Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Please Complete These Forms and Return ASAP

Just how old does my kid have to be before I stop being asked how old she was when she crawled?  Or said her first words?  Or what her Apgar score was?

That last one, I have been asked a million times and I have no idea what it is.  Apparently, I was given Audrey's score when I was in the hospital shortly after delivering her.  I don't remember anything that happened to me in the maternity ward except that my friend Christine brought me six huge chocolate chip cookies that I ate in one go.

Every time that we start with a new doctor, school, or therapy clinic, I have to fill out a raft of paperwork that asks variations of the same questions that I've been asked a million times before.  Does it really still matter?  And if it does, I'm gonna need more than just that little 1/4 centimeter long space to answer.

When did she crawl?  Well, she started scooting on her butt when she was about 11-12 months, then she gradually lurched more and more forward until she was leapfrogging with her legs behind her, until she finally crawled "right"/reciprocally at 19 months.  So I guess the short answer is 19 months, but I'd like her to get credit for some mobility before that.

First words?  How do you answer that when your kid starts saying words, but then loses them, and then doesn't say much of anything except "word approximations", which is a diplomatic way of saying that she made the sound "gah" for every word ending in the letter G, for years afterwards.  Do I say the age she was with the first round of words or the second?  Cuz there's like 3 years in between.
Not a good sign

Then there is the patient history checklist which I always love because it clues you into the symptoms that the doctor/clinic/provider thinks are somehow insightful.  I've seen everything from "floating stools" and "long eyelashes" to "inability to tan" and "red ring around your anus".  Hee.  They said Uranus.

I'm never sure how honest to be in the family history section.  Anxiety? Depression?  Mental Illness?  Dementia?  Do they really need to know?  Hmmm... I could go the blame-your-mother route.  That's always seemed to work for me in the past.

And as long as I'm lying, I might as well keep to myself her daily ration of chocolate and red dye #40 when I fill out that food diary.

I'm quite sure that I've spent dozens of hours that I will never get back filling out forms on behalf of Audrey.  And invariably, when we get to our appointment, it is almost always the case that no one has bothered to look at them.  Which really chaps my anus.

36 comments:

  1. Seriously, I just read the first sentence. And the answer is. forever. I've learned to just make copies of things. Especially the school stuff. The same thing will be asked EVERY YEAR! in most cases lol For 6 years, I just send in the copied school info with a new signature. *smh* FOREVER!!!!!

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  2. Those forms chaps my anus too! I can barely remember my own name anymore so forget the Apgar score. My kid didn't bother crawling - went straight from sitting up to standing in those -what do you call those things(?) to walking. And yeah, can't really explain that echolalia when the space is smaller than the word...

    Btw, sad that you shorten the show but it did take me three separate starts to get thru it without interruptions! So jealous of your ABA party help! I'm gonna work that angle here soon. Have you guys re-thought doing the show in the evening?

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  3. First words- seriously, I write he spoke between 2-4 years.

    When they don't have enough room write ASK ME. You'll be so surprised how often they don't even LOOK at those things. I've left some doctors for that. My time is valuable too. I took the time to provide this information.. you should be ASKING me. But not before reminding them that they should really READ those. Think about it.. you fill them out, then they come into the room and ASK you most of the crap thats on the paperwork! That will throw me over the edge. *sigh*
    Make yourself a cheat sheet of all of that stuff. I keep mine in my walled next to the list of medications we've used over the years that were horribly reacted to..lol

    Can you tell, im having one of "those" days?

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  4. While reading this entry I cried out of empathy, frustration and resignation. I have gotten to the point of having digital images of history forms on a memory card and a flash drive, print them out and if they have any other questions they can ask. My time is as important as theirs, the info doesn't change - and I get that much more time to do what needs doing OR just BE with my kids.

    Hugs, tears, and understanding to all the parents who read this blog entry and recognize themselves. <3

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  5. Those fracking forms. Endless. At least it gives us something to do while they keeps us waiting for an hour in their fracking waiting rooms. I ask the husband to fill them out now. I don't need to relive every delayed milestone and every "When did you first suspect something might be wrong?" Jerks.

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  6. It chaps a lot more than my anus.

    I was just e-mail dumpped a whole new set of forms from our School Psychologist yesterday and it was the exact same thing. I put a big X through the pages and wrote, then highlighted: "Refer to the previous million other forms."

