It's a done deal. I have been appointed Maggie's conservator. It really doesn't change anything, but protects both Maggie and us in the unlikely event someone wanted to cut us out of any decision making, especially medical decisions.
When we arrived we had to watch a 20 minute film about the responsibilities of being a conservator. The film was designed for someone who will be the conservator for an elderly person, which are the bulk of the cases. One person in the film summed up the responsibility as that of a parent watching out for the best interests of a child. Right. I get that.
Fortunately we did not hook up Maggie's dynavox because she would likely have said what she always says when we are watching something: "I don't like TV."
Steve and Maggie and I all sat at the counsel table together. I did manage to grab a picture of my co-counsel before the judge entered the courtroom When the judge took the bench he greeted Maggie by name saying, "Good morning Mary Margaret." She just gave him the stink eye as if to say, How the HELL does he know my name. Steve asked her if she was going to wave but Maggie took that question under submission and continued to eye the judge suspiciously. I smiled sweetly at her and then the judge and said, "She'll wave in a minute." We proceeded with the hearing and sure enough about two minutes later, Maggie started waving like crazy (emphasis on like crazy.)
The entire hearing lasted about 5 minutes. The best part was when Maggie coughed and the judge visibly jumped in his chair. It is quite a jarring sound. We are very used to it but people hearing it for the first time are always taken aback and the judge was no exception. Steve considered suctioning her but decided it might be better to wait. I had suctioned her several times during the film, but the judge wasn't present for that. Suctioning isn't really part of the decorum of the courtroom. (Obviously if it was necessary we would do it, but this was one that could wait.)
We waited for a few minutes in the courtroom after the hearing for the judge to prepare a modified order in his chambers. We set up Maggie's dynavox while we waited. She immediately said "Mom is beautiful" and the bailiff/deputy sheriff started to laugh. Steve looked at him and said, "I'm sure you can't imagine who taught her that."
I just smiled and said Maggie is good for my self esteem. The court staff loved it.