Fraught Week

A week with an appointment at a children’s hospital is always a bit FRAUGHT (Edward is having a colonoscopy to check on the status of his Crohn’s Disease; we’ve been through this before, but the prep is still unpleasant, and it is still stressful to deal with the procedure / the city driving / having a child put under anesthesia / etc. ), but also it is scheduled for the same day as the presidential inauguration. So you can guess my mood. And by “mood” I mean blood alcohol content.

Also this week, I took Rob to the first medical appointment he’s had since turning 18, and it was all different: they gave HIM the permission forms to sign, and they had him sign his own HIPAA. After the appointment, he’s the one who received an email with the link to his online patient profile. And his new prescription isn’t in my online pharmacy account, BECAUSE HE IS A LEGAL ADULT AND SO HAS BEEN AUTOMATICALLY REMOVED FROM MY ACCOUNT. It is all very odd, considering he still lives at home and I’m paying all his medical expenses and picking up his prescriptions and telling him to unload the dishwasher and so on.

Also this week, there was an envelope in the mail confirming Rob’s draft registration. He can now be drafted into the military. The draft has always seemed nutty to me, but looking at my 18-year-old child it seems nutty beyond imagination. (“Nutty” is the best word I could come up with here without going off the rails, and I am not happy with the lighthearted whimsy of it, but the more-accurate words seemed to trigger multiple-paragraph rantings.) And did you know that boy children aren’t eligible for college financial aid unless they have registered to allow their government to decide whether or not they have to go fight in a war and kill people and maybe be killed? Well. The upside is that the next war will likely be nuclear, so there will not be time or need for a draft.

I will feel a countdown timer in my head from now until he turns 26 and is no longer on the draft list. I have added it to the list of Special Birthdays, alongside Kindergarten 5, Double Digits 10, and Sweet 16.

42 thoughts on “Fraught Week

  1. Matti

    Ugh. I’m sorry, Swistle. That’s a rough week indeed. I also had to drive an hour each way for a doctor’s appt. today, my husband had to take off work, child care for three littles, looming threat of the end of the world. I’ll meet you at the liquor cabinet.

  2. Alexicographer

    Oh dear. Indeed. What’s the right cocktail for this occasion? I need something that strikes the right balance between outrage and terror.

  3. Grace

    “Fraught week” indeed! My goodness. I’m fraught for you!

    Also, this made me laugh right out loud: “And by “mood” I mean blood alcohol content.”

    All the best wishes/good vibes/whathaveyou this week!

  4. Clare

    Good lord, I didn’t know that the draft was still a thing. That’s horrifying. My mother in law’s plan has always been to shoot each one of her son’s in the foot if war threatened. I’m sure she’s also mentally allocated a bullet towards my eight month old son. I’ve fluctuated between thinking this is a soothing thought or an alarming thought and decided on soothing. I can deal with a son with a limp or an amputee, I’m not even going to think about him on a battlefield or worse.

    I’m sorry this week is happening, I think we all hoped it would be quite different.

    1. shin ae

      I have entertained this very plan. Thankfully, I think both my sons have conditions which would cause them to be exempt. I feel gross saying “thankfully” about medical conditions, but here we are.

  5. Becky

    My nephew is an 18 year old Marine. And he is SO YOUNG. He’s extremely responsible and a wonderful young man. But he is SO YOUNG.

  6. Elizabeth

    Brutal. I’m so sorry.

    Also, you do dark humour exceedingly well – thank you. This is part of your resistance and it is appreciated.

  7. Gigi

    It IS odd and unsettling when you realize your child is an actual adult but still is under our care. Sorry about the week you are having. I think I’ll join you in a drink or four.

  8. Beth

    Fraught. Yes, that is one way to describe it. I live in DC, and I’m afraid to bring my 10 year old to the march for fear of Trump supporting crazies. Should I leave her at home? Skip the whole thing? It’s a dark time.

  9. Heather R

    Would he maybe not be picked because of having chrohn’s? My step dad wasn’t picked because of a heart murmur….

  10. Ess

    What a WEEK! So sorry. It all sounds physically and emotionally draining. I also feel like I’m in a constant state of dread about politics. But thank you for this especially perfect turn of phrase: “And by “mood” I mean blood alcohol content.” I truly laughed!

  11. Jen in MI

    Joining you in raising a glass or 4 over the next few days. My poor little sis turns 40 tomorrow. Double whammy for her…

    1. Swistle Post author

      They are no longer required to make themselves available for a draft: Selective Service starts at age 18, and ends at age 26.

      1. Julia

        also, their car insurance rates go down significantly. But at the same time, they are off their parents insurance plan. At 25 they can rent a car which is also a milestone.

        1. Squirrel Bait

          Well, when/if the Affordable Care Act gets repealed, kids will be off their parents’ health insurance long before 26. Wait, that isn’t a happy thought…

          Based on the last decade or so of war, I’m thinking a draft is unlikely because a draft shifts the burden of service in combat to children from middle- and upper-class families, thus making war much more politically unpalatable. Better to make the largely economically disadvantaged “volunteers” shoulder the burden. Also, I think making the draft mandatory for all young adults (not just men) would make everybody hesitate just a bit more before invading every single country that displeases the US.

          Clearly my mood is similarly bleak today…

        2. Tayna

          Car insurance doesn’t always go down at 26. It depends on what age they get there license. It’s based on driving experience. I know this because my husband is in the insurance business and we have had this discussion many times. I also have an 18 year old son.

