Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ok, NOW I've got something

....and it's about health care. Those 2 words are ALL over the news, the internet, and every other conceivable place these days, as President Obama and the Congress struggle over "reform" of the US health care system. So in my typical nerd fashion, I've been thinking over this topic, and there are lot of things I don't understand. I'm gonna throw some of them out here, and if you have any health care background or actual knowledge of the topic (as opposed to my ramblings, LOL), please chime in and educate me. :)


I am a teacher by trade, and a mom. Not a nurse, doctor, insurance agent, accountant, or anything else that might give me actual understanding of the following topic. The ideas to be stated here are mine and not the intellectual property of anyone who understands how the system truly works!

Since becoming an adult, I've had exactly ONE kind of health insurance--the kind offered to employees of my state. As a teacher, it was just a given that I'd enroll in this insurance when hired, and I've kept it ever since. When I stopped being a state employee (at Mr. L's birth), K just took us onto his state-employee policy, and now he covers all 4 of us. So I'll freely admit to not being an expert on the various types of policies, coverage, or options.

Our insurance is pretty good, I suppose, as these things go. Even with the catastrophic health situations that have occurred for us in the last 8 years, we've not had to declare bankruptcy or sell any vital organs to pay anything that insurance didn't cover, etc. And because the boys were born in a state hospital, and this is the state insurance..........they scratch each other's backs, I suppose, and charge lower rates to each other than they would ordinarily. Energizer is the one in our family for whom the insurance has paid the most over the course of his life.....his total is about $175,000 right now, lifetime. And that covers a traumatic birth at 27 weeks, and 11 weeks of hospitalization. Mr. L's is about $100,000, mine's about $40,000. K hasn't used it nearly as much, since he's exempt from the whole pregnancy/childbirth/life-threatening illness thing.

But as I strain my brain to try and understand the ongoing debate over reforming the system, I've concluded that I must not really grasp the way things work, and why they work that way. We pay thousands of dollars per year in premiums for this insurance, whether we use the coverage or not. If we went into a typical doctor's office, clinic, etc, the first question we'd be asked is "do you have insurance?" If we said no, we'd likely be denied care. We could go to a free clinic (some areas have them), or the hospital emergency room, and we'd be treated no matter what, right? Am I pretty close so far?

Further, I believe it's true that insurance companies do not pay the doctors/hospitals the same cost for treatment that is actually billed, or what I would pay if I did it on my own. Say I needed to have a suspicious "spot" removed at the dermatologist, as I did back in the spring. I have the procedure done, the doctor bills me AND the insurance company. They'll state that the procedure cost $189 dollars, let's say, but that the "estimated insurance contribution" is $77. And I owe the rest. Or is it just 20% of the rest? Or is there a copay, then 20%? So somewhere along the line, someone's determined that what I had done is worth $189 and they charge that, but someone ELSE (likely with no medical degree) decides it's really only worth $77, and that's all they'll pay. But if I have already paid my "out of pocket maximum" for the year, then the insurance will STILL only pay $77........and the dermatologist just takes that and considers the account paid. Less than half of what was charged, but that's ok somehow. But if, by some strange chance, I did not have insurance YET was actually treated by this doctor, you can bet your sweet %&*#$ that I'd be paying the full $189, or becoming intimately acquainted with collection agencies.

How did we get to this point? It wasn't always like this, you know. Think back to old TV shows or movies you've watched about the Wild West or Little House on the Prairie. Back then, if you were sick or hurt, you got the doctor to come and he did what he could for you, which probably wasn't much that actually helped. You may not have had money to pay the doctor, but there was no such thing as insurance. So what would you do? You might give the doctor a chicken, or a bushel of apples, something you knitted or something you baked. How the hell did the system evolve from that to this?

The only thing I can come up with is this: As technology has evolved, and medical knowledge has improved, costs increased. In Laura Ingalls' day, it didn't matter if you couldn't afford intricate surgeries or expensive therapies because those things didn't even exist! So as costs increased, somebody thought up the idea of issuing "health insurance" to help cover the costs. People already had fire insurance, even back to the 1700s, so the idea was already out there. A few people got this new-fangled insurance, most didn't. Then more chose to get it, then more, and costs continued to go up. And as doctors raised their prices, charging more for the same service (whether warranted or not), the suits at the insurance companies did NOT raise the amount they'd pay for that same service. But the doctors took it anyway, figuring they'd still make out ok with that lesser amount AND that the people who weren't insured would be paying the higher rate anyway.

