You can’t put a price on this kind of aggravation

By Mir
February 25, 2011

On the whole, life right now is pretty darn good. Honest and for true, the most likely answer these days when you ask me how I am is, “I’m really good.” I may even sound a little surprised, when I say it, because… it’s still a little unexpected. But yeah, in the big picture? Not only am I feeling grateful and appreciative of all the recent improvements and little victories, I’m feeling all HOPEFUL and CHEERFUL and crap.

It’s weird.

At one point while I was kind of down in the pit during operation Gather Up The Shattered Pieces Of Monkey And For God’s Sake, Someone Get Some More Glue Over Here, Joshilyn wrote me an email which included the following:

But I have thought to myself, in a way that was hard to articulate, that you have moved over the last year or so from regular old Mir worldview of “A lot of the time, the glass feels half empty, but hey, I will go lick dew. Because, that’s moist!” person to a place where the glass is 2/3rds empty and rats are rubbing their diseased little tongues on the place you have to drink from, and there is no pitcher and we are all fucked and about to get plague.

At the time, that was accurate. Nowadays, I’m a hundred million times better. However, I need to vent about three recent things.

So please understand that this isn’t “Argh! The diseased rat tongues are licking my glass!” level aggravation, but even being in a pretty good place, I’m tempted to engage in a bit of primal scream therapy over the following.

Item the First: Back in October, mortgage rates completely bottomed out and Otto and I wisely decided to refinance. We went to a new loan agent on a recommendation from a friend, and all was going along swimmingly, and then in mid-November things got quiet on the agent’s end. I shot her an email in early December to ask if we’d be closing on the loan before the holidays, and she responded that no, I shouldn’t worry about it, she would extend our rate lock and we should plan to close in January. Given that she’d warned us right at the beginning that everyone and their uncle was rushing to refinance and things were moving slowly all over, we didn’t worry.

In early January I emailed for an update and didn’t hear back. And then at the end of the month I got a phone call from a loan processor who wanted to let us know that the agent we were working with was no longer with the bank (!) but that they’d assigned us a new agent (!!) and not to worry, they could probably match the original terms (!!!) except that they had no actual record of what those were, so did I mind explaining to her was supposed to be happening here (!!!!)?

We decided to soldier on with the new agent, given that our rate was supposedly still locked and rates have since risen and no one will be able to give us that good of a deal right now if we start over. Only, it turned out that old agent had never even ordered the home appraisal, and according to a popular online home value site, our house had mysteriously lost approximately 25% of its previous appraised value between November and January. If the site was correct (which seemed unlikely, because what the hell?), we might now be dealing with a loan that was over 80% off the house’s value, which becomes a lending issue, and all because of this unexpected delay.

With GREAT TREPIDATION we signed off on the appraisal, which came back much higher than the Internet site and more in line with what we’d assumed, so that was great news. With a great sigh of relief I told the loan processor we were all set, and she said great, and then a week later I got a frantic phone call from her asking us to submit our paperwork. What paperwork? ALL the paperwork. Because some of the previously-submitted items (paystubs and bank statements) were now out-of-date owing to the marathon-length processing period, and the non-time-constrained items had all been LOST. FEELING OH SO SUPER CONFIDENT ABOUT THIS BANK, lemme tell ya.

Bottom line: I just killed a forest full of trees with unnecessary paperwork and it is almost March and—sing it with me!—this is the loan that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends.

Item the Second: Monkey has been without a therapist for almost as long as we’ve been working on this refinance, because his old therapist said we needed someone else and then began the carnival of “I’ll ask around and help you find someone”s from half-a-dozen folks who kept either failing to get back to us or insisting they were waiting on more information or whatever. Sure, it didn’t help that the holidays fell in the middle, there, and Monkey is really doing very well now, but still. The kid needs a therapist.

The intersection of “therapists who take our insurance” and “therapists who specialize in Asperger’s” and “therapists who are less than an hour’s drive away” is shockingly small. Once I was finally able to shake the bushes loudly and long enough to get some names, I felt nothing but relief. This was going to be the last puzzle piece for the Right Now, and I’m looking forward to having it in place.

So I called the doctor’s office and asked to make an appointment for Monkey, only to be told that new patients are required to fill out New Patient Paperwork before they’re allowed to even schedule a time. I found that… weird, and a hassle, but… I guess I understand. Okay. Otto swung by the office one day and picked up the paperwork; the next day I drove the completed paperwork back over and asked if I could make him an appointment.

