The Unforeseeable Future, According to the Compliment Sandwich

28 Oct

I just got off the phone with the good people at Anthem BCBS. Ah, health insurance. The topic of many a conversation in our house…and well, pretty much everywhere the last year or so.

On Friday, Abby and I ditched “pretty-school” for her physical therapy assessment at the new CHKD facility on Butler Farm. For my Hampton peeps, that’s the road that leads parallel to I-64 and dead ends at Thomas Nelson. I honestly didn’t even know it existed, but it’s so convenient to not have to drive to Norfolk, Chesapeake or Newport News for at least one of my kids’ appointments.

CHKD Butler Farm is so nice and new on the inside, and there was NO ONE in the waiting room. We sanitized our hands anyway, but still, so clean!

Abby is turning three in November and that means she’s aging out of Early Intervention with Versability (formerly the ARC of the Virginia Peninsula). She’s been with the physical therapy program through EI since she came home from the NICU. It’s been really helpful with meeting milestones and getting Abby the extra attention she needs without having to leave our house. I’m going to miss rolling out of bed 5 minutes before PT comes.

The new physical therapist was sweet and she got along with Abby right away. Really, who doesn’t? Abby is like the world’s easiest child.

The world's easiest child.

Seriously, she smiles like this all day. She just oozes love.

The therapist went through her exercises and then she made her recommendation at the end of the appointment. I can’t tell you how many assessments Jackson and Abby have had. For people who don’t know, it’s where someone who’s gone to school longer than me, sits with a checklist and marks off where the kids succeed or fail for their age in speech, hearing, growth, milestones or physical activities. You name it, we’ve assessed it. And I know it’s not nice to say, but I hate assessments, no matter who does them, and they make me very grumpy. And they also make me eat ice cream.

So, basically, assessments make me fat.

Abby’s PT verdict was given in my personal favorite style: the compliment sandwich.

Compliment: Abby has such great socks on! She is doing so well for what she’s been through.

Cold, Hard Truth: She needs physical therapy 2-3 times a week for an unforeseeable length of time.

Compliment: She is just so cute! I love her glasses.

Healthcare providers, take note. This is the point in most of these appointments where I’m smiling and nodding, but desperately trying to hide the fact that my brain is currently short-circuiting/twitching/misfiring. I’m trying to listen to you and process the news about my precious little people, all while figuring out how to balance school pickups and dropoffs, work, volunteer meetings, Ev’s teaching schedule, the kids’ extracurricular activities, their regular specialist visits and now 2-3 additional appointments per week of PT.

The scheduler at the front desk could see it in my eyes.

She was all like…girllllll…let’s start at two appointments a week.

And I was all like…girllllll…YES. Three appointments is schedule suicide.

Your appointment card, Mrs. Bensten.

Ace “I-eat-Barbie-crayons-and-all-paper-products” Bensten tried to billygoat the appointment list.

Having looked at this printout of Abby’s appointments through April, I wanted to get an idea of what the costs would be. I spoke with a very nice lady at BCBS who explained my copay ($35) for each PT appointment. So that’s $70/week; not too bad. Oh wait, how many weeks in a year? Hello out-of-pocket maximum. Nice to see you again! Looks like we’ll be hanging out for the unforeseeable future.

Despite a “few” copays, do you know what outshines the struggle? Knowing that Abby’s going to improve to the point where she can run alongside her peers.

It may take awhile, but do you see that? Squint real hard with me. Harder.

See it? That’s the finish line…way…….way…………way down there. And Abby’s going to be running through it.

(For a child that had a grade 4 IVH with hydrocephalus and has mild hemiplegic CP, I think she’s done remarkably well.)

4 thoughts on “The Unforeseeable Future, According to the Compliment Sandwich

  1. It may mean one less pizza night to pay for PT, or OT, or speech, if it can’t be provided through school, but you keep fighting for your kids, and doing what’s necessary for Abby to get what she needs to excel, because I didn’t fight hard enough. I won’t get into excuses or reasons, but I will tell you I live with regrets every day with my 23 year old who is way behind where he could be. Stick with it, when you don’t want to, make someone go with you. 🙂 You’re doing a wonderful job and Abby and Jackson are blessed to have you for their Mom.

    • Thanks! You’re right, at the end of the day, this stuff is way more important. The therapist said this is a great time for growth for little ones.

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