2/11/2015

Warning: Here Be Cussing. Lots of it.

Insurance.

Oh for the love of web footed friends in the forest.

Insurance.

So, the littlest one has a mild speech delay. And, pushing aside the mommy guilt (unfounded, yes, I know) that I have  because of it, I've got him in speech therapy twice a week.

Let's back up a bit, shall we? The husband's company moved locations last year, about half-way through the year. And, insurance companies being the pieces of poop that they are, decided that their current company/plan was no longer an option owing solely to the address of record for the company. They moved all of maybe ten miles, within the same state, so it's not as if they moved into DC or anything like that. But ok, fine. Whatever. They switched to another company and plan, one we'd had before and liked. But of course, we'd had it before and liked it prior to the current clown in the white house and his bend you over the barrel and stick it to you care act.

So of course, the new plan is nothing like the old plan for all they share the same name.

Now, our old insurance was pretty straight forward. They don't cover speech therapy, period, unless it's caused by medical trauma. So, I don't agree with that but whatever, it was clear. So we've been self-paying at our current place and they have a semi-reasonable self-pay option so, fine. (I'm not sure I believe that speech therapy is worth spit on a tissue, but that's a post for another day.) When we switched insurance, I took the info in because everything online said that oh, of course it's covered, X visits a year and so forth. Well, the place we're going is out of network for the new insurance.

Fine. But since we *could* have it covered, it makes sense to go somewhere that takes our company. So I find a place and get an evaluation appointment and yesterday we have the chance, finally, to go in and do that. And everything is good and I have appointments all set up and am planning to tell our current place that we're done when we go in today.

And then they call this morning to say that they've been told that developmental delays aren't covered.

But...what? All the documentation for the plan clearly spells out the coverage for speech therapy. With no mention of any exceptions that the therapy can't be because of a developmental delay. You'd think that, knowing that insurance companies want people who FREAKING PAY THEM MONEY to know how and why they are getting benefits, you'd think that they'd be very clear about the 9 zillion exceptions to any benefit that they so happily state. Of yes, of course we cover speech therapy. Unless you mean speech that comes out of a person's mouth. We don't cover *that* kind of speech therapy. We just cover therapy for talking asses. (So hey, all the people in the White House are good. It's just us little people who are hosed.)

So I call up the member services number and talk to "Mike." Now, if this person in India's name is Mike, my name is Bathsheba. But ok, fine. It's a call center. Welcome to 2015. So I wade though his horrific accent and, after clarifying that no, he's not talking to my three-year-old with a speech delay, but is, in fact, talking to his mother (really, I should have known it was going to all go bad when he asked why the boy couldn't be having this call. Um. Look at the birthdate, man, he's 3) I ask about the coverage. And he gives me the same info that's online. So I mention that the lady at the therapy center mentioned that she was told there was a Clinical Services Memo that made it un-covered. And he says, "That memo doesn't apply to the type of plan you have."

I push a little more cause I know that at the end of the day, he's just some idiot hired to answer the phone and read me the website but that he might have a little more information than the average person can get and he gets the therapy center lady on the line and she mentions a code and he says oh that diagnostic code triggers the memo.

"But the memo doesn't apply to my plan?" Isn't that what he just said?
"Well, but the code..."
"Shouldn't matter if the MEMO DOESN'T APPLY TO MY PLAN. PERIOD."

Oh, there was a misunderstanding? Oh. My bad. I misunderstood that when your lips were moving you were talking out of your ass.

But hey, at least YOU qualify for speech therapy.

1/26/2015

I Love the Sound of Little Boys in the Morning...it Sounds Like Silliness

Usually around here, the littlest is up first and is calling out, "Mooommmyyyy" hoping that I will come and free him from sleepy time. Of course, he's in a big boy bed these days and his door is cracked open, so he could totally get out of bed and come find me, but I'm enjoying the fact that, so far, he hasn't realized how free-range he could be. Going and getting him typically then results in the elder boy awakening and the day beginning in earnest.

But this morning, there was the typical, "Moommmyyy..." followed by a moment of silence and then there was a "Pbbbbt"

It didn't sound like the younger (though he's perfectly capable of making that awesome noise.) I lay in bed and the littler says the elder's name.

"Pbbbt." From the elder again.
"Pbbbbbt" and a giggle. From the younger.
"Pbbt pbbt." Elder, giggling madly.
"Pbbbbbbbbbt pbbpt pbbt" Younger, with more giggles.

And so on for about five minutes.

It's a surprisingly pleasant way to wake up.

1/25/2015

Well Then, Where Were We?

Didn't mean to drop off the edge of the earth there (again) - really I'm planning on being back here somewhat more frequently. But no, I did not knock myself unconscious for an entire week with the broom handle (though really, it was a near thing.)

