The One that Took 17 Calls

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17 calls totaling over 5 hours in a 4 day period and calling daily for two weeks prior to that to get a prescription ordered from a specialty pharmacy.  Sound familiar?  I don’t know why it must be this hard for parents to get their kids what they need.

We were still working on a DME order to get worked out until May (2021) from November 2020.  6 months.  Diapers, wipes, and gloves.  You call one time, and they tell you it’s fully covered.  You call a different time, and they say no that’s not covered at all.  The struggle is real.

Do you remember when your parents would tell you they walked to school uphill both ways in the rain? This is what they’re talking about. 

The insurance system is a total scam.  You pay into it monthly expecting coverage.  We meet our deductible pretty much out the gate every year. Let me back up a bit first.  We have incredible coverage through primary insurance.  We also pay for FL healthy kids at a premium to pick up the rest.  We do things the right way, this bites you in the ass Every. Single. Time.

Get a job, they said.  It’ll be great they said.  What they don’t tell you is that you can’t get government assistance then.  Those family’s that need the assistance, but are doing the right thing, are basically getting screwed by the government.  You’ve heard me rant about it before if you’re a repeat reader here.  I was told straight up by someone who works for social security that if I want to qualify, to quit my job and get a divorce.

My current employer didn’t have the greatest coverage, so we decided to apply for Medicaid.  We’re waitlisted in the lowest category, which we honestly thought we’d get flat out denied. So we went with FL Healthy kids to get additional coverage for when the primary didn’t cover. When my husband started working again, we put the kids on his insurance, because it was amazing.  At least it is when it works.  It’s also out of state, so like always, we like to level up the complexity of everything. 

When we went for the wheelchair, things went smooth.  When we went for the car seat, things were ok.  With nursing services and DME supplies for her feeding pump, things got hard.  The incontinence supplies and her last medication have been absolute hell.

We’re talking hours on the phone.  10-minute hold times while agents read notes from previous calls to catch up (note this doesn’t include the actual hold time getting transferred or just waiting for an agent).

God bless the people who answer the phone when I call.  You can hear the passion when they answer the phone and start talking to you, they think they’re going to be your savior. Then by the end of the call, you can hear the pure defeat in their voice. 

Mind you now, this isn’t because I’m treating them poorly.  I go into every single call knowing full well that the person I’m about to speak to has no knowledge of the amount of time I’ve been on the phone about whatever it is I’m calling about.  I can hear it in their voice, they want to help, and 95% of the time this is true.  The other 5% can take a hike, but you can also tell by their voice that they are not happy with life.

My suggestion for all of you is always to be nice. Being kind will get you much further than yelling and screaming.  I’ve only gone that route once, and it was purely because of how the person was treating me, and we’re now buddies when I call that particular business.  

For instance, today on the phone about the medication, we were finally able to get it shipped, and the person who was handling it called me back to update me on the shipping status.  During the call, she thanked me.  Yup, thanked me, the mom who was on her 17th call about this in 4 days, who was frustrated beyond belief. She thanked me for being patient and kind with her knowing how frustrating the situation was.

I was shocked. Someone saw me. They could hear the frustration being held back and the gratefulness that someone was helping.

Today I need the validation of being seen. It’s not easy parenting. Adulting is not what I thought it would be watching from a younger point of view.  I grew up watching Friends and always thought THAT was what life was going to be like.  I was going to be amazing friends with a close-knit group, have lots of fun, laugh tons, and occasionally we’d have to handle tough situations. 

What I got instead was a close-knit group of amazing friends, lots of fun, tons of laughs, and a little more than my fair share of tough situations to handle.  Really, things weren’t that far off, just some days are more challenging than others.

Now, I don’t always see it that way.  Today has been a day of reflection, thinking about those who have really been there for me, listened when I needed an ear, understood when I didn’t say anything, cared when I felt like no one would.

I have that and then some.  And one of these days, I’m going to get my girl to start a podcast, a YouTube channel, or something because we would have you cackling to the point you need to check your drawers.  And who doesn’t need that in their lives?  I’m grateful every time we get to spend that together and amazed by how lucky I am to have that kind of friendship in my life.

Things are tough, that’s not going to change, but we can change how we see it.  You got this.  I never thought I could say that about myself, but I got this too baby!  And trust, we have each other to get through.  Keep your family and friends close and live like you’re on an episode of Friends.

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Sara is a mother of two, wife and full-time employee. She's also a parent of a child with special needs.