    We'll see what they say...

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  7. ha. I don't know the APGAR score of either daughter. Obviously they weren't bad or they would have told me. And when the school district social worker calls me to ask questions I'll feel like I am repeating myself for the tenth million time. And if the school nurse for some f'ing reason asks me how many pregnancies and births and children I've had and they don't match up and ask why? I just cringe because I wonder wth does that have to do with her having Autism? blech on all this crap.

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  8. Lizbeth, I LOVE your style. Oh my god, like, you know, totally?

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  9. I feel the same way. I feel all judged and guilty when I cant remember stuff. My boys are 16 months apart and I constantly confuse them. I have notebooks and folders of all their school and medical paperwork, because why would anyone expect me to memorize that? Glad I'm not alone :)

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  10. I hate when they ask those questions. I can hardly the last time I went to the bathroom without a kid standing at the door, much less exactly what month my son started rolling over.

    All of that stuff you were saying? Yeah, I force it on them. I take their forms, turn them over, write on the sides, fill in every white gap with words. They want me to answer their questions, do they? Then they're going to get EVERY single detail I can provide. At his diagnosis appointment, the lead said, "You were SO thorough." I laughed out loud for real.

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  11. amen and again I say amen. Right now I am working on filling out paperwork for a diagnostic place my sons pediatrician wants us to go too so that J-Bird can get an official placement on the spectrum for school. This bad boy is probably close to 50 pages long. I want so badly to just write in "I have no idea and no amount of torture will make me remember" but alas I think they would frown at that. : /

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  12. The start of every school year means TWO stacks of forms for Owen, one from the host school, and the other from the Deaf school.

    I used to get into medical detail about the clusterfuck that was his birth, now I just write Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and ECMO and imagine the reader scratching their anus.

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  13. YES. I have had to fill out forms longer than my college applications. For us the worst question is how many words our son has in his vocabulary- no one tells you if "num" can really count for milk at age 3 1/2, or if you count the fact that he said the word "noodle" three times in March of 2010 and never again since then.

    I'm pretty sure no one ever told me his apgar score. The doctors and nurses all ran out of the room the second it was over, probably because I was yelling some not so nice things about them not getting me an epidural in time.

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  14. Kind of reminds me of filling out a job application - they ask for the address and phone number of your previous three employers....Who remembers the zip code and phone number of the place they worked at 10 years ago????

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  15. "Floating stools", "long eyelashes", "inability to tan" and "red ring around anus." Yes, please! Sounds like your dream date!!

    Btw, talk about bass ackwards on the your anus joke.

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  16. Lizbeth - You are my new role model.

    Family history? For the depression and anxiety, I am tempted to say that depression started when he was diagnosed, and the severe anxiety started when they sent me the forms.

    Also, I love how they ask how my kid compares to NT kids. When I answered that he was my only kid, how much insight into that did they think I could really give?!?! I was working on a degree in engineering when he was born. I was around 'odd and socially awkward' people all day long. He wasn't outside the norm for me.

    I am recently married and my husband is shocked when he sees these forms. "How can they ask this many questions?" For me, it has become such a routine thing that a 20-page form seems almost expected.

    Last point: "red ring around your anus"... Ring around the anus, Pocket full of ... full of...anyone think of a word that rhymes with 'anus'?

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  17. Have any of you had to complete a family tree with aunts, uncles, siblings, and grandparents that included birthdays, any illnesses and their duration, medications, and cause of death?

    I'm totally naive. Until now, I hadn't even considered that this carefully researched novella I supplied would not have been read. I'm off to get some preparation H.

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  18. I feel your pain!

    This is totally off subject, but reading this reminded me of one of my teen boys filling out a medical form. When he got to the question about his sex, instead of putting Male, he put "Yes, please."

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  19. I hate filling out forms. We moved a lot - so I'd have a set for school, for service providers, for the shrink, and for the therapist, then one more for the pediatrician.

    The kid's almost 16, who really cares when he was potty trained?

    I really hate listing all of the hospitalizations. Never enough room for that question.

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  20. You've captured my own dislike of these forms perfectly!

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  21. I think Lizbeth is my new hero too. I find that as time goes on, I am writing a whole bunch of 'etc, etc' after a few words. I swear they don't read them anyway.

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  22. I hate those forms. I think I fill them out differently every time.