      2. Shawna

        Thanks. We don’t have that in Canada. I don’t think I knew it was even still around in the US. I’m slightly surprised that, as it does still exist, girls aren’t required to register too. Aside from the fact that women serve in combat roles now, there are lots of other requirements in the military as well that don’t involve being on the front lines.

      3. Britni

        Very hunger games-esque
        Also convenient the richer you are the less likely you are to need financial aid and the less likely you are to have to register. sigh.

        1. Britni

          Oh I take it back.
          Boys 18-26 have to register no matter what so it’s not more beneficial to those of higher economic status (although it doesn’t seem like they actively pursue/prosecute those that don’t register, so I guess if you didn’t need the aide you could still not). sighhh.

  12. LeighTX

    Ugh, “fraught” is a great word for the general mood right now, and while colonoscopies are generally a good thing to do health-wise, they are certainly no fun. My own little colitis patient turned 18 recently and I’m taking her to her first non-pediatric GI doctor’s appointment today. She had to sign all her own forms, even though I was the one to fill them out, and I’m the one shelling out for the co-pay! So strange.

    Maybe we should all think of the next four years as one would a colonoscopy–something to be endured, and hopefully there’ll be good news at the end of it.

  13. shin ae

    The colonoscopy: uuuuuuugh. I’m sorry.


    Friday’s dinner is at a Mexican restaurant. We’ll leave a nice, big tip. Probably home for Netflix afterwards since I think there won’t be anything good on TV.

  14. Erin

    I get frustrated at the HIPAA stuff too, I am the primary for our family plan and it irritates me when I get an email that my husband has an EOB ready but I can’t actually view it, since I’m the one that pays the family bills… but I know it’s because some people cannot be trusted with medical information of others, even their children, which is sad.
    Also sad, I am a federal employee. For the last time this week, I walked past President Obama’s smiling portrait in our lobby. I cannot believe a lunatic reality tv star’s photo will take his place.
    I hope Edward’s appointment goes well tomorrow.

    1. Jenny

      I’m a federal employee to and starting tomorrow I won’t be working for an honorable person. I’m so sad.

  15. Nicole Boyhouse

    I am…kind of shocked because I had no idea that there was still a draft. I plead Canadian ignorance on that one. It just seems…well…distressing. Actually any ONE of the things you mentioned is very distressing (some much more distressing than others), but to have them all happen in a week, well. Hugs to you from up North.

    Is the colonoscopy prep for children the same as for adults? If so, blergh. Hope all goes well.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Today (the day before the procedure) he has clear liquids only, plus four doses of Miralax, plus a Senokot. Yesterday and the day before, he could have regular food, but also took two doses a day of Miralax. But he’s pretty happy because today’s prep means he gets to stay home, so he’s missing TWO days of school!

  16. Judith Rosa

    I don’t want to add to your worries but men can be drafted up to age 45 if they have special skills, although those 18-26 are the first drafted. I say this as the mother of two 43 year olds who has been holding her breath and crossing every finger since my boys were born at the height of the Vietnam war. I almost lost my mind when the Gulf War started and the boys were the “right age”.

    As for what’s happening later this week (omfg it’s tomorrow!), I have taken to bed with a headache since yesterday. I just can’t deal.

  17. Maureen

    What a week. I wish I could say something comforting, but right now? It’s tough to come up with anything. Although I did discover Chambord over the holidays, the black raspberry liqueur. One shot of that, a shot of vodka, ginger ale and ice make a very tasty cocktail.

    You might already know this, but thought I would mention that when Rob goes to college, there is a FERPA release form he can sign so you can actually talk about his student account with the school. I handle all the financial aid for my daughter, and without that signed form, they wouldn’t have discussed anything with me since she was 18. I downloaded it off the school’s website, she signed it and it had to be returned with a scan of her state ID.

  18. LM

    I’ll take this moment to thank all the brave men and women who voluntarily choose the military path – for personal or financial or ANY reason. I’m thankful for them. Also, I am 1/4 of the way through a container of ice cream. I am eating my feelings in regards to tomorrow (gasp). UGH. What has come of this country?

  19. jill

    My son just received his registration confirmation, and there are directions to keep it somewhere as proof he registered. My thought was, 1) you mean some poor kid might be wrongly accosted by the government?and 2) is their system that bad that they lose track of who registered?

    Ugh. The whole thing is just wrong.

  20. Superjules

    Colonoscopy prep is NO FUN.

    I … did not know that about the draft. I feel like maybe I should have? But now I’m looking at my 3 month old baby boy and fretting.

  21. Charlotte

    Good luck with the colonoscopy! I hope everything goes well. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s almost one year ago, and at that time I only knew what it was from reading about it on your blog. I’ve been taking immunosuppressants for a few months now and it has helped me enormously – I hope the same goes for Edward.

  22. Jill

    The “mood” meaning blood alcohol comment is KILLING ME. Oh, Swistle, you slay me sometimes.
    The draft thing seems less significant to me, probably b/c I’m a military spouse. A lot of our servicemen and women are concerned about being able to keep their jobs with all of the military cuts, so I honestly can’t picture them ever using a draft. Possibly I will feel differently in 10 years when my sons start becoming eligible. (my husband is an officer and 40, so most of the people I know are also his age, but it is weird to go to base and see a bunch of kids walking around in uniform. They’re so young!)

  23. Alex

    The part about adding 26 to the list of Special Birthday gave me shivers a little bit. I’m holding you in my heart.

  24. Jenny

    What a week. Solidarity fist-bump, Swistle. I’ve had a migraine all week, which is getting REALLY OLD.

    I don’t know if you want to share it, but I would love to hear how Edward is doing with his Crohn’s. A very brief update would suffice (or, of course, none! If that’s what you would prefer!)

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