Let's see - over the past week, we've had the stomach flu hitting up the Sleepy home (hubby and the elder boy are, so far, the only victims. Fingers crossed that youngest and myself have avoided the nastiness. I tend to have a more solid constitution when it comes to stomach things so... we shall see.)

I also finished up my latest book (well, the initial draft of it) and have sent it off to my critique partner. When she gets it back to me, I'll shoot it off to my editor. I read through it again last night (ostensibly I was editing, but at this point my eyes are too accustomed to it. I made a few tweaks but mostly just had an enjoyable time reading it. So, it entertained me. And really, that's about the only person an author can guarantee their work will satisfy.)

I got suckered into a Facebook fingernail party (these "wraps" for your nails - I guess if you're too lazy to use nail polish? Or you don't like it?) Anyway, it's been rather amusing. I bought some because, well, it's like a Pampered Chef thing, if you like the friend who invited you (I do) then you want to buy something so they get hostess points to get free stuff. Am I going to become a nail wrap aficionado? I can't see it being overly likely. In fact, I'm fairly certain that when the things arrive it's going to be a comedy of errors when I attempt to apply them. I nearly laughed myself silly when the first post talks about how "You probably already have everything you need to apply your wraps" and then goes on to list the following:

  • Nail scissors
  • Nail clippers
  • Buffer block
  • Orange sticks
  • Rubber cuticle pusher
  • Nail file
Of those, I own nail clippers. I know what a nail file is. The rest? It's a mystery. What's the difference between nail scissors and nail clippers? Why would you have (or need) both? What on God's green earth is a "buffer block"?? To me, this is a unit of measuring how quickly your Netflix loads when streaming. Or something similar. Orange sticks? Is that the color? Will any stick, painted orange, work? (I'm guessing no. It's unlikely to be color related. So it's...a stick from an orange tree? But for what?) Rubber cuticle pusher - I can imagine what this is, but why would anyone own one?

I am clearly not girly enough to use these things (which I tried to explain to my friend when she invited me, but she said it was fun. I'm still waiting on that part.) Regardless, I'll take my list off to the dollar store (they'll have all that there, right? Or should I try Target?) and spend an hour in the pharmacy aisle trying to find the things.

Inevitably I'll hurt myself with at least two of them.

I'll keep you posted.

And that's been my week. Awesome, no?

1/18/2015

No Good Deed

So the eldest boy got a set of jacks, complete with super bouncy ball, from the treasure chest at Sunday school today. (I won't get into the whole treasure chest thing beyond saying that while I admire the idea that you can motivate kids to bring their Bibles to church with external awards, maybe, just maybe, you should think about the crap you're giving them. Cause every time he comes home with another parachuting guy who I will inevitably have to spend roughly sixteen hours fixing before the younger boy finally and inexplicably ruins it (to the great, dramatic tears of the eldest) I consider hiding his Bible and rushing him out the door before we have time to look for it.)

So. Jacks. Fine. Jacks are fun. I loved Jacks as a kid.

However, back in my day (when dinosaurs roamed the earth, apparently, and parents were expected to, I don't know, be responsible and watch their children) jacks were roughly the size of a nickel if you were to make it into a 3-d globe. A good size - small enough to be challenging during onesies and doable, but again tricky, all the way up to tensies.

Anyway, I was showing the boy how to play and was taken aback by the fact that these jacks, in addition to not being metal (they're some kind of weird gummy texture that honestly makes me think they should be edible), they're individually the size of a half-dollar coin spun into a 3-d globe. Honestly. If you think about the size of a kid's hand and expect them to be able to scoop up more than one of these things at a time plus catch a ball? You're nuts.

(My rules, at least, require that you do the bounce/scoop/catch all with the same hand. Maybe you're allowed to use two hands now?)

Regardless, the boy just likes the bouncy ball. And really, why wouldn't you? So he's bouncing the ball in the kitchen and I ask him maybe five times to go somewhere else because it's going to get away from him and roll under the oven. Oh, no. He won't let it get away from-- oops.

Yeah, right under the oven.

So I fish at it with a long spoon. He's wailing at the loss of his brand new ball. I say, "Go get me the broom please."

He comes back with the broom and while I'm lying prone on the floor trying to swivel the broom handle just so to nudge the ball forward (question: why do things roll freely and easily to the back of the oven but you can't scoot them forward to save your life?) I whack myself squarely on the bridge of the nose with the broom handle.

I don't know as I've ever seriously seen stars before. But I did today.

Three hours later, my head is still splitting, my nose aches, and if I see that ball or the jacks again, I'm liable to toss them out.

1/12/2015

Nothing to See Here But a Little Whine

If I had actual friends who did not live inside a computer or who were not always so busy with their own lives that I never got to talk to them (which really, if that's the case, are they friends? Or does it bump them down to acquaintance?) I would call them and gripe instead of posting. Yeah.