The premiums for insurance kept going up as well, even though the amounts they'd pay for your care stayed flat. Premiums reached a point that many people couldn't even fully pay for them, so employers began to "subsidize" the coverage for their workers. Then that got to be too expensive for the companies, especially small ones, so some began to drop their workers' coverage or require workers to pay 100% of premiums. Yet somehow it's reached a point that everyone is expected to....nay, required to have insurance. How did this happen? Costs just keep going up and up and up, so doctors figure that NO ONE could pay the full amount on their own...therefore, insurance is a must if they ever plan to get paid.

Here are some radical thoughts I've had: (bear with me, they might seem insane)

How much more money to spend on my family's health care would I have if we didn't pay for insurance premiums every month? Couldn't I use that $4,000-$5,000 per year to pay for routine care, and even a good bit of care beyond just checkups? Could the whole insurance thing just be scrapped altogether, or at least made much more optional than it now appears to be?

If doctors are ok with accepting insurance payments that are FAR below the billed amount that they charge for a service, couldn't they just charge that lesser amount to start with? If they can cover their costs with the $77 for my dermatology visit, why are they charging nearly 3 times that? When people complain so much about the "high cost of health care" and the fact that many do not seek the care they need because of cost, it has to make you wonder WHY the costs are so high? If the $77 rate is good enough for Blue Cross to pay, it should be good enough for me to pay too.

Well, I haven't created world peace or solved the pressing problems of our time. All that I've done is show how little I know about the topic of our health care system and its need for reform. But it does need reform, that's clear. Preventative and routine care is important, and everyone should be able to receive that, the way I see it. Even without insurance. If costs were more reasonable, it would put this kind of care within reach of a lot more people. I just wish, though, that the people "in the know" who are actually going to create, debate, and vote on any reform plans would come to this daunting task with an open mind, open heart, and caring spirit. A life is not worth less or less in need of saving just because that person is, what can we do to make sure appropriate care is available to all, not just some?

And the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Bill O'Reillys of the world......SHUT UP! Quit spreading your crap about things that the health care proposals in Washington do NOT include! The bill does not require elderly people to make a plan with a government nurse about when and how they want to die. Please. :( Nor does it plan to "ration" care for anyone, or pay for care for illegal immigrants, or for abortions. So just stop the scare tactics, and try to actually use your brain and THINK about the topic at hand rather than spouting off ridiculous claims that just polarize the country even further.

So how was that? Too much of a heavy-duty topic for a Friday night? ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I've got nothing

Nothing witty, nothing funny, nothing exciting or profound to share. Been hoping I'd come up with something, and have been postponing doing a new blog entry so that I could wait until inspiration hit, but it hasn't. ;) I guess I'll just ramble, ponder and write in a stream-of-consciousness style. It's midnight as I write this, so it should be really interesting, LOL!

Summer's at an end around here--and no, I don't mean summer as measured by the heat index. That's still roaring along in the 90s every day. What I mean is that the most dreaded 2 words of the entire school year for band directors have arrived..........BAND CAMP. I think the whole experience should qualify under "cruel and unusual punishment", and I've been involved in it for plenty of years, so you know I can say that. K is there every day now, 8 am-5:30 pm. Next week, 8-8. I'm going over in the afternoons to run a sectional and remind myself that I was once a trumpet player and once a teacher as well. We're having to ship the kids off to a babysitter for 2 hours every day, but it looks as if they're having fun and at least it gives them a change of scenery and me a little Mom break too.

Found out a few days ago that one of Mr. L's teachers for this year has changed grade levels, so he's getting someone new to the school. I hate the unknown (as it relates to Mr. L) and am really really REALLY hoping this new teacher is a good one. He'll actually have 3 teachers this year, which means 3 for me to keep up with, 3 to educate in the ways of Asperger's and Mr. L in particular, 3 personalities, 3 styles of teaching, etc. {sigh} Seems like all I'm hearing these days is "3rd grade is SUCH a step up from 2nd, so different, so much harder". Great, I can't wait. Academically, I know without a doubt that he can handle it. Emotionally/socially/organizationally? Ehhh.....not so much, I'm afraid. In a lot of ways, he's still so immature, NONworldly, etc. And that's good to some extent, I guess, but if we want him to have any hope socially we've got to start promoting age-appropriate language and actions. WTF am I talking about? Well how about this........most 8 year olds aren't going to call it a "boo boo" when you scrape your knee, cut your finger, etc.

