Moms Gone Mad! — 5 Minutes for Special Needs


                               

I have tried…

When Jack was taking therapy a million hours a week, I would sit in the waiting room and take in the “sights” and sounds around me (seriously, people, leggings are NOT pants!). So many times my heart broke when I would hear another parent, under the guise of “advocacy,” just pick apart either physicians, nurses, or therapists. Perhaps some of this is because I am a nurse (BSN, RN–MSN 2013)? Perhaps some of it is because I am careful about what I say about other people?

When I was teaching nursing assistants at my last job, I would explain to them that they did not need to enter the field and tell other nursing assistants what was wrong in that specific facility. I explained that in order to elevate the profession, we must educate first. This is the same with advocacy. I fear that many times some parents feel that if they complain the loudest, they will get what they want.

Let me tell you a secret….. Ready?

(Complaining and being nasty is not going to change the child’s diagnosis—it is what it is!)

Let’s fast forward to, say, Tuesday.

I have been working tirelessly to get Jack one little thing: a new wheelchair.

Seems simple right? Call the doctor, have them fax the prescription to the supplier, order the chair…voila, Jack is comfy again.

If only that were the truth.

Here’s how it has gone.

3 (THREE!!!!) weeks ago, I called the doctor to get the prescription. Easy peasy. They faxed it to *WheelchairsRUs (hereby abbreviated WRU). WRU sits on it. We call daily to see how it’s going.

Last week, someone finally calls me to explain that in order for WRU to order the wheelchair for Jack, he would have to undergo a complete physical therapy evaluation. Could we call the doctor and get a prescription for that?

People, this is when I lost my ever-loving mind.

First of all, I quit private therapy because, frankly, we would be broke (and with all our other monthly Jack expenses, really?). Plus, I am a nurse and what I can do at home is a darn sight cheaper than what I would be paying for. Plus, he’s not getting sick from all the other kids. Yay us. Only not.

Every physical therapy place we have contacted will only do the evaluation on the premise that we will be attending therapy there. So, they won’t allow someone to just do the evaluation so Jack can have a wheelchair. You know, because…. ?

WRU (they think I’m so stupid) has THREE assistive technology providers. This means that these folks got extra training for them to be able to provide assistive technology (you know, like wheelchairs) to people. SO WHY DO I HAVE TO DO THE STUPID PHYSICAL THERAPY EVALUATION?

I know, I know…you’re sitting there saying, “Duh, Heather, it’s for insurance purposes!” I disagree. He has a wheelchair already. We have the same insurance. He was taking lots of physical therapy until we moved! It shouldn’t matter (and I now have a case manager through the insurance, so hopefully she will help).

And in one foul swoop, I was running around my house screaming about how stupid these people are and how much I wished their parking lot would be infested with pregnant cats….

I was not doing anything to advocate for my son. I was simply complaining. I was one of them!

 

I couldn’t handle myself being this way, so I began my research in earnest (people: please for the love of Pete, use scholarly resources for research–not Dr. Internet). I have found plenty of evidence to back up my theory of double-dipping the insurance. Ahem.

 

Now if WRU would simply return my phone calls, I would be a much happier mother.Seriously, I’m not asking for a trip to France…I’m asking for a wheelchair. So my child can go out of the house. So he can be transported to the doctor. It’s kind of a necessity.

 

The End. For now.

 

*WheelchairsRUs is not the name of the facility. I made it up.

Email Author    |    Website About Heather P

Heather is a mom of two, wife, and nurse educator doing what she can to save the day! She lives in Orlando where she is routinely spotted driving while singing ABBA--all on a mission to advocate and educate!

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1 Rose-Marie June 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

Heather, I’m sorry for this frustrating experience. I do hope things straighten out quickly so your son can get his new chair SOON!

Our how-stupid-can-it-get wheelchair story has to do with Medicaid approval for our daughter’s replacement chair. Our private ins. approved it in three days, no questions. Medicaid, as secondary, contributes a diddleysquat copay, but they held it up for a full year. Their reasoning? They wanted proof, proof, and more proof that my daughter had grown. She’d had the current chair from the age of two to the age of ten–eight whole years. You would hope she’d grown!

2 Heather P June 7, 2012 at 9:36 am

Isn’t it ridiculous! That’s horrid! Jack has had his since he was 3 and he’s grown a ton (more length wise than girth wise), but our problem is that it needs to recline for his lungs and feeding…and the one we have is fixed upright. We went to the park and he fell right out! It’s miserable! (we can hold hands and sing Kumbaya now)

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