Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back in the Bunny Slippers of Doom


You know, I'd mostly retired those darn things. Big Kid and Little Guy are practically cooked and grown, and The Happening Dude is a very capable and independent guy. This week, I've had to break the Bunny Slippers of Doom out not once, but twice, to kick some heinie.

The Happening Dude, who now wants to be referred to as "The Aspiring Adult" is on spring break. He's applied to and been accepted to the local community college to attend their nursing program. Their waiting list is long, as their program is excellent. His plan is to get his CNA (certified nursing assistant) certificate first, so that maybe he can get work in the field while going through nursing school.

The college has a new associate degree program called "Allied Health". While on the waiting list to get into the nursing program, our Aspiring Adult can get his CNA certification, phlebotomist certification and basic EMT certification, as well as taking the core classes required for an Associates Degree. Win/win all the way around for him.

He had an appointment with an advisor a couple of days ago. Since I had to take Big Kid to ANOTHER appointment down in the city, he rode down with me, and I dropped him off at the campus. When I picked him up, he was fuming.

The "Allied Health" program is brand new. It is listed on the college's website----not hidden in the nursing program---but with it's very own tab under degree programs offered.

Apparently the advisor wasn't up-to-speed on the program because he insisted that it wasn't something the college offered. Although he had a computer right there in his office, he refused to go to the campus website and look it up when the Aspiring Adult asked him to. He hadn't heard about it, so it wasn't available, thank you very much, if you don't want to get on a waiting list for the nursing program, well then get out of my office.


Had to get on the horn and do the whup ass thing.

For the last few weeks, Big Kid has been obsessed about getting a new cell phone.

Mind you, during the last year and a half, I've been paying for a phone that has all the bells and whistles. At least the phone does. The 59.99 plan that I've paid for through Verizon that actually costs 79.99 after all the taxes and fees, only covers phone and text. Not downloads or data transfer.

After getting monthly bills of around 150.00 last year, I started taking money out of the small monthly stipend we give him to pay for the overages. Of course, when he was in the ICU, there were no excess charges, but I started again after he got out and went back to Kitty's.

I didn't get why he needed a new and better phone, since the plan he was on didn't really allow for all the new, cool stuff he wanted to use. It just didn't make sense. Plus I've got 6 months left the phone contract, and I don't feeling like paying 200 bucks to cancel it. So I said no---at least if you're expecting ME to pay for it. Hang it out until the contract is up, and we'll see if we can upgrade the phone and get a more reasonable calling plan.

But no. He and Kitty in their infinite wisdom, bought a new, cooler phone from a used cell phone place for $150.00. He had to have the---uh---I don't know---software? changed so he could go on a month-to-month plan with Cricket. I had him bring back the phone I was paying for, and the Aspiring Adult took it over and agreed to make the payments. Since he actually has a couple of jobs and all.

Anyhoo, Big Kid got the new phone on Wednesday of last week. Found out that with Cricket he couldn't use all the bells and whistles, and then suddenly on Friday, the phone went dead. He took it back to where he bought it, and they reset it. Except when he got home, it was back to its original factory settings (Sprint) and it wouldn't work with Cricket.

Over the weekend, he figured that a month-to-month plan with Cricket wouldn't work with what he wanted, and decided to explore what offers Sprint had.

He typed in the serial number and found out that the phone had been reported as stolen.

Called me yesterday to ask my advice, and I told him to take the phone back (he hadn't even had it for a week) with his receipt and demand his 150.00 back. If they wouldn't give it back, then we'd sue them. No biggie.

Talked to him this morning, and asked if he'd done it. He'd taken the phone back, told them that Sprint said it was stolen, and they offered him 45.00 to take it back.

And he did it. Gave them the phone back for 45.00. Arrrgghhh!!!

I said that he wasn't quite right in the head since his illness. He thought it was his only option.

When I found out, I put on my killer bunny slippers and opened up a can of whup ass.

Called and talked to a sales associate. Asked to talk to the manager.

The manager "wasn't available".

So I asked for her full name, and asked the associate to spell it.

Gave her my name and phone number. Told her I was in the middle of filing a police report regarding their selling of stolen goods and taking advantage of a person who had disabilities. I would appreciate a call back from the manager before I filed it. Gave them 10 minutes.

I got a call in 3 minutes.

Explained the situation to the manager, and she said the Big Kid could come in and pick out another phone. Said that she'd be there and personally take care of it.

I sarcastically said that I expected that he'd be getting a "clean" phone and one that hadn't been stolen. She assured me that he would.

I thought she'd say, "Well of course we don't sell stolen phones!"

You just WON'T believe what she actually said.

Not, "If we inadvertently get a phone that's been stolen, we notify the company and try to return it."

She said, "well that's why we changed the service to another carrier. You can't get a plan with the same company if the phone has been stolen."

WTF? Seriously.

Even though this worked out for us, Hubby is friends with the DA down in the city. He's going to give him all of the information tomorrow and let them handle it.

On a note with a high yuck factor, now that the Aspiring Adult has Big Kid's old phone, he went about deleting the old data and picture files that were stored there in order to make it his.

Unfortunately, Big Kid didn't get around to deleting the pics he took of Kitty in the bathtub before turning the phone over.

I kept the Aspiring Adult from poking his own eyeballs out, but he has definitely been traumatized.

See, like I said before---Big Kid is just still not right. WTF was he thinking?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clusterflucking and Update on Big Kid


Sorry I haven't been around, but I've had 12---no kidding---12 appointments regarding all the boys in the last week and a half. 9 of them were down in the city, which necessitates a minimum 45-minute drive each way.

