Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm baaackkkkk.....

So Andy ended up in the hospital. Strep and Pneumonia. He's now home on liquid Loratab for his throat, and feeling better. He is going to try to go to work tomorrow. I don't know about that, but we'll see how he fares.

We had an awesome experience with Rhett. His balloon popped on his Mic Key button and it fell out. He was gurgling and gooing stomach stuff all over out of his stoma. No worries though, super mom came to the rescue, and I got a new one in without any problems. It was pretty easy, though he was a little frightened at the goo and gurgling noises.

I am so glad we have our emergency kit on hand at all times. I have kind of scoffed at the idea thinking, "Oh it doesn't just fall out anywhere, how can it?" Ha!! I am such a doofus. I now will pack that thing with me 24/7.

His granulation tissue is also doing awesome. His stoma looks better than ever, and it's not so red anymore.

I got his slide put together and he has been loving life. How blessed we are to be able to have that for him to play on now that the cold weather is upon us.

Chloee I think is going to be the next one to get strep. She is complaining of her head hurting and her throat scratching. GREAT.

However I must tell you an amazing story. We live about a block behind the hospital in our town. I took Andy to this hospital because they were close, and we don't have an insurance company telling us where we can and can't go. Besides, I am fed up with IHC.

So we get into the ER, and the lady who is admitting us asks if we have insurance. time to get the boxing gloves out I tell her no, and expect a huge spill about how I will need to pay this much up front, blah blah blah. Guess what.....

She says nothing.

Instead she hands me a form to fill out for a CHARITY CASE. She says, I am sure you will qualify looking over your financial history.

This is where I totally pick my jaw up off of the floor.

The first words that came out of my mouth were, "Are you serious?"

She smiled and said yes, so I went into the whole spill about how we get hounded up at PCMC before we are in a room for even 8 hrs about how we are going to pay, and asking how much we can pay on our balance at that time. I told her about the time that I threw the jack ass nice billing man out of our room in the PICU one time, telling him that if he came back I was going to stab him with the scissors or shock him with the shockers from the crash cart sick my husband on him.

This sweet lady was just shocked that they had done that. She asked me the same question everyone does, "Aren't they a charity hospital?"

Yeah, if you can't prove that you are here legally.

Sorry, kind of a sore spot there.

Needless to say, we walked out of the hospital after Andy was better assured that we need not worry about how we are going to pay. Just focus on getting Andy better and keeping Rhett healthy. Man I wish Rhett could go there for his care.

In other news, I am taking the steps towards homeschooling Dakota. I really feel like this will be better all around. He deserves the best, and I feel like I am the only one who will not fail him at this point. It might not happen till next year, but at least it will happen soon.

That's what we have been up to. I could totally write a soap opera about our lives, don't ya think?


~plaid said...

"Yeah, if you can't prove that you
are here legally, nor can speak a word of English."

OMG, OMG, OMG!!! EXACTLY!!!! I can't tell you how SERIOUSLY true this has become to me as well! I used to be the biggest supporter of PCMC and did what I could when I could to get people to donate through pennies by the inch, children's miracle network, etc. Now I say, Don't bother! I even am getting this way with Festival of Trees, even though it's been a tradition since we had a tree done for our son who died. I can't tell you how FRUSTRATING this is. So I'm just wanting to join you on your soap box. ;) And I could go on and on with a THOUSAND more problems I've been noticing with PCMC, but I'll just leave it at that for now. Thanks for letting me commiserate with SOMEONE who doesn't think I'm terribly lacking compassion (not to mention racist/bigoted) for feeling this way.

Tina:0) said...

Glad Andy is getting back on track. It'll be interesting to see if he makes it to work!

How nice that you actually found a compassionate person to deal with. Having worked in a hospital for 8 years, & also having dealt with them for Vaeh's care, they are few & far between!

Hope things work out for Dakota! Sounds like you're the right answer (that is, you homeschooling him! Sometimes Momma is the best teacher!)

Hope you have a good week & don't need your emergency kit anymore!:0)

Niksmom said...

I'm loving that lady at the hospital! THAT is awesome. See, prayers DO get answered when you need them! :-) xoxo

DTanner said...

I was thinking as I was reading that you just can't catch a break. But now on second thought... I think you just did. That is great. Let me know if you need anything.

Anonymous said...

What resources are you using for homeschool? I was just wondering if you got my email about www.k12.com/utva my kids were just accepted for this year and start on Thursday, they give you a computer and all of the material. We are so excited and it is an amazing school!!

Amie said...

I totally have to agree with you about Primary's "charity". I can't tell you how many times Brody was flown in on LifeFlight and the minute Joss and I walked through the door there was someone there asking to set up payment, but since we were "regulars" in the PICU, our nurses were good to throw them out for us. But they would call my cell phone every day! :( Bastards! (sorry) Don't they realize we are already stressed enough?!

My Three Sons said...

Carson has pretty good insurance and we do have $20.00-30.00 copays when he goes to most of his appointments. So back in Nov of 2007 he was in the ER for his asthma. Well the unit coded his bill wrong and when it went to insurance they read it as a dental problem and kicked it back. Instead of Children's Mercy looking into it, they sent me a bill for $512.00. I couldn't understand why since they paid for 2 other visits and I in stay for pneumonia all that same month. I called and this lady was down right rude and instead of looking into it, she threatened to throw the bill in collections. Now we frequent Children's 4+ times a month and have for a year and a half all the while staying current with co-pays. So I cannot understand this woman's tone. I ended up calling Charlie's work (he covers the insurance) and they told me where the mistake was. I called Ms Rudeness back and she said she would refile it. Do you think she would have apologized? Yea, whatever. So anyways, I finally got the bill for $30.00 and I went in there in person and paid it and told them since I had to do all of their work, I should get that for free. My insurance has paid CMH $100,000.00 easily and they were worried about me paying the $500.00 bill and then make sure I paid the $30.00 copay. Unbelievable.

