Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I was talking to our attorney this morning who is helping us get guardianship for Katie. I told him about our experience last night with the psychiatrist and he said, "I think what you are finding out is that no good deed goes unpunished."

Boy, is he ever right. We were told by the folks at Richland New Hope that we would need an expert evaluation for Katie in order to get guardianship. They recommended Dr. Desai and told us he would charge a $25 fee for filling out the evaluation for the court.

Bear in mind that Katie has had a guardian since 1991. The reason we are applying now is because Mom recently passed away and Dad died several years ago. Katie has been her own guardian since September. 

Like good soldiers, we scheduled the appointment with the psychiatrist. We had to wait until we knew Katie would have some funds because without insurance the new patient visit was $195 on top of the $25 paperwork fee. 

After waiting an hour and 20 minutes for the doctor, we finally got in to see him. That makes me mad right there because why can't they schedule you for when they can actually see you? Don't get me started, though.

I handed the doctor the evaluation form from the guardianship packet I had and asked if he needed it or if he had his own copy. He informed me that he could not fill it out this visit, but that he would need THREE visits with Katie to determine if she was capable of taking care of herself. 

Let me assure you, a five question conversation would clear up that question, toot sweet. Here's how a typical conversation with Katie would go:
Doctor: "Katie, how old are you?"
Katie: "Nine."
Doctor: "Where do you live?"
Katie: "Grape Street." (Her address in Denver which she moved out of in 1989)
Doctor: "How much money is this?" (showing a quarter)
Katie: "A dollar."
Doctor: "What do you like to do?
Katie: "Isnee" (It will take the Dr. several attempts of Katie repeating this word before anyone understands that she is saying "Disney" which is what she wants to watch all day long."

Do you see what I'm saying? You are probably not an "expert" but I'm guessing that you would have no qualms stating for the record that Katie is in need of a guardian. I get that his professional reputation is on the line. I understand that he has to be concerned that someone would challenge this decision in court, but honestly, who would?

Source: None via FrouFruGal on Pinterest

Every family member clearly understands that Katie needs a guardian. No sane person would ever question this need, which means we probably need to be concerned about the less-rational people.

I was getting pretty upset with the doctor, because I wanted to make an informed decision about what he was saying and how much this was going to cost. If it was going to take 3 visits for his signature, we wanted to know how much those visits would cost.  Katie only has X amount of money from Social Security. We have to carefully budget her money. He couldn't/wouldn't tell us. We would have to discuss that with the girls out front.

We were done with this doctor. He was clearly incapable of understanding what we needed. He kept saying he needed to "treat" her. Um, I can't even get her to understand how important it is to wipe her butt after going number 2. What does he think he is going to treat in 3 visits? We asked the "girl out front" (she was 50+ if she was a day) how much follow-up appointments cost. She told us $80. So for a grand total of $380, and at least 6 or more hours wasted over the next three months, we too, could be the proud recipients of an "expert evaluation."
I can't begin to describe how upset I was, because it does start to feel like you're getting played. For example, we applied for Medicaid benefits for Katie on October 3rd, only to find out they have a 6-8 week backlog. We can expect to get a call from them late November or later if you factor in the holidays. This is only the first step of many to determine eligibility for Medicaid.

I already vented my frustration about the process of getting Katie day services. I started in July and we've yet to have her participating. In fact, my pissy email went unanswered yesterday by all parties.

This morning I called the attorney to see if the evaluation was even necessary. He doesn't seem to think it is and is going to check with the judge. Even if it is necessary, it turns out the evaluation can be filled out by a doctor as well. If we need to, I'll take Katie back to the doctor who did her physical to see if she'll fill out the papers for us.
Source: None via FrouFruGal on Pinterest

It can feel like a lonely world and while we have encountered challenges like the psychiatrist, we've also met some really amazing people, like our attorney. He's helping us pro-bono because he's so impressed that we're taking on this responsibility. Honestly, that baffles us a bit because what else are you going to do? But we will take all the help we can get, because believe me, we need it.




My favorite question the paratransit people asked Katie in her evaluation in Utah was-"What is your address?" Katie:"4"

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