When so many things are going wrong for my kid, it’s not easy staying positive. Every institution that has been (supposedly) set up to help my kid is failing miserably. Everything is a battle. Every day there is someone to call or email or visit. Some days I write dozens of emails and scan just as many documents to move things forward for Lily. Inching forward is more like it.
Thankfully I am not alone. I have an army of people helping me along this battle – from Stephen to Lily’s therapists and doctors, and the other special needs moms – who are in the trenches with me, fighting similar battles, sharing their knowledge, their love and support. But we are outnumbered.
Yet we move forward. With determination and hope. Because we are fighting the good fight, trying to get the most basic of needs for our children met.
The absurdity of the situation (like so many other things going on in this world) baffles me. Here is one such example: We recently saw Lily’s neurologist as she is starting to have episodes that look like seizures. The doctor prescribed a 48-72 hour EEG. While trying to schedule it, I learn that my insurance company will not pay for a prolonged EEG without putting her first through an in-office 30 minute EEG. It is a foregone conclusion that we will not get any answers from this short study; Lily has these episodes maybe once a day. What I do know is that this 30 minute EEG will cause a significant amount of stress for my kid and we’ll have to do it all again a few days later.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with what an EEG entails, here is a quick overview:
- Walk into a small, claustrophobic room filled with medical machines and a hospital bed.
- Get the kid to lay still while the technician glues 20+ leads on her scalp and then wraps head, which takes about an hour. (Many of you know Lily so you could imagine the herculean effort it takes to keep her still.)
- Sit there for 30 minutes to 3 days hooked up to a machine.
- The technician (who is often slurping on a smoothie or munching on chips throughout the process and sometimes smells bad) removes the 20+ leads and we go home.
- The parent then spends 2-5 hours getting the glue out of the kids scalp.
Could you imagine putting your kid (and yourself) through this twice? The first time for no reason other than to tick a box for the insurance company. So I’m fighting back, knowing it is unlikely that I will win this battle.
So, I am angry. And scared. Because Lily may now be having seizures which is why we are doing an EEG in the first place.
But I am also hopeful. And proud. Because through it all, my child shines. She is not easily deterred. And neither am I. And I know that – given all these crappy circumstances – we have a lot of great in our life. And some days, I’m actually able to focus on this and suspend my worries about her future.