he took an elbow to the head during spring workout/practice just before spring break of junior year - so spring of '19.

While he seems to have struggled more than ever since then, he has ALWAYS had a tough time recovering from hurt feelings, or emotional struggles, and has stood out socially - trying too hard, bristling easily. So, it makes us think he has struggled all along and the concussions were just an additional nuisance.

That's exactly what I have told my therapist, I am tried of talking about my feelings - what we are looking for is resolution. Thank you so much for the prayers, I believe in the power of prayer and I really appreciate it.

Kari said...

Ditto what Ally and Suz say. I am so upset about how our government and insurance works in this country. I am sorry you are going through this right now with everything else that is going on. If you need to talk, I am a phone call or text away.

I will think positive thoughts and send you healing vibes, as well as praying for everything to work in your favor, and praying that your son finds his way as well, whatever that turns out to be.

Ernie said...

Kari - there were no helicopter parents back in our childhood, right? I mean hell, we didn't even wear seatbelts and we roamed the neighborhoods without phones. Imagine. So who blew it causing people to insist that parents stop getting info about their kids? I'd like names and numbers, please. And back then I feel like kids graduating college were so much more prepared to be adults, kids today are helpless without a phone to dictate their next move. Yet we are all about protecting their privacy?

Anyway, thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. I am not at all opposed to Lad finding independence, but he has some serious shit going on that needs to be addressed.

Eli said...

Wow, that is a lot going on. I'll say some prayers for your family, too.

Charlie said...

Gosh Ernie, that’s some serious shit going on at your house. I can only imagine how heartbroken you are and I’m sure all your other children are too. I’m adding to the list of prayers being sent your way. I have no advice, only to say it sounds like you and Coach are doing all you can to support your son and you’re both great examples as parents. Lots of virtual hugs and support being sent your way x

Gigi said...

Oh Ernie! I'm so very sorry and will add my prayers. I *think* if you can convince Lad to sign a waiver you would be allowed access to his medical information.

I've mentioned this to my son and will be bringing it up again - as long as he lives alone, should something horrible happen I would need access to that information. Once he's completely grown and married, well then that wouldn't be my call.

Eighteen does not make a person an "adult." In fact, particularly with men, their brains aren't even fully developed until almost thirty.

Sending hugs. xo

Ernie said...

Eli- thank you. Much appreciated.

Ernie said...

Charlie- you said it! Coach and I feel like we are being proactive, but we also feel like we are floundering and uncertain. That's hard.

I honestly think the other kids feel mostly relief to have Lad not living with us. He was unbearable and relentless while also unpredictable. They know we are worried but they don't know all the details so I think they feel like they have breathing room.

Ernie said...

Charlie- hit submit too soon- thanks for the compliment. Sort of hard as parents to not blame ourselves, so I appreciate the compliment. I think most people would consider us good parents which is why we felt we could handle adoption. Lots of second guessing going on.

Thanks for the support.

Ernie said...

Gigi- Your prayers are very appreciated. And yes, IF we could convince him to sign a waiver then we could access medical records. He is WAY beyond that point. We can tell him nothing.

So true about the frontal lobe. Lad would come home from college and Coach would point out that we saw no growth. The inability to admit fault is literally the strangest thing ever. Like even simple stuff which I might describe in tomorrow's post.

As always, I appreciate your support. I hope one day we can look back and be relieved that this is over.

Beth Cotell said...

I'm sorry I'm behind on your posts. I've been working the polls (early voting) and am working 12 hours a day. I'm praying for you guys!