Monday, 8 June, 2015
My daughter celebrated a milestone birthday. If she had any interest or understanding in such matters, she is now eligible to vote. If she possessed the faculties, she could try for a driver’s license. In the eyes of the law and of the medical community, she is now an adult. Such dramatic changes, all because of another year of living.
These changes became effective at the stroke of midnight, 27 May.
Despite the changes, much remains the same. She still adores Harry Potter and High School Musical. She wishes Santa would leave the Christmas gifts on the back porch because she’s uncomfortable with anyone, even a saint, wandering the house after hours. Watching Disney vacation videos on You Tube remains her favorite past time, and not a day goes by without her asking to revisit her favorite princesses.
Regardless of her advancing age, she remains a perpetual, precious little girl who requires help every day. I dose her medicine and remind her to brush her teeth and do her exercises. She relies on me for many self-help activities from donning her bracing to cutting her meat. I schedule her appointments and be certain she attends.
She certainly refuses to go voluntarily to a doctor.
Yet I am no longer allowed in the office when she visits. I was shocked to discover from long-standing medical relationships that my input is not required. HIPPA prevents discussions between her team of medical professionals and me, the woman who’s cared for her over eighteen years if you consider the time in utero.
So, to continue to participate in her care, I must hire an attorney with money I don’t have and petition the state for Guardianship of my little girl. The courts will assign her an attorney of her own, and then they will determine if I am fit to provide for her. My family and I will be scrutinized. The process will take a few months, and I pray she doesn’t require serious care in the interim. If I am granted guardianship, I will be obligated to fill out papers yearly to reassure the courts of my continued involvement in her well-being.
I gaze into her trusting eyes and know I’ll do what is necessary, despite resenting the necessity. The courts showed no interest in her care before she became an adult. The state rightly trusted I’d do what is best for my young lady until now. What’s changed? What calls my previously impeccable credentials into question?
A magical number, the age of adulthood.
Gee, I hope the Courts find me a worthy caregiver.
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