Quick update on a break at work! I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of days with the ARD at Tanner’s school and everything else. The ARD overall went well I guess, but for some reason, Erik let Tanner take a nap just before we were supposed to go (I can’t fault him too much though…T’s meds make him sleepy so sometimes it’s difficult to keep him up). Because we couldn’t wake him up without creating a HUGE problem for ourselves, (he was likely to be in a mood that would make the meeting almost impossible) we elected that I would stay home with him and attend by phone.
Erik called shortly after arriving to let me know that our advocate wasn’t there AND they couldn’t find a speaker phone that would allow me to attend the meeting; both unacceptable problems which meant we would likely be forced to reschedule the meeting which meant Tanner was going to be out of school even longer. I hung up to call our advocate, simultaneously logging into Erik’s email to see if he had even notified her of the meeting…he hadn’t GRRRRR. I get our advocate on the phone and explain what was going on and she said she could attend by phone, but I explained that the last I heard, they didn’t have a speaker phone for her or I to attend…she agreed that was completely unacceptable. In the meantime, I have Erik calling me back and we are going round and round about what happened, why the advocate wasn’t notified, the school found a phone, the phone doesn’t work, the school found another phone, etc. It was NUTS. Just what we needed, more stress!
We finally got everyone on speaker phone and two hours later we ironed out a new placement that essentially puts Tanner back where he was last year. Half day at a school for children with ED (emotional disturbance) and half day at a school for children with severe developmental delays. Neither one is really a good fit for Tanner in terms of his abilities and diagnoses, but it is where he experienced the most success. At the latter school, he has teachers and students he is familiar with and will most likely be in their classes again and at the ED school, he will have different teachers but similar students which will help. All in all, both schools are much more familiar with Tanner and understand better how to work with him. Later, when I was talking to an old teacher of his, she commented that she wanted SO much to get in touch with us after learning all the trouble Tanner was having, but was told that she had to let this new school try to sort it out. Again, frustrating for her and frustrating for me, because I think the focus should be on the student and what is best for HIM and not worrying about stepping on another school’s “toes” but oh well.
He did well yesterday, but this morning was a bit of a nightmare getting him off to school. I overheard most of what was going on between he and Erik downstairs and it sounded like he wasn’t excited to be going back to the ED school. In reality, I think he was upset that Erik wasn’t taking him to school like yesterday since they got the bus set up. It is a change in routine and he wasn’t all that excited about riding the bus to school. Erik ultimately got him on the bus and we haven’t had a phone call from the school yet so I’m praying this is one of those odd times when he loses it at home and then goes on to have a great day at school. I don’t know why it happens like that, but very often, if he has a great morning with us, he has a miserable day at school.
Uggh, spoke too soon. Erik had to bring Tanner home, but this time because he needs an immunization. We’ve been trying for weeks to figure out how to get him immunized. Apparently to get immunized in TX you need to be A: on welfare or B: Independently wealthy. If you aren’t one of those two, you are going to have to spend HOURS trying to find A: a doctor in your network with private stock that can squeeze him in between all the Medicaid patients or B: be prepared to pay at least $70.00 for the shot DESPITE paying hundreds of dollars each month to insure your family. Apparently, it costs more to do the insurance paperwork when a doctor administers a shot (often costing more than the actual shot itself) so most doctors choose NOT to give immunizations to insured patients. This means that, even though we are insured, we are FORCED to pay for the shot or lie about being insured and wait in a line out the proverbial wazoo (as you can imagine…not easy when you have a kid with a low frustration tolerance) to get a free shot.
A few hours have passed since Erik was forced to bring Tanner home from school because he didn’t have the shot and apparently the nurse at his old school bent over backwards to let the new school know we hadn’t been able to update this shot yet. When Erik went to the old school, she gave him this look like he was lying about the difficulties we’ve had trying to find someone that can immunize Tanner without costing us an arm and a leg. Erik told her that we had left several messages at various clinics throughout our city and NOBODY was returning our phone calls. We’ve been trying for TWO weeks to find someone to give him this stupid shot. She grabbed her list, plopped down and started calling the same clinics only to discover busy signals or voicemails (just like we told her). She eventually gave up and told Erik “You are just going to have to take him in.” Erik reminded her that they have lines out the door of the clinic and asked her how he was supposed to make Tanner wait patiently for god knows how long to get a shot…hell we couldn’t get him to wait in a line that long if there was a lifetime supply of chocolate at the end much less some overworked nurse with a hypodermic needle with his name on it. What universe has this nurse been living in for the last month; certainly not the universe where Tanner got suspended from her school four times in the past month.
I feel sorry for Tanner, because Erik is at his absolute LIMIT of patience. I’M at my absolute limit and I’m not the one that’s been running my ass between two schools all day trying to get this crap sorted out. I honestly don’t know what to do at this point.
Ok, apparently it is going to cost us $70.00 to get the damn shot ANYWHERE and then we will have to submit the claim on our own. Why did it take 2 weeks and multiple phone calls to arrive at this information?? Guess I’ll have to chop down that last money tree in our back yard and shake the last few coins free so we can get him immunized so that he can FINALLY go back to school. Geez, I don’t get why he couldn’t keep going anway…the shot is for tetanus. It isn’t like he’s going to catch or give that to anyone without the shot.
After spending years trying to get Tanner additional health coverage through Medicaid or some kind of help for all the additional medical bills we incur (because health insurance doesn’t pay for hearing aids ya’ll) on a yearly basis and being turned down time and time again for making just OVER the limit, is it any wonder why I sometimes consider having both Erik and I quit our jobs so that we can go on the public dole and live the easy life where healthcare is free, your monthly food budget is as easy as a card swipe away, and subsidized housing allows you to spend YOUR money on the Cadillac in the driveway. I mean seriously…why are we trying so hard anyway? Where is the incentive to get out there and work hard and make something of yourself if it means you are just going to have to work 10 times harder to keep your nose above water?
Truthfully, we have investigated what sort of assistance we could get because it is getting more and more difficult for Erik to work and we’ve had to try to figure out how we would make ends meet if Erik is forced to quit his job. The thought of getting assistance truly turns my stomach though. I have just never been the type of person to say “Ok, I’m fine with never striving for something better, I’m perfectly happy letting someone else pay my bills for me.” That just is NOT me. I didn’t spend years getting an education so that I could take a handout. Unfortunately, we see that in order to get Tanner the kinds of help and services he needs, that is probably the way it will have to go. If it doesn’t happen now, it probably will when he turns 18. I’m guessing that Erik will probably get his own place at that point and have Tanner move in with him so that they can qualify for SSI and other types of assistance…mainly the additional health benefits since insurance mental health policies are crap. Anyway sorry for another long drawn out bitch session. I hate being in this position, it sucks!
P.S. LOL Erik just came in and I quickly scrolled through this post to show him how long it was and he noticed I started it out with “Ok, Quick update!” Sorry…I lied :P
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