I just ordered what looks to be a great new book from Amazon the other day, The Hidden Curriculum. Can't wait to read it, memorize it, plaster its rules to my forehead or tattoo them on my arms or something. I posted a week ago on Hopeful Parents and went on and on about needing to create lists for Mr. L so that he can know what is and is NOT ok to say to various kinds of people. Someone suggested this book in her comment to my post, and I'm very grateful. Looks like it was actually written just for us! :) I'll review the book once I've devoured it. Give me a day or so, ok? :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

I'm just full of these cute names for my blog posts, huh? ;)

~ Well, it's the last full week of life as we know it, LOL.......meaning, the last week before K starts the dreaded BAND CAMP and we essentially don't see him for the next 3 months. Every year that goes by makes me hate marching season more and more. When I get done with my own schooling, and am actually earning a salary again for a change, I swear we will make it happen for K to get out of doing marching stuff ever again. He can "refuse" that part of his contract; it means less money, fewer contracted days, but it will be well worth it. No more Friday nights wasted at meaningless football games, no more 6 am-11 pm Saturday contest trips, no more 3 or 4 nights a week at practice and getting home just at bedtime. :(

~ Hoping to have a yard sale this weekend, something we've needed to do for about 5 years, LOL. There are things that we've had in our garage, unpacked/unused, ever since moving to this house. There are furniture items we don't use anymore, baby stuff and clothes, and countless other things that make our garage look like a tornado hit it! Pray for no rain!

~ so fortunate that this area has so many water parks, because the kids love them and are really becoming good swimmers, especially Mr. L. We went to Splash Zone today and had a ball! Mr. L is swimming underwater like a champ; I'm so proud of him! A little daredevil-ish too....he took K with him on the BIG water slide over and over and over, while Energizer and I hung out in the regular pool area.

And tonight, at bedtime, he gave me one of those rare peeks into what he's thinking, how his mind works, etc. He was telling me that something had happened at the start of one of their slides down's a two-person "tube", and he was in front. Thought K was seated and ready too, but he wasn't. So Mr. L pushed off and started to slide, and says K had to really jump to get in before the float was gone! Then, a few minutes later, he was almost in tears, saying "I just can't stop thinking about Dad and how far he had to jump to get on the slide with me, and how much he could have gotten hurt if he had missed getting on". He really did start to cry, then insisted he had to get up and go to the bathroom to "wipe away my tears". He has got to be the most sensitive kid, with the biggest heart, of anyone I've ever seen. :) :)

~ Energizer fell asleep in my arms as we sat in the recliner tonight. I reminded him, as his eyes drooped, of how he used to do that every night when he was a baby. I'd give him a bottle, rock him, and then take him to his room after he was asleep (and after I'd gotten my fix of snuggle time with him). No, not the textbook bedtime routine, and probably frowned on by most people, but I wouldn't trade those times for the world. He was soooo wiped out by today's "water park adventures" (his words), so he just snuggled up in my lap with a throw blanket and some stuffed animals and let me rock him. The last thing he said was "I love you", followed by a sweet, sloppy kiss. I asked him earlier today if he'd always let me snuggle with him, even when he got older and bigger.....he said, "yes, sometimes I will". Please Lord, let there be some of those times! I can't bear the thought of not having those special moments. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"if I could turn back time...." a line from a cheesy old Cher song, one which you'll now have stuck in your head for the next day or so. You're welcome. ;)

But if I could somehow do what Cher speaks of, I'd go back to the Fall of 2003, and speak to my "newly pregnant for the second time" self. And if I could resist the urge to wring my own neck out of frustration, I'd want to talk to myself in some very forceful language. VERY forceful. What would I say? Something like:

"Don't fall for that stuff! You know, the only-in-a-first-pregnancy crap! Do your research, don't be complacent. Get second opinions, third opinions, 7,964th opinions. Assume the worst, and prepare for it. Drive your butt down to the medical university on the day you get the positive pregnancy test.....and tell them you're not leaving until they hook you up with a peri or maternal/fetal medicine doc."