“Oh, the doctor needs to review the paperwork before deciding if your son will be accepted as a new patient.”

What the HUH? I didn’t realize we were auditioning. (“Monkey enjoys sunsets, long walks on the beach, and freaking out when his rigid autistic worldview is disrupted. He loves puns, Bakugan, and pointing out whenever you’re wrong.”) It’s been three days and I’m wondering at what point they let us know if he made the cut. (All of which is kind of unfortunate either way, because this kind of makes me hate the new doctor already.)

Item the Third: Chickadee and her fellow nerdlings are spending today at the Regional Science Fair, all hoping to win a slot at the upcoming State Science Fair. This is a very good thing, because it’s a super fun day of learning and hands-on experiments and such for the kids, and the whole thing is just a wonderful experience.

District Fair—the precursor to this event—was over a month ago. It was announced then that all winners progressing to the Regional Event should turn in their projects for “paperwork review,” because certain forms are required at the Regional level that they kind of let slide at District, but they wanted to make sure everyone was all set for Regionals. Fine. Good. Chickadee turned everything in and we never heard another word…

… until yesterday, an hour before school ended. Chickadee was called in to see the coordinator, handed a sheet requiring three authorized signatures, and told she couldn’t participate today unless said signatures were collected. I then received a freaked-out phone call at the end of school, because she’d managed to get two of the three signatures needed (a teacher and a “education administrator”), but the third had to be a “licensed medical professional.”

Um. Turns out that if you use human subjects, at the Regional level they’re kind of serious about IRB rules. Which, hey, fine. But the Regional Fair started at 8:00 this morning and at 4:30 yesterday we were still sitting in the middle school office while the principal made a bunch of phone calls, trying to figure out 1) why we hadn’t been alerted to this sooner and 2) if, indeed, she would be barred from entry without the last signature.

At 7:00 last night a friend of mine who happens to carry a qualifying degree was kind enough to sign off on Chickadee’s research, but SHEESH. I thought the poor kid was going to have a stroke, and I wasn’t too far behind her.

These three issues aside, life is totally peachy.


  1. diane

    Heh – the ad that popped up in google reader when I opened the start of your post was for refinancing – wonder if it was your bank?

    Isn’t it nice to be able to vent about non-life destroying things? It’s been such a long road for you all back to some semblance of normalcy that it is actually a pleasure to read a rant about usual, every-day what-the-heck moments.

    Will continue to pray for you all – and for Chickie’s results today!

  2. Megan

    And they are ALL paperwork related! (well, and weird and disturbing incompetence related too – which is such fun when you’re dealing with major finances!)

    Personally I think there’s a fifth horseman somewhere out there. Forget famine and plague baby, paperwork is what’s going to bring the end of the world!

  3. Katie in MA

    Can I just say, WOW you are an excellent one-handed typist because GOOD LORD your hand should have fallen off in all of that emergency-last-minute-(but not really, stupid bank)-form-filling-out stuff.

    In an unrelated story, I am also without use of my hands (or arms, to be more specific) because I wii-broke all of my wii-muscles from Just Dance-ing away the stress of the week. Really, aside from not being able to lift my arms above my head, it was a lot of fun shaking the sillies back into life!

    Have a very lovely, paperwork-free weekend! :)

  4. Em

    Your bank story makes me very very nervous. Our bank does not have the lowest rate but 4 years ago when I was out having a baby and my husband got hurt at work, they didn’t take our house. And they probably could have (possibly any time in the three years it took to fully catch up on payments). I don’t really want to know the math of the thousands we will probably overpay in the long run, it just helps me sleep at night knowing we’re at a community bank,I can drop the payments off and they’re nice there. Your story throws up so many red flags. Then again, I am relatively ignorant when it comes to the large, confusing, ever changing world of mortgages and I know you are way more money savvy. I just have that stranger danger feeling you should tell an adult about. Assvice from an internet stranger – it is what blogger live for, right?

  5. elz

    Dang lawyers and their forms! The funny thing is that I review IRB and new patient forms for my clients every day, so I’m probably the exact type of a-hole who is requiring the darn things from unsuspecting parents like you. Mwah ha ha, my eeevil plan has worked. Heh. Just kidding (sort of)

  6. Tenessa

    I’m SO glad things are going so well!

