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Old 11-01-2018, 11:48 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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MCE.....I am trying to figure out how you got her medical records….I have always thought that a spouse couldn't get another's medical records/information, without some sort of expressed permission....unless it was through some sort of court action....
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:07 PM
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Dandy - my husband & I generally sign authorization forms with each Doctor's office as soon as we get established as new patients, allowing the other spouse to have access/permission to speak with them about each of our medical histories. That way I can call for refills on his Rx, get his test results, schedule appts & vice versa as needed, etc. Once it's on file it stays on file until it's revoked.

I'm guessing MCE has something similar on file or legal documents like a Medical POA.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:16 PM
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I second Fire's answer.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:17 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
MCE.....I am trying to figure out how you got her medical records….I have always thought that a spouse couldn't get another's medical records/information, without some sort of expressed permission....unless it was through some sort of court action....
Um, who do you think faxed/emailed her leave/disability forms to her employer??

When she was discharged from the hospital, she also just left them on the kitchen table (along with her "worksheets" etc.)

If they hand them to you - or leave them about the house - fair game.

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Old 11-01-2018, 05:40 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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So, I got the ex parte order today (yeah!!). Court date in 2 weeks to make it permanent.

And, ironically AW called and wanted to discuss "parameters" for her being with DS (per her, it's part of her "discharge plan" or some such - I may have mangled the terminology, but that was the gist of it).

Anyhow, I said let me send you and email because I was busy.

My email went like this.

You asked for parameters, here are mine (there may be more, but this is off the top of my head):

1. Whatever we agree to, it has to be enforceable - as in a court order. In the past your voluntary agreement to do x or y has lasted only a short time and when you broke your word, there were no consequences other than me leaving the house and then we'd fight over whether DS was leaving with me. No more. If you break the terms of the agreement, the courts and cops are involved. Let them sort it out.

2. Visitations between You and DS will be monitored - either by a live person or a device that you wear continuously and reports to me (preferably in real time). Here are the people I trust to monitor your visits: X, Y, Z, etc.

3. No driving or operating a motor vehicle with DS as a passenger.

4. You must stay on your medical treatment (take the pills for bi-polar, anxiety, ect.) and your sobriety plan (AA meetings).

5. Since it's not clear to me what your schedule will be in terms of sober living, AA meetings, IOP therapy, and finding work (a condition of being in the sober living facility), I'm willing to be somewhat "flexible" on days times you can see DS (monitored, of course); but I'm thinking a schedule like those used by divorced couples - alternate Saturday afternoons and every Wednesday evening, but I'm willing to be flexible. However, under no circumstance do you drop off, pick up, or surprise visit DS at daycare.

6. As your time sober increases and you earn some trust from me, the "parameters" will be lessened.

Since you've told me you don't plan on drinking and that you can't drive a car because you don't have a valid license, then agreeing to all of this in a court order shouldn't be a big issue for you.

Did NOT tell her that the CPO was coming her way - which might've been a mistake.

But, I can always say - THAT is how we get to an enforceable court order.

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Old 11-01-2018, 08:55 PM
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Your "parameters" look excellent! In my court order I called them "steps" - step 1 is restricted access (supervised plus SoberLink monitored, short duration); after 8 weeks of not screwing up step 1, we go to step 2 (unsupervised but still SoberLinked, short duration); after 8 weeks of not screwing up step 2, we go to step 3 (unsupervised but still SoberLinked, longer duration [alternating Saturdays, daytime only]) ... etc. If he screws up a step, the clock resets to the beginning of that step again. All spelled out.

With your parameters, I think #4 might be unenforceable (how do you know if she's taking her meds/going to meetings, and what if she finds a doctor/therapist who switches/takes her off meds/says she doesn't have to keep up meetings?). I'd suggest not having that in the court order. In addition to being unenforceable, her recovery in general is not your domain - your concern (and the court's concern) is limited to ensuring that she's sober during her parenting time. If she's drinking constantly the rest of the time, that's her circus and her monkeys. I suggest this because you probably don't want to waste hours of expensive lawyer time arguing about details of her "sobriety plan" or "recovery".

SoberLink is your friend - I've found it very reliable and objective, and their client support is very responsive with information if the monitored party tries to avoid testing.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:44 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Sasha1972 View Post
Your "parameters" look excellent! In my court order I called them "steps" - step 1 is restricted access (supervised plus SoberLink monitored, short duration); after 8 weeks of not screwing up step 1, we go to step 2 (unsupervised but still SoberLinked, short duration); after 8 weeks of not screwing up step 2, we go to step 3 (unsupervised but still SoberLinked, longer duration [alternating Saturdays, daytime only]) ... etc. If he screws up a step, the clock resets to the beginning of that step again. All spelled out.

With your parameters, I think #4 might be unenforceable (how do you know if she's taking her meds/going to meetings, and what if she finds a doctor/therapist who switches/takes her off meds/says she doesn't have to keep up meetings?). I'd suggest not having that in the court order. In addition to being unenforceable, her recovery in general is not your domain - your concern (and the court's concern) is limited to ensuring that she's sober during her parenting time. If she's drinking constantly the rest of the time, that's her circus and her monkeys. I suggest this because you probably don't want to waste hours of expensive lawyer time arguing about details of her "sobriety plan" or "recovery".

SoberLink is your friend - I've found it very reliable and objective, and their client support is very responsive with information if the monitored party tries to avoid testing.
Thanks Sasha, I tried to incorporate the experiences of those posting here.

Just for the record, she called them "parameters" that she needed to discuss or have laid out for her therapist. Steps works for me -- and I was trying to give "broad strokes" not get into the nitty-gritty detail just yet.