Or, better yet, go back in time even further, maybe 2002 or so, and say:

"Get the underlying disorders tests run! You don't know what the hell that means? Look it up, talk to people, learn everything you can. There ARE things that can be done for some women to keep it from happening again, so don't let them tell you otherwise. Be strong, insist on knowing and doing everything humanly possible to make the next pregnancy healthy."

So why am I obsessing about this now? Well, truth be told, it's not just now. It's pretty much been a constant (albeit in the background sometimes) ever since my pregnancy with Energizer. More specifically, since his birth, and since I became a part of the online community of preeclampsia survivors. I've learned so much about the disease itself from my dear cyber-friends, and learned so much about what I could have done, should have done if I'd only known.....and things might have been so very different.

I'm so angry at myself when I look back. I remember telling people early on in the pregnancy "oh, well it usually only happens in first pregnancies, and they're gonna watch me closely" etc. {{{sigh}}} Lot of freakin good that did, huh? I was so blissfully ignorant, so naive, so willing to just accept whatever I was told, and I can't believe I was so stupid. :(

I'm not going to try again, I'm really not. Really. I mean it. Cross my heart and hope to die.....ooops, bad choice of words, considering that another pregnancy might actually cause that phrase to become all-too-true. But among the PE survivor friends I have, I'm one of the "old ladies", and there are still plenty of them who are young enough to try again AND equipped with the knowledge and resources that I didn't have in either of my pregnancies. So there's a mini-baby-boom going on right now in my online community, which is wonderful and exciting, of course. But....

****embarrassing, selfish and ridiculous content follows*******

I can't help feeling inadequate, like a failure all over again, whenever one of those ladies makes it through a full-term healthy pregnancy after PE. Some of them have no trouble at all and the pregnancy is basically smooth and easy. Others, knowing what they do now about their health condition, etc, work very hard to enable a long, healthy pregnancy. They take supplements, injections, spend long weeks on bedrest, etc, and they manage to reach that elusive goal that I never did--full term delivery, no NICU, healthy baby and Mom.

Pathetic, huh? No one has ever accused me of doing anything wrong in my pregnancies, nor would they. The good health and success of my friends' pregnancies does not somehow reflect badly on me or make anyone think less of me. I'm just doing it to myself, it's my problem, I know that. Truth is, the emotional wound of my experiences is still very raw, and seeing my friends "beat PE" brings out the hurt in me again even while I celebrate their healthy babies. There's a thin layer of healing skin over the wound, so that when you look at it from the outside you might not even know what lies underneath.

What's underneath is a hole, deep in the emotional storehouse of experiences that bind women together as mothers. When a woman is pregnant, talk among the other women naturally turns to their labor/delivery stories. Nope, I got nothing. Women proudly photograph their blossoming bellies and share with everyone they know that visible, tangible evidence of the new life growing inside them. The pics get attached to emails, posted on websites, plastered all over Facebook, and framed on the wall for posterity. But you've got to have a big belly in order to photograph again, I got nothing.

And nothing I can do now, or could ever do, will change any of that, or fill the gaping hole with those missing memories and experiences that I never enjoyed. People that I dearly love and have known for years in cyberspace may someday be blessed with the chance to have those experiences, and I wish them only the best. Bravo to them for being their own best advocates, doing the research, getting the tests done and conquering the horrible scourge of preeclampsia. But allow me the indulgence of wishing, wondering, "if I could turn back time".....

Monday, July 13, 2009

bumming, not sure why

It's not Friday, but I feel like I need another Friday Fragments post........just random tidbits of crap that are going on in my life that I want to write about. Nothing profound and life-changing today, I'm afraid. (as if it ever is, LOL!) Maybe we could call it "Monday Morsels". ;)

**The last two nights I have had dreams that I decided to return to my previous (and truly soul-crushing) job, rather than go back to college for Music Therapy as I'm actually doing. WTF? I don't usually put much stock into the interpretation of dreams, but I can't figure out for the life of me why I'm dreaming this stuff.

**Had a party at the house on Saturday night, and am still mildly pissed off about the sparse attendance. Mostly upset at the local friends who never really responded to the invitation other than a "not sure, we'll let you know" etc. I'm sorry.......I thought we were all adults here, and understood what manners were. Don't give me the "I'm so busy, the kids, etc" excuse. I've got 2 kids too, and I'll bet you the minimum salary for a major league baseball player ($400 K in case you wondered) that raising MY little guys is just a tad tougher than the healthy, brilliant and oh-so-NT kids you were blessed with. But I am also sure that when you invite us to something, we're there. Grrrrr......