    We’ve had similar therapist experiences. Our OT said my aspie was beyond her ability to help. He was too old now and should not need OT anymore. She thought he needed more psychiatric help because he was dealing with some pretty severe anxiety, mostly surrounding upheavals at school that were causing him severe sensory overloads. The problem with that was that we had just thrown thousands of dollars at psychiatric care for him with the DR that had diagnosed him who suddenly wanted to treat him for ADHD which he had failed to meet all the reqs for. Gah. So I decided, because I’m the parent and I’m not confused as to what is causing my boy’s meltdowns, that he needed a newer, better OT. I found one. Got on the waiting list and voila! I’m still waiting, 10 months later.

    So until such time as we get him another therapist, I am his therapist. I’ve been reading until my eyes fall out of my head and meeting with the school and his teacher and we’ve got a pretty good thing going right now. I live with my fingers crossed though, because the precipice into the world of meltdowns and non-functionality is mere baby steps away, and as of now, I’m the only security net.

  7. Karen

    Oh, that refinance situation is such BS. The Agent couldn’t give your information to someone else to handle, knowing she was leaving or whatever? Do you have copies of correspondence? That should do the trick and you should get your rate.

  8. Trish C.

    Sounds like “agent we were working with was no longer with the bank” is bank-speak for “we fired the incompetent moron”.

  9. Becca

    I really hope the therapist situation works out. I’m about to move – in a week, ack! – away from my therapist and I am dreading the search as he was the first one I found who actually got aspergers and aspies. My favorite question for screening therapists for jerks and the ignorant is to ask them what they think of aspergers, or how they would describe it. The answer often reveals quite a lot.

  10. navhelowife

    I hope the new therapist responds soon, and that despite the odd paperwork arrangement, works out well for you. My middle kid has finally ‘clicked’ with his therapist, I think, so hopefully she won’t leave anytime soon.

    And mortgages, refinancing or otherwise, are hell on earth. When we were buying our house this summer, my DH finally nailed it – it’s like that book, “If you give a Moose a Muffin” (Or a Pig a pancake, or any of them!) !

  11. Half Hearted Hippie

    Yikes! I would be FURIOUS about all the bank nonsense. I cannot handle incompetence. It makes me absolutely livid. And I agree with Trish — it sounds like the bank fired her. Which she likely deserved, but that doesn’t help you much now.

    And poor Chickie. I would have been on the verge of a heart attack in her place. I’m so glad it worked out. And I hope she has a blast at the science fair today!

  12. Sheila

    I’m sorry, but in order for me to properly understand the point of your post, I will require a notarized Rant Acceptance Form. Part One can be faxed to me, Part Two can be filed with the Office of Blogging Oversight, and Part Three can be kept for your records. Please keep close tabs on these records, as I usually lose forms the minute they land on my desk.

    Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and have a nice day.

  13. Lynne

    You know, I had a doctor who required the same thing – approval of new patients. As it turns out, I’m really happy she did. She was able to decide on patients who were interested in taking care of themselves and then she didn’t feel like she was wasting time. She’s a great doctor and I say good for her. It must be so frustrating for doctor’s who deal with patients that don’t take their advice & don’t take care of themselves.

  14. Niki

    We had a similar experience just trying to find ANY psychiatrist who took children/teens and took our (Big 3) insurance. We were trying in mid-late November to find one, as the psychologist can’t prescribe, and our (older) pediatrician wasn’t comfortable with antidepressant drugs and teens. Turns out that in our town there are 2 psychiatrist who take our insurance and see teens, and 2 cities over there’s another one. That’s it. We don’t live in Hicksville, and we’re located near a huge medical school, which takes our insurance for everything except “behavioral medicine.”

    Of the 3 who we were allowed to see, as of late November, one wasn’t taking new patients, one could see us in February, and one could see us in March. We of course chose the February one, and then had to basically run down our story to the receptionist for the doctor to review before he’d decide if he could see us.

    I (an HR/insurance person) freaked, and called the insurance company to ask what the hell I was supposed to do in the meantime. They tracked down for us a nurse practitioner/psychologist who worked in a practice where the doctors didn’t take kids, but she did, and she only did medication management. We hated her, but felt like we had no other choice, and she got us through until we could finally see the psychiatrist.

    Who – thank God, we like. And she’s doing better.

  15. kakaty

    This may mean I’m a bit uh…. overinvested… in your blog but the whole thing about the Science Fair paperwork made me want to say “see what happens when people wait until the last minute? You do this same thing with your homework all the time – it’s not fun when someone else does it to you, is it?” to Chickadee.

