Use My Voice

Speaking up about the issues I can't get out of my head or heart.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

on June 5, 2013

I took my daughter to a consultation with an Ears Nose and Throat specialist this morning. Her immunologist and pediatrician both feel that her adenoids are probably causing a lot of her problems. So we met and discussed our options. Everyone seems to agree that surgery is probably in her future but let’s try and get through the summer without it.

All in all the visit was uneventful but was still like a trip down memory lane. The doctor’s office was in the same building that my oldest son received occupational and physical therapy in when he was younger. Oh, the memories that building holds. Days of victory, days of feeling like a complete failure as a mother, days of watching my child try so hard, and days of watching him refuse to try at all. Any parent of a child with special needs can relate to these memories. There are other memories I have of that building that have nothing to do with my child but with what happened to me during all the hours I spent in the waiting room.

During the time my son was in therapy God was making major changes in our family and in me as a person. Our world was changing as was our perception of it. I began to form relationships with the other parents in the waiting room. We shared stories of diagnosis, evaluations, therapy,etc. After awhile the conversations always turned to two things insurance and money. As I have written about before https://usemyvoice.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/more-than-a-sound-bite/ my family has always been blessed with very good insurance. Therapy is very expensive. When our insurance was at it’s best we paid $30 a week per therapy. That was 10% of the cost. Let that sink in for a minute. 45 minutes of occupational or physical therapy 6 years ago was $300. Oh, yea and actually many insurances don’t cover these kinds of therapies. I listened to the parents as they talked about what they did to pay for their child’s therapies. They became one car families (which is hard when you have to get a child to therapy), they worked multiple jobs (3-4 per family), their other children went without extra curricular activities. The most heartbreaking conversations were the ones when people would say, ” This is our last week. We just can’t make it work anymore”. They were being forced to give up the help their children so desperately needed.

It is because of these parents that I got to know and because of our family’s on going medical needs that I continue to be an outspoken advocate for healthcare reform. As I have said before I do not believe The Affordable Care Act is perfect nor do I believe that it will be a perfectly smooth transition. However, I can’t think of any major transition (even for great things) that were perfectly smooth. There are articles every day talking about how horrible it is going to be and other ones challenging those article. I am not going to post those here because you all know how to google (I will suggest Ezra Klein at Wonk Blog as a good place to start). I just want to remind everyone that the ACA is the only piece of national legislation to attempt to help the uninsured and under insured in our country in a very long time. It is the best thing we have and it is the only hope a lot of families have. I am glad that I was taken back to that building today to be reminded that God has called me to speak up for these families.

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