**Took Mr. L to social skills group today, and it occurred in the therapy practice's brand-new clinic space, which is INCREDIBLE! So nice and roomy, colorful, modern, welcoming, etc and the therapists seemed really proud to show it to us. :) This is a nice thing, considering we'll be visiting this clinic 2x weekly until the end of time, unless something drastic changes.

**Feeling frustrated about weight again. Haven't actually weighed myself even since we got back from the Disney trip, but I know I've been "emotional eating" more than I'd like and I can feel the pounds coming back on. Those 6-7 lbs. I fought so hard to lose over the last couple of months of school? They're baaaackkkkk. Or at least I think they are. {{sigh}} I did try running yesterday though, and kind of liked it (is that weird?). No one else in my family either wants to do it or even can do it (K has knee issues), and I don't relish the thought of saying "bye, see you guys later, going for a run". All 3 of them will be playing a game, watching something on TV, etc and I'll be out there sweating......not sure that's going to happen very often. Maybe after school starts. But see, that's my problem. With me, there's always an excuse, always a reason to procrastinate. :(

So anyway, I've gotta get out of this funk. I know it's a funk because just thinking about tomorrow and what we might do makes me tired (keep in mind, all 4 of us are on summer vacation for a couple more weeks, setting our own schedules or LACK of any schedule, etc). I end up thinking "oh, I don't feel like doing that, maybe we could just stay home" even if doing that means going to the movies or shopping. And I'm snapping at the kids way more than I should, more than I typically do, but then I hate myself for the way I sound. :(

Guess this should have been called "Melancholy Monday Morsels"............

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fragments

Ok, I'm trying something new......thanks to Jen for the idea of Friday Fragments!


Friday Fragments, the Water Park Edition

~ Took the family to a local water park today, and they loved it. I did too. What I hate is how it seems as if NO ONE monitors their kids in public places anymore, except me and K, that is. :(

~ On our way to the water park, we drove by the kiddos' school to look at teacher assignments posted on the door today. WOO HOO, Energizer got the teacher I asked for, the teacher he absolutely MUST have for success in Kindergarten. *sigh of relief* Mr. L will have 3 third grade teachers (all kids rotate between them), so it really doesn't matter who he is assigned to for "homeroom".

~ A sweet but heartbreaking scene I observed at the water park: A dad, gray hair, probably late 40s or older, with his son, approximately age 11. Holding hands, walking all around the spraying fountains together, etc. Something made me look closer, and I noticed the son putting his other hand over his ear and cringing as they walked under a waterfall. I watched for a few more seconds, and saw that the boy's swim trunks were loose and drooping a bit, exposing a pair of what we called "swimmies" know, the colorful swim diaper things that babies and toddlers often wear in the pool. So, I made my educated guess/assumption that this is a child on the autism spectrum. Could be wrong, I suppose, but I'm pretty sure. Anyway, I kept sneaking glances at them, watching how carefully the dad walked the child through all kinds of water "obstacles" .....under, over, through, etc. Water wasn't deep, maybe a foot at the most, and Dad and son explored it all. Watching them just really touched me, how good the Dad seemed to be with him, etc, and then there's always that "but for the grace of God" thought too if you know what I mean........

~ A week ago, I had a moment of temporary insanity and invited some friends over for a party to be held at my house on Saturday night, July 11. WTF was I thinking? Yes I know, these families have almost all had gatherings at their homes (which we've attended), and now we ought to return the favor and have something here, but OMG the amount of cleaning and crap I've had to do in this house to get ready. And there's still tons more, and only 20 hours to go until they get here! K keeps telling me it doesn't matter, they all know we have kids and our house won't look 100% perfect, but I just can't stand the thought of having people in here unless we're at least on 97% (*or better, of course).

