Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mother Warrior

Jenny McCarthy says that a mother warrior is "a mother who, instead of mourning, breaks down walls, weaves her way through obstacles, and never gives up, even when she keeps hitting dead ends."

Today I am feeling like a mother warrior. Our insurance is not the only problem we are having with getting Jayden the services he needs. The main problem is our location. Why would it be so easy to use Tricare insurance in Louisiana, and get services paid for, yet it's useless in MS. This morning Jayden and I went to the National Guard base to apply for the ECHO program, a program that helps families in the military who have children with special needs. The cath is that it is only provided for active duty military. My husband is active duty, but that's not a common find out here in Jackson. Seriously when people see my husband in uniform and find out that he's active, you better believe that they will carry an hour long conversation about where he's been and how long he will stay in. And it's so funny b/c their eyes go straight to his medals, and he has several of them! But anyway, I wasn't surprised when I went to the desk to update DEERS and when I mentioned the ECHO program the guy had no idea what I was talking about. He walked me over to the medical office and the Colonel was able to help me. But since there are so few active duty families here in Jackson, there were only 3 cases in the system for families who have ever tried to apply for ECHO here, so he was lost as well. After lots of phone calls that got him nowhere, he turned to his computer and searched for information. From what he found he believes that the ECHO program won't pay for services here in Jackson b/c there are no providers here that meet their standards. I can understand that, as I surely wouldn't want to pay $2,500 a month to someone who is not doing the job I expect them to do. However, services are covered along the gulfcoast, including Biloxi and New Orleans. Hmmm, we are just in a bad place right now. So he gave me a number to call the case coordinator over the ECHO program and find out what she suggests. If I have to use my parents' address then I will. I left a message this morning and haven't rec'd a call back from her yet. Don't think that I'm simply going to wait on that phone call though. Not this warrior!!

I had to go down to the vital stats office to get a certified copy of Jayden's birth certificate in order to apply for the Medicaid for the child with disabilities. It is located in the Dept of Health building. Early Intervention is run by the Dept of Health so I knew they had to be in that building or nearby. So I'm sure you know what I did! I had the receptionist to call the office and give me permission to come up and they did. I went up and I told them the situation, that Jayden's Dr wants him back in therapy asap and since he is 2.5 yrs old, Early Intervention should be giving him the services he needs. She never once mentioned that they ran out of funds. And since everyone who hears this story cannot believe their ears, I'm starting to think that something is just not right with their BS story of no funds. If that was the case, the lady in that office would have said that. Instead, she emailed our coordinator and told her that the Dr needs him back in therapy asap. She gave me the coordinators number and told me that if I don't hear from her this week to call that number. Lack of funds...whatever.

Yesterday, a very kind lady gave me the contact number to MS PTI (MS Parent training and information center) to see if they could be of assistance. They were very polite and when I called, the woman on the phone already knew who I was and what problem we are having. She gave me contact information for the parent educator in my area and says that they should be able to help us out, so I will be calling her shortly to see where that leads me. I'm thankful that we have a plan to get out of here, and I admire all of the parents who have to raise special needs children here (although you may not be in my shoes since you don't have tricare insurance). However, we are stuck here during the most crucial period of his development, where intervention is needed and I will fight until he gets it. I will certainly leave my mark here in Jackson, MS!!

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