Here's a funny. After days of warm weather, on Sunday night, we had 8 inches of snow. Monday morning, Hubby backed my car up the steep driveway (I'm a good driver, but a notoriously bad backer upper. All the crushed solar lights that line the driveway are a testament to that). He scraped my car off, kept it running to warm it up for me, and lifted the hood to check the windshield wiper fluid because the trek down the mountain was promising to be muddy and messy.

What did he find?

Rabbits. Live rabbits.

Really. They were laying on top of everything to find shelter from the snow.

Last year, I wrote about Big Kid's court case for disability benefits. Although he's been treated for his disabilities since Kindergarten with full documentation, and he has been extensively treated since his breakdown away at college, we had to go to court.

Even though 4 doctors and therapists who have treated him for over 10 years and a 5th doctor EMPLOYED by the social security administration to evaluate him on THEIR behalf concurred that he had a significant impairment that necessitated benefits (his medication alone costs over 500.00 a month without insurance), he was denied.

Why? Because he told his doctors that the only time he felt emotionally "normal" was when he smoked pot. He confessed to them that he would seek it out whenever and wherever he could. All of them agreed that self-medicating is not abnormal for people who have bi-polar disorder (one of his diagnoses). However, some pencil pusher with the SSA decided that he was only bi-polar because he smoked pot. The judge agreed.

Our advocate got a bit pissy with us because Big Kid had confessed this information to his docs.

But really??? WTF? If you can't tell your medical professionals---who are trying to make you better---then who the hell can you confess this to? All of his doctors got a bit indignant over the whole thing, because they KNOW that smoking pot doesn't cause the genetic disabilities that Big Kid has.

So for the past year during the appeal phase, Big Kid hasn't gotten high. He's been ready for a pee test 24/7.

Yesterday, we had several appointments. Big Kid was out of oxygen, so I brought a replacement tank down from the mountains. Kitty brought him to a location between her house and mine, so we could do a quick changeover and then I could run him around to his meetings.

We changed the tanks and then made a revolting discovery. Kitty forgot the "key" that opens the tanks in her other purse. Oy. We had to run all over kingdom come oxygenless to find a hardware store in an area none of us was familiar with. Finally we found an AutoZone and bought a pair of pliers.

Anyhoo, after our morning meetings and lunch, Big Kid had an appointment with his neuropsych. A couple of months ago after he got out of the hospital, I wrote about an issue we had with this doctor and his staff. Although I thought things were smoothed over, I might be wrong.

He basically accused Big Kid of being high at his appointment. The kid was tired from the lack of oxygen incident, and from all of his other meetings (we were at the college, and the campus is HUGE---he had to do a lot of walking). And on top of that, since his illness, he's just not right. He still has significant short-term memory problems, which is what we've been telling his doctors. He's set up for a complete cognitive and neurological evaluation in a few weeks.

The problem is not that the doctor thought Big Kid might be high. He was rambling in disjointed trains of thought which has been the norm since he got sick. The problem is that the doc might have put in his NOTES that the kid *appeared* to be high. Since we're submitting new evidence to support his disability appeal, when the SSA requests doctors' notes, they're going to specifically request anything that has to do with pot.

So today I have to convince our family doc (who has taken over Big Kid's recovery treatment) of the necessity of ordering a urine test at a lab immediately, so that we have documentation to support our assertion that although the boy might have appeared to be high, it was an effect from his illness, not from recreational drugs. And then I have to drive down from the mountains AGAIN to take him to pee in a cup.


How's YOUR week?


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Random Just Wonderings...

I've been having a few random thoughts rattling around in my brain, and thought I'd see what your take is.

Since I take law classes, I pay a lot of attention to lawsuits and court cases that are in the news. One thing has frequently puzzled me.

In many lawsuits over the past few years regarding the death of a child (either a minor or adult child) brought by parents, they often claim among their damages "future earnings" of said child. And they're often asking millions of dollars.

I can understand their pain and suffering, and wanting to get punitive damages if their child was killed by someone else's negligence. Really, really I do.

What I want to know is---as far as REAL damages are concerned after hospital or funeral expenses, etc...

Number one---what makes them think that their child would have grown up to be a multi-million dollar earner? Were there certain expectations because the child was gifted in some way? In one lawsuit in the last year, the "child" was like 24 and worked at 7-11.

And number two---what kind of parent expects their child to support them once the child has the potential to earn money? It's one thing if a parent is old and infirm, has few assets and the child is doing well financially. Maybe they might have expected $100,000 tops in help. But seriously, who expects their 21-year-old to start supporting them as soon as they get a job?

How do they justify that to a court, and to themselves?

Just wondering.

When I first started going on the internet, I made an agreement with Hubby. I wouldn't post identifying information about us.

Especially when I started blogging.

I HAVE posted a few pics of our guys, but only after they turned 18, and only with their permission. I suppose if someone was totally intent on stalking us, they would have a bit of luck if they went back quite a few years to gather info.

What I DON'T get is people who post a bunch of pictures on their Facebook page or blog of OTHER people who aren't their personal family members and include identifying information without asking permission.

This has happened to us twice.

One was a BBQ we held for a certain function. One of our grills is on our front deck, and the person took a picture that happened to include our house number in the background and then proceeded to name everyone in the picture with a "this was taken at Mr. Attila's house in the beautiful blah blah development" on his blog.

More recently, another friend posted a bunch of candid pictures on his Facebook page which included us and named us by name.

I just happened to run across them, because neither Hubby or I really do the Facebook thing. I have an account simply because I get a lot of invites and I don't want to be an asshat and decline them. LOL

Yes, only invited people are allowed to view the friend's pictures. But I really don't appreciate being posted there without my permission, and neither does Hubby.

I wrote a nice email asking our friend to take them down. He got quite pissy about it.

So what's the netiquette (sp) about this?

Anybody know?