With respect to No. 4, the "form" child protective petition provided by the court has an area where the Petitioning party (in this case me) can request certain things from the Respondent (in this case AW). Among the things that a Petitioning party can request is "Order Respondent to participate in a court-approved counseling program designed to help batterers stop violent behavior or a substance abuse program.

As I see it, she already intends (or so she says) that she'll be in intensive out-patient therapy *and* she'll be attending AA meetings. Those, to me, count as a substance abuse program (albeit not necessarily "court-approved."). I'm certainly going to ask that language that she continue with her "substance abuse" treatment as she herself has outlined to me be incorporated into a final, permanent order.

Also, AW has a "dual-diagnosis" of bi-polar, depression, and anxiety disorder. In my opinion, these issues by themselves, even without drinking, can lead her to place DS in a dangerous situation. I look at it this way, think of "A Beautiful Mind" - where John Nash is having delusions which lead him to neglect his child. When he was medicated, the delusions went away. Would/could his wife leave their child in Nash's care without some assurance he was on his prescribed meds to stop the hallucinations??

Now, AW doesn't suffer from delusions -- but when she is in her "manic" stages of bi-polar, she takes on 24 different tasks at one time -- let's see, while taking care of DS alone while I'm at work she'll try painting the indoors of the house, power washing the outside of the house, re-arranging the pantry, cooking holiday baked goods, do 14 loads of laundry, stay up all night, etc.

Now, I grant you, I've exaggerated somewhat (but only slightly, nobody bakes "Memorial Day Cookies" do they??)-- and others may look at the above and say she's just "multi-tasking." But, most multi-taskers can EFFECTIVELY multi-task. AW takes on so many tasks that they don't all get done or done correctly.

As I see it, AW's bi-polar and anxiety contribute to her drinking. Put differently, she looks around the house and becomes "anxious" about all the things she "thinks" or "feels" need to be done. IMO, our house is typical, suburban nice. We have a 4 year old. If you walk in on us, you'll find toys strewn over the living room, etc. So, to me, it's just "normal." But to her "its a wreck." And it's not just that, for her, she doesn't think whatever things need to be "done" over will be done over a reasonable time period (tackle power washing the outside this weekend, paint the entire inside of the house room-by-room over several weekends, etc.) but it needs to be done right then and there regardless of whatever else is happening.

This drives her bi-polar manic stages and, on top of that, stirs up guilt that she's at home, not working, quit her job, left us paying $$$ for COBRA health insurance coverage and, ya know, her brain is screaming "these things need to be done, right now" Heck, if MY brain was doing that to me 24/7/365, I'd probably become an alcoholic too.

Alone and by themselves, without the drinking, her bi-polarism, depression and anxiety often cause her to "lose focus" from caring for DS. With the booze?? Well, it's like dumping kerosene on a bonfire --manic times 1,000.

I know that for someone like Central Ohio Dad, his AW passes out. For my AW, booze is (initially) "go, go, go, juice!!" She's what I call an "accelerating drunk" the more she drinks, the more she *has* to do. Me? If I have two beers, I'm snoring. To be sure, she will on occasion passout -- especially after a bout of mania. But the primary affect of alcohol on her is a stimulant.

Now, I'll acknowledge, that her bi-polarism, depression, and anxiety are NOT the only "causes," of her drinking. There are genetic factors, there are behavioral patterns that have been laid down since she was a child and, let's face it, drinking that much booze for that much time has altered her brain physically and chemically.

But the bi-polarism, depression and anxiety ARE factors that increase the likelihood of her drinking by some unknown amount -- and they are factors around which medical science can provide a helping hand. It can't stop her from drinking, but it can "turn down the volume" in her head.

I don't care whether she's on this particular drug or that particular drug. But, if her primary doctor, Dr. Jane Smith (fictional), has a diagnosis of "bi-polar" and prescribes her to take Risperdal for it, then, by god, I want the order to say - in some form - that she does whatever her medical doctors recommend for that diagnosis. If she changes doctors or treatments (even if its Dr. Quackenbush and a quack therapy -- and FWIW, I think Quackenbush was the name of Groucho Marx's character in a "Night at the Races") fine -- just do it.

I really don't see it as being any different than saying "she must attend a court-approved substance abuse program." (Indeed, some of these "court-approved" programs are more hurtful than helpful to addicts, IMHO).

Even if it's not technically legally enforceable: (a) she may not know that; but (b) the mere fact that *I* asked for it in writing (or its in the order) *may* result in a greater probability of compliance.

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Old 11-02-2018, 03:32 AM
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MCESaint…...I can certainly relate to the complexity of the situation---especially, the dual diagnosis....I don't know if you remember, but I posted the story of my brother-in-law (who is a lawyer), and his wife, who is bi-polar, and his journey through the child custody and management of his wife's (now ex) illness. You might want to go back and read it..it was a long period of hell--like what you are going through...then a good ending, for all...

I have worked with many manic patients...within a hospital unit....and, have known several people who had spouses who were manic. One couple was a psychiatrist whose husband was bi-polar. Here is what many would not expect--that they were all, except for my brother-in-law and the psychiatrist, remained married...and, the two that I mention...maintained a supportive relationship with the ex...that was friendly and civil....
I will say, though, that none that I knew, on a personal level, had the added level of alcoholism. That certainly does add a level of complication that requires close management.


You may know this, but, most hospitals...especially the larger ones...have support groups for friends and families of bi-polar persons....as well as support groups for the bi-polar patients.
If you don't have a support group for yourself...I really suggest that you locate one. I consider support for yourself to be essential....your path is just too difficult to walk, alone....

Like everyone else, you have more strength than you know that you have...we never know how much, until bravery is the only option...

You might find the following web site useful (NAMI)

https://www.nami.org/
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