I try not to blog when I'm irritated about something. However, lately I'm afraid I would just have to shut the whole damn thing down for lack of material. One of my favorite blogs lately is: People I Want to Punch In the Throat. She did it the right way... she lets ya know straight out the gate she's going to bitch and bitch a lot. Maybe I should have done that. If anything, I guess it is truly "always one more thing". Well, anyway, if you don't want to hear another rant, you should probably exit here.
So last Friday we were kicking it. I got Max off to the pediatrician, albeit... dangerously... I thought, anyway. The man of the house fixed those brakes right up. Things were looking up. At least if the school system was going to suck it, I could find help medically for Maximus. The pediatrician I love so much had her nurse call me MONDAY to get the ball rolling on a referral to a developmental pediatrician. Done and done. It was good to sit down with someone who knew me, knew my kid, heard me out and woah... hold the effing phone... did what she said she was going to do.
I was walking around like a plump peacock all impressed that I was owning it and putting life where it needed to be. (a little life maybe, no, not the effing laundry situation. we're still baffled.) But at least some of the more important things. I was chilling out at my desk, vegging out to some Facebook Tuesday morning when a call came through from a number I didn't recognize. Yes, I screen. After I got my voicemail, I was winded, shaking, seething and sensing a bit of a puke-tickle.
The driest voice says something to the effect of... 'Hi, Mrs. Awesome. This is so-and-so's office. I was calling in regards to Max's referral for a developmental evaluation. Please give us a call back at your earliest convenience to set up Max's appointment. Please note, we accept ONLY Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. If you have any other insurance you will be expected to pay the out-of-pocket charge of $1,200.'
She went on to say that I could make payments of $400 each.
And then I dropped the phone.
I'm sorry, what was that??? How can a person get away with that? $1200 for ONE visit. I can't describe how pissed off I was. Is this normal pocket change for others? I felt preyed upon... or something... there aren't any words. Except 4-letter ones... I certainly did not call this insane woman back. I couldn't think of anything decent I could possibly say to her... I knew diarrhea of the mouth would suddenly take over and I would scream at her for every little shitty thing that had happened in the last week.
After sharing a bit of diarrhea with the Hubs, I decided to use my ferocious momentum to call the school system. I knew they weren't at their desks yet, but I would leave messages every fucking day until someone finally called me back. I started with one hand written phone number on our IEP. I have literally 5 different numbers and 5 different emails and 10 different faces from our last meeting. I figured I would just keep calling numbers until someone knew SOMETHING. Imagine my surprise when someone actually answered the phone. THEN I was mad because they WERE there and hadn't called. Oh, the nerve.
I left a message for the contact who actually called back within 10 minutes. She had the very best possible excuse as to why the school system never called back regarding more specific testing for Max:
'I am so sorry, Mrs. Awesome. We had lost his paperwork and forgot.'
What do I say here? My feelings have ranged from homicidal to down right sad that no one seems to care... or that they'd rather make a buck. Everything regarding 'special needs' seems costly, or slow, or overwhelming or just... careless. I said to the pediatrician the other day, 'I just need the TOOLS. I can do whatever the hell I need to do with the TOOLS'. Can someone please just stand up and tell me what the hell is going on here???
I went to sleep that night with all these seething thoughts marinating in my brain. It suddenly occurred to me that I had requested referrals for audiology and speech pathology in the first place. The pediatrician was taking me down a whole other avenue. Developmental Pediatrics???... they diagnose... autism. Is this what we're doing now?? Maybe I'm just jumping to conclusions. I'm probably jumping to conclusions. But there's a huge difference between googling 'autism', talking about 'autism' and actually pursuing 'autism'.
I've since found my own Developmental Pediatrician. One who actually accepts insurance... including mine. My doctor called me back within 15 minutes with a new referral. And after a broken promise that someone from the school system would call me back yesterday in regards to the next phase of testing, I called them again too.
I've heard it and I knew it... but I didn't really know it... YOU are for sure your child's only ally. The only one that will speak up for them. The only one that will fight. You cannot sit back on your haunches and assume ANYONE will voluntarily do the right thing for them. I am in the midst of this lesson. I've been pretty naive, but I am coming around. It is true, the squeaky wheel gets the most attention.