~ Speaking of the party, got any good margarita recipes? I decided to make an interesting flavor or two, beyond just the standard kind, and am still looking for ideas. Comment away if you've got anything!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

doubting, again

Crappy day with little Energizer today. *sigh* I'm just exhausted from all that we've dealt with from him today, and when days like this come, I start doubting again.....worrying about the future, doubting our decision about medication, wondering how in the hell he's going to make it in "real school" this fall, much less in "real life" for the next 75 years or so. *even bigger sigh*

We started trying meds early last fall, September or October, I think. The first one we tried, Tenex, did nothing for him but make him very VERY sleepy. He was in a gymnastics class and falling asleep while listening to instructions from the teacher. :( Oh, but the impulsiveness, aggression, violence, "wildness"? Still there just as much, or even more it seemed. In November, after he was unceremoniously kicked out of our preschool, I called the ped in desperation and she started us on Focalin. He's tried the 2.5 mg short-acting tablets, and the 5 mg XR capsules.

The thing is, Focalin REALLY works for him. Makes him a tiny bit sleepy at times, but other than that, all we get is good stuff......listening, sitting still when asked to, sweet disposition, no aggression, basically an angel. So what we've got in our house is a Jekyll and Hyde now---without Focalin, holy terror; with Focalin, a joy to have around.

Today, we were half unpacked from our quick trip to visit family for the 4th, and I couldn't find the XR capsules when I needed to give him one this morning. We usually do XR in the morning, and then follow up with a short-acting tablet around 3 or 4 pm if needed to get us through the evening. But we were in a hurry for church, and I'm dashing around looking for the flipping pill bottle......not a pretty picture. Eventually, I gave him one of the tablets instead, figuring that was better than nothing, and it was, for a while.

We'd planned a grocery store outing for the afternoon, and as the hour approached we saw the 2.5 mg wearing off. How could we tell? The maniacal laughter, the near-constant running, seeming inability to stop and/or listen, and the number of times I have to resort to "ONE.........TWO....." etc. I mixed up another 2.5 mg tablet into lemonade (our preferred method of consumption) and he drank it as we walked to the car and got loaded up. The store is only 1/2 mile away, and clearly the med did NOT kick in as quickly as I hoped it would. Can you say "shopping trip from hell?" Good job, boys and girls, I knew you could!

Standing up constantly in the stupid freaking "car" contraption that he insists on riding in, grabbing anything he can touch on the store shelves, nonstop chatter about wanting a cookie, wanting ice cream, etc. Eventually, getting out of said "car" but insisting on pushing the car instead.......pushing it WAY too fast, pushing it into the back of people's legs and feet, and just generally acting like a monster who apparently was never granted the gift of hearing. Or of parents, I guess, which is probably what the other shoppers thought.

So, in one of my finer parenting moments, I made an ass of myself in front of the store staff by jerking his hands off of the cart handle just milliseconds before it would have crashed into our bagboy's feet. I jerked him away from the handle, picked him up and carried him, baby style, out into the store lobby while K paid for the food. And we had a "word of prayer" in my (hopefully) softest yet scariest Mom voice about how he'd better NEVER do this again, when we say stop pushing the cart then he'd better stop, etc. Still, no med effectiveness yet, I could tell by the laughing, the thrashing to get out of my arms, etc. And boy, was I regretting that we hadn't put a bottle of wine or some Smirnoff Ice in the cart.......

But you know what? By the time I strapped him into the carseat to drive home, it was kicking in. He was very repentant, almost in tears, and I could see the "angel child" emerging again. At home, things were by no means perfect, but we've certainly been through worse. In the occasional moments of calm tonight, I started thinking though (back to where I started this rambling post).........Is this the way it will always be? People ask me "will he have to take these meds all of his life?" and I don't know what to say. If today is any indication, yes he will.

But what are we actually teaching him? He doesn't know (yet) that he even takes meds, because I didn't want him to use that as an excuse, or expect that the meds have to do the hard work but not him. Does that even make sense? Am I just deluded and/or stupid? It just feels like we're putting a band-aid (or 2) every day on a wound that never heals, never improves. And God forbid if we run out of band-aids, or miss a's a nightmare. But we just keep on sticking the band-aids over the spot, hoping no one will notice and that people won't realize that my child has a festering open wound on his body and wonder why I'm not actually DOING something to make it better.

This has made no sense, and I'm sorry for that, but still appreciate you letting me say it. I'm just worrying, I guess, thinking that we're masking the problem but not improving it, solving it.......only, can it be solved at all? Does age, maturity help? Are there strategies we don't know about? I don't want my child to be 100% dependent on medication to even function in his life, in his world. Is that what he has to look forward to? Right now, my sanity and survival depends on those meds, I'll tell you that much. Will that ever change? Am I taking the easy and/or selfish way out?