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  23. @Rhonda: I was hoping for some assurances from those with older kids that it does stop at some point. Guess not :(

    @Karen V: I would be in favor of trying an evening show, but BD has to wash and set his back hair.

    @Lizbeth: You are our hero. Do let us know if they expel your kid.

    @BWMFA: Ew. Way TMI for an effing school nurse!

    @Christy: Your kids are still young...you'll be going the Lizbeth route before too long. Seriously, you eventually reach the point of total saturation on the form thing and then you just don't give an eff anymore.

    @OneRichMother: When they are that long I just don't even know where to begin. I've sometimes asked which are the most important because it's such a humongous time suck.

    @Christy#2: Exactly! Does noodle count or doesn't it???!?!?!

    @Alisha: Pocket full of heinous? Stain us? Ack. This is gonna bug me now...

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  24. I feel your pain. One of my twins has had some motor delays so we've been through a handful of Drs and therapists with countless forms ot fill out.

    I have 3 kids, close in age (twins + 1) and I just finished filling out the Kdg forms for the older two...I dread the day when all 3 have school forms to fill out.

    ~*~*~*~*~
    April is Autism Awareness Month. I'm dedicating my blog all month to Autism.

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  25. I totally guess and make stuff up if I can't remember. It's too painful to try.I'm not going to waste time strolling down nightmare lane, when I know they barely even read it. Besides, while I'm in a waiting room I like to catch up on the O mag. You know, "10 ways to organize your closet." Not that I'll ever have time to organize a closet but If I'm ever under house arrest, I'll be ready!

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  26. Completely agree with you 100%. Especially on the line that is given that's only about an inch long. (Past hospital stays) This one could be typed out in 6pt font and single spaced and STILL be three pages long.

    Both of my kids had apgar scores of 9 and 9. The only time they ever scored high on anything. I'm remembering this one for life.

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  27. Truer words have never been spoken! Great post, Lynn!

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  28. I so agree I just had to do this and I was so lost. He,s 4yrs old and my 3rd child my oldest is 18 yrs old and I work full time waitressing. The only 1 I knew for sure was that he was pottied trained at 3 yrs old and that was because the weekend of his 3rd bday he potty trained himself. Words? what words? He's nonverbal he used to say no and for 1 day he waved and said bye bye. Thank goodness a lady at Hope say down and helped me fill them out. It took almost 2 hours and I guessed on most.

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  29. My son is 19 and I am still asked what his Apgar's were.... 6, 8 and 9 (at birth, 1 minute and 5 minute scores). Crawled at 5 years, first words that were understood 3 yrs and 6 1/2 months, walked at 7 months. You memorize it after the first dozen times. My favourite question is when did you first realize something was different. 14 months. First therapy 2 1/2 years old.

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  30. I hate those forms too. Especially the ones that want to know the Apgar scores. I wasn't privy to that information with my 2nd child. They were too concerned wondering if he was breathing OK directly after birth. Oh, and when it's obvious they didn't read the form, I say "It's right there in the form I filled out," so they have to look.

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  31. Lizbeth - I heart you.

    Totally hate those forms. Because my daughter was always that "grey area kid". I never felt like "LOOK at her doing ____!!" It was always more like "Is she doing __ or is she not?" How do they qualify crawling or sitting up or anything? is it when you can do it without falling over or is just being put in a tripod and holding it a second before you fall over sitting up? Walking too! Or talking...because she never HAD words so she never regressed, but she also still has a lot of word approximations. I have no idea what her first word was. Does signing count?

    Maybe that's why the forms for september are still sitting in a pile on my table.

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  32. Is it weird that I'm always sort of proud of myself when I fill out those forms? I am always shocked that I remember any of it.

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  33. I'm really sorry about uranus...you know being chapped and all...but tell me-has there ever been a red ring around it? After going through this with three of my four-I have learned that in some cases it is best to just make shit up...really.

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  34. Oh, oh, oh. We have EXACTLY that issue with the first-words thing. Drives me up a freakin' wall. Even now I try to make word-lists (well, actually word-approximation lists) and come up cranky, because I never know whether to count any given word if I haven't heard it in the past week. Words come and go. Skills come and go. Deal with it, paper-pushers!!

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  35. Oh oh oh... and the best is that MOST of this paper? Gets looked at once AT BEST and shoved in a drawer somewhere. Seriously.

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