  16. nancy

    As a therapist who specializes in ASD I am tormented by insurance companies. I fill out stacks and stacks to apply to be a provider, send it in, wait months, and they tell me they have plenty of autism specialists for my area. Really? I had lunch with all 6 of them last week and none of us have been approved. Hmmm.

  17. The Mommy Therapy

    I felt a little anxious just reading about these situations. I mean, it is painfully annoying to be at the mercy of someone else for all three of the issues you are having to deal with here.

    Good place or not, these are really frustrating.

    It is always good to remember the big, really not that bad, picture of our lives…but to me there is nothing worse than someone saying everything is super freaking fantastic when things are really kind of temporarily jacked up. So, I love your venting, but not that you are having to deal with all this.

    I hope your house refinancing goes through as quickly as possible for this type of thing, Monkey gets accepted by the very elite therapist and Chickadee goes on to master the science fair today and you can feel all hopeful and crap like that again.

  18. Mel

    I just read those IRB rules yesterday since my 9th grade daughter was moving on to disctrict science fair judging. It made me really glad she was not using human subjects.

  19. Burgh Baby

    We refinanced back in November. From the time I first filled out the application to closing a whole . . . two weeks went by. NEENER NEENER!

  20. Tracy B

    ^ ^ ^ knocking on wood for you that ALL stays peachy!!!! ^ ^ ^

  21. Useyourwordsmom

    Per usual-laughing with a bit of pain here. Entering the world of child psychiatry is far worse than on-line dating. The docs at my end kept saying, “He can’t have afternoon appointments because they go to the ‘other kids.'” As in, my kid was the second tier-on-the-desperately-need-therapy-and-needs-it-NOW scale. I considered bringing over warm cookies or homemade bread. Instead I pestered, I mean, persuaded by showing up repeatedly to plead me case. What killed me was that I am still so close to the point of paying the absurd out of pocket sums. Clearly there is a true two tier system for those that can afford to pay $200 an hour. I love my kids, but that mortgage still needs to get paid, too. The good news? Not only did we get in with a great doc but we, gasp, got one of those afternoon appointments. So I am sending our doc karma your way. Though the cookies might still be worth considering :-)

  22. Stimey

    Diseased rat tongues. Verrrry nice imagery.

    You have been very busy. I will happily donate the branches that fell in my backyard from our recent spates of bad weather if you would like to make some paper to replace the reams that you have recently used.

  23. addy

    Been there lost 5 grand doing that – BE CAREFUL!! Ask for someone in charge and make certain all the numbers match before you sign. Seriously $5,000 pissed away due to incompetence and lies.
    Not worth it.

  24. mamaspeak

    Addy just said what I was thinking. Make sure you really look over the paperwork for that loan & it gets you (the rate, points, etc…) it’s supposed to. We are really lucky in finding a realtor & broker who really do have our best interests at heart. We’ve bought multiple houses & been through even more refi’s on those houses and (knock on wood,) have never had a problem. It helps that we have really good credit AND we have not been trying to get the “biggest house in the best neighborhood, that we really couldn’t afford.” We set priorities and then said this is what we’re willing to pay, if we can’t meet all those things, then we’ll stay where we are. I’m currently watching someone close to me who is selling their house bc they’re really can’t afford the payment anymore. No one stopped working, they just have been living beyond their means and it’s catching up with them. A family member was the loan officer and should not have given them this loan in the first place. They’ve lived in this house for close to 10 yrs, and have basically paid interest only during that time. They talked to our broker at the same time & they didn’t like the answer he gave them (payment, rate-wise). It makes sense how they got the house now, but at the time we wondered. It’s very easy for the broker to screw things up for you. Be wary.

  25. Nancy R

    @kakaty – SHAZAM! That’s an awesome point…I look forward to finding a similar opportunity.

  26. Deb

    I hope you audition the doctor as carefully as he is auditioning you. Don’t forget that YOU are employing HIM. (kind of sounds like he’s got it the other way ’round.) (Maybe at your first appointment you should have a bunch of forms for HIM to fill out) (Yes, I am all about the parentheticals today.)

  27. Julia's Child

    Omigod, mortgage agents can take years off of anyone’s life. I believe this has something to do with low barriers to entry in the industry. All you need is an attitude and a fax machine, and SHAZAM you’re a mortgage broker.

  28. Laura

    What the HUH? That is SO going to be part of my vocabulary from this day on!!

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest