Sunday, May 24, 2009

Life Style Choices

Not my son. No, this kid probably has health insurance

I got a phone call from my grownup son on Friday, wherein grownup means 20 years old, no job, living off of friends in a house with a bunch of guys and possibly growing pot, because he refuses to "bow to the man" and "embrace our petroleum-based lifestyle." Yes-huh. He's serious. 

HIM: Mom, I just got hit by a car on my bicycle.
ME: Are you OK?
HIM: Yeah. What do I do?
ME: (hearing traffic noises) GET OUT OF THE STREET.

Seriously. He literally called me from the ground after getting hit by the car. So much for Mr. Independent.

His bike is his sole mode of transportation, which is pretty normal for the area of Portland that he lives in. TONS of bike traffic. He has no health insurance. He has no money.

The woman who hit him said, "Of course I'll help you get your bike repaired, within reason."

He walked away from the accident Friday, pushed his bike home. And woke up Saturday stiff and sore and achey and not feeling so great. And called me.

HIM: Mom, I don't feel so great.
ME: What's wrong?
HIM: My back hurts, I'm sore and achey.
ME: Are you dizzy? Have you peed blood? How's your vision?
HIM: Naw, just achey. What should I do?

And herein lies my mom dilemma. What I'd like him to do is go get checked out by a doctor. But what I don't want to do is pay for it. Not because I don't want to spend the money on the boy, but because he made a conscious choice to drop out of college, knowing that we could not carry him on our insurance once he did that, and has been all laissez-faire about finding a job. And has made no effort to get on Oregon Health Plan (low income insurance) or even know where the closest community medical clinic is. Because? He's 20 and invincible, wherein invincible apparently means do whatever the fuck you want to do with your life, and when it goes south, call your mom.

So far, I've offered a partial bailout by talking to a lawyer friend of mine and telling Taylor what he should do. He needs to get insurance info. from the woman who hit him and call the insurance company, let them know he needs to see a doctor, and they'll send him to one. On their dime. If he had insurance or money, I'd tell him to see a doctor yesterday and let them reimburse him. But he doesn't have the cash to walk into urgent care and unless he calls with dire symptoms, I'm not giving him the money. Because? Lifestyle choices have consequences.

My home alone holiday weekend extravaganza of watching Tivo, eating cake and reading trashy novels have been temporarily foiled by one of my children stressing me out. This can't possibly come as a surprise to anyone who has children. Perhaps more wine will help.


Swistle said...

I am ten years behind, kid-wise, and I am TAKING NOTES. Also, I kind of want to kick the lady who hit him.

Kathy said...

I'm so sorry Shana. Yes, there is a fine line in making these kids deal with their choices but then there's the mama who will always, always want to make sure her child is safe and well...and there is nothing, I repeat nothing wrong with that!!! Tell him to go to the ER...they have to take him. Once he gets insurance info from the bitch that hit him, then he can send the ER bill over to them. When it comes to wellness and health, well this is where the lines disappear, in my opinion. Go with your mama gut and help your boy and anyone who has anything to say about it can fuck off..yes? yes.

Anonymous said...

I hope he's ok! But I was cracking up at, "Get out of the street!"
And I hope the lady pays for everything!

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I think giving him the information - how to handle an accident, get insurance information, etc - is great because you are guiding him AND letting him deal with his decisions.

It must be painful, letting him make these choices, because not getting Oregon's health insurance was a poor decision. Hopefully, he'll get it now, right?

katydidnot said...

um, you've forgotten one key element to this plan. more cake too. more wine and more cake.

Cheryl Guthrie said...

Shana, I agree that he should go to the ER room. But it is so damned hard when these knuckleheaded kids think they are so smart and going to save money. Our 24-year-old boy is a hunter, and he got stuck out in the middle of bum-F Egypt a couple of years ago and wanted us to come pull him out. HE WAS THREE HOURS FROM HOME. Cripes. Hello! Hang in there. Have more wine. Sit in the sun. I hope he's okay.

Anna See said...

okay, your son is stressing me out, too! i am so glad the accident wasn't more serious.

Keetha said...

Ugh. I can see why you're stressed! Keep us posted.

lapoflux said...

Oh lord, it never ends does it? Even when they are "grown".
I really respect how you are handling this, helping with advice but not bailing him out because of his lifestyle choices. It must be harder than hell. Big admiration over here.
However beating up the woman who hit your baby would still be in the realm of acceptable - no?

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I have come to learn that the worst childbirth pains have come from pushing out my twenty-something children, who are physically and financially out, but still.

HB said...

Holy shit - I go away on vacation and don't read your blog for two weeks & look what happens. Aren't people in the Northwest supposed to be nice? Maybe she'll help...