Last June, for my parent's 50th, I gave them a Keurig. Now, they're not coffee people, but mom likes hot tea and cocoa and they have enough guests drop by that I thought hey, this is an easier way to offer them a hot beverage. Mom agreed, and thus the thing was purchased (so it was with her blessing.) It came home to my house today because, apparently, she never uses it, it's too hard to figure out, and on and on and on and okay, fine, all her reasons are valid, but it really feels like yet another "No good deed goes unpunished" situation. Yes, we drink coffee here. But I have a coffee maker that I love. And I grind my beans fresh. Cause I'm a coffee snob. And really, at the end of the day, my feelings are hurt because I thought it would be nice and easier for her than standing in front of the microwave (she's not really great at standing these days. Chemo is hell on soft tissue.)

We had a day in terms of homeschooling today. And I would normally have just punted and said we'd try again tomorrow, but we had two punt days last week and so sometimes you just have to muscle through. But all the people who I know in real life are not only not pro-homeschool, they're decidedly anti-homeschool and public school teachers to boot. So I wouldn't even get a passing "there, there, it'll be okay", any frustration about homeschooling is met with a lecture about why it's a terrible thing and I'm damaging my children by choosing it. And really, there's nothing quite so awesome as getting crapped on when you already feel like poo.

And so it goes. And yeah, I know, this too shall pass. But I can't help thinking it'd be nicer, and probably pass more easily, if there was someone besides me who cared.

1/09/2015

Busy Days

I didn't mean to drop off the map right after I decided to rejoin it - just Christmas and all that. You know how it is.

Anyway, we're settling back into the routine of a new year, completely with newly birthday-fied oldest (last week's joy was a houseful of 6-8 year old boys running around for the majority of Saturday. Lordy. It was fun, don't get me wrong. But...wow. Of course, my sister dropped by as it was winding down and left very shortly thereafter because of the noise. I can't say I noticed it was appreciably louder than a typical  with just my two. Heh.)

We've been the doctor (see newly birthday-fied child) and he's healthy and right where he ought to be. So, while I already knew that, it's good to have it verified by a "professional." I'm sure I'll feel less delighted about the professional verification when we get the bill. I miss the days when you paid for your health insurance and then went to the doctor and things were paid for. Or you had a copay and that was the end of it. Now it's all about the deductible. So you go. They say, "Oh, you don't have a copay." SO you don't pay anything. Then you get...THE BILL. Because until you've paid the insane deductible (and ours is insane, though I'm told it's less insane than other peoples) you're actually on the hook for the whole thing. But you can't just pay it when you go in, because it has to run through the "insurance" first, otherwise it wasn't counted against said deductible. And good grief, this has made healthcare easier and more affordable? FOR WHOM? Oh, and we're still paying just as much each paycheck. So it's not like all we're paying is the deductible. And, at the risk of beating a dead horse (why is it dead? Probably because it tried to read the fine print on its insurance coverage.), I liked our plan before all this started, so would've been perfectly content to, you know, keep it. Like we were promised. (And we're not even going to mention speech therapy for the younger child that is, when all is said and done, costing us the equivalent of a car payment a month.)

Of course, that just feeds into the whole, "how do you know Obama's lying? His lips are moving." thing. I'd say joke, but really, no one's laughing. And is anyone worth voting for actually planning to run at this point for '16? So far, I'm not impressed with the hints and speculation running rampant. I begin to understand, at least a teeny tiny bit, the people who've just given up all together. But that doesn't help fix the problems, so really, taking my bat and ball and going home isn't an option.

And, I didn't intend for this to turn into that kind of post. My initial point was that things were great, just busy. Apparently I also need to add: expensive.

12/31/2014

The End of the Year

Well, another end of the year is upon us. I have to say I find myself caring less and less about such things as I get older (though I struggle more with remembering to change the dang date when I write it, so it balances out.)


I suspect we'll ring in the new year, so to speak, in our usual way, which is to say either sleeping or playing  a board game while the kiddos snooze. Either way I anticipate being asleep by 12:15. I'm not a night owl and making it to midnight is something of an accomplishment in and of itself.

It's been a good year, overall and I'm looking forward to what 2015 has in store. Though, on the flip side, as I poke my head out of my self-imposed bubble of avoidance, I look at the world and its happenings and quail a tad about what 2015 might have in store. If things continue to go the way they're headed, well, I suspect we're going to find Christians, particularly conservative ones, in a world of hurt. And while yes, that may winnow out the in-name-only Christians, but I fear the rest of us are looking down the barrel of increasing suffering if we want to remain faithful to living as we're called to do in the Bible.

And with that little ray of sunshine, I think I'll just say have a lovely evening. See you in the new year.