Okay, sorry it was so long but it has been one of those days and you just pushed that button of things that annoy me.

On a brighter note, I really hope Andy gets to feeling better. I couldn't think of a worse combo to feel awful!

Take care and I'm glad to see your back.

AZ Chapman said...

Oh pam I hope it all works out for D. What grade is he in. I think homeschooling is a great option for kids with nld or AS can I join too/

what a nice lady that you met in the hospittal

Sarah said...

I always wondered why horrible anoymous commenters bothering reading blogs that bother them. If you don't like what she says, don't read it. And if you really had balls, you would of left your name.

And it's sure funny that PCMC can hassle them this much when it's there fault that he has all the PH problems in the first place.

The point with PCMC is they blatently say in there telathons that if you can't afford the bills then they have programs to help you out and they are big fat liars.

If you have insurance or have had insurance or have ever paid a bill to them, your screwed. But I can hop on over the border, and take my child there and get everything for free, sorry but that is absurd.

Pam said...

Dear Anonymous,

Funny how you can come on here and ask me about these things. As I have stated before, this is my blog, it's a free country and I will write whatever I damn well please.

My point is, have you EVER gone and sat in the ER at PCMC and seen the people that walk in there for just a small sore throat....that need a trasnlator? Then in triage you hear them ask about insurance, and this they CAN say, Oh no, no insurance. These are people that come to OUR country and the majority are here illegally. They are taking up all of the healthcare money from those of us that really need it, just for a sore throat.

BTW, We are taxpayers too, and No you are NOT paying for our health care. WE are. We are getting no help from anyone other than close family who understand our situation and have been here watching us struggle and fight for the last four years.

I said that Rhett had outgrown all of his clothes, and that he was going to be running around commmando. That was being funny and sarcastic. Trying to make light of the situation. The clothes that you see him in are hand me downs. Hand me downs that we are so excited to have. I also go shopping at consignment shops for clothes that are super cheap as well as thrift stores.

My Hollister shirt that I am wearing all came from a giftcard that I got for my birthday last year. I do not buy anything from that store unless it is on clearence and I have a gift card.

All of my family knows that come birthdays and Christmas that I want either a gift card to Bath and Body Works, or a Hollister Card.

Is that so bad? That I want to spoil myself once and a while? I have never paid more than 12.00 for a shirt there. That's about the same that you can get from Wal-mart.

I also buy my kids clothes from clearance racks at the end of the seasons for the next year when we have a little extra. Chloee's outfit that she is wearing cost me a total of 8.00 from target, and 1.50 for the tights from the Children's place. So 9.50 for her whole outfit, and I made the flowers for her headband.

There are ways for your kids to look nice and still do things cheap.

Dakota needs a new coat this year. His coat from last year doesn't fit him. Guess what, my sister just bought him one. So he could have something new.

His outfit in his picture, as well as Hunter's both came from Yard Sales. If you ever need some hints on how to shop thrifty and still make your kids look SUPER cute, let me know. I have lots of secrets.

Oh, another cool thing is what we call Kid to Kid. See they buy my kids clothes, and then I can either get cash, or 30% more in store credit. That is how we do alot of our shopping for clothes around here. They have super cute clothes for dirt cheap.

But most importantly we have friends who hand down clothes to us when their kids who are older have outgrown them. That is a major blessing for us.

You know, my kids read this, but guess what, it's nothing they don't deal with every day of their lives. They hear, no you can't have this or that because we don't have the money for it. They hear, no you can't play football or go to dance anymore because your year is up, and we don't have the money to sign up for another year.

I have nothing against hispanics who are here legally and wanting to make a better lives for themselves. I have some very dear friends from Columbia who are amazing, and came here legally. Guess what, they have the very same feelings that we do about illegals, and them taking up federal money that should be used for people who really need it.

I know of many hispanics that feel that same way. They say that the illegals make it rough for everyone.

"Gee, maybe if you didn't speak english you would have an easier time." is what you said in your last post. You know what, you just confirmed everything that I have said. Thank you.

The only people I have cursed out is PCMC. They are the ones who have caused Rhett's lung issues. He had no lung issues before they overdosed him.

There is a time and a place to ask for payment. When your son is in the PICU just come from surgery and fighting for every breath he takes is not that time.

Mountian View had it right, when they told us to worry about the money later and that they would work with us. When you are in the hosptial with your child, or any member of your family for any amount of time, it is stresfull enough without billing asking you for money right then and there.

THAT is my point. Do you want to know how many collections letters we got in the mail today from ARC (who is the collections agency for IHC) 6. All of them more than 600.00. We send them 15.00 a month. Enough to pay the intrest.

Why do you think that Andy has made the choice to go into the Navy? Why do you think that we are willing to sacrafice our time together as a family? Because we want to make a better life for ourselves. We don't want to have to worry about insurance for Rhett and Dakota ever again.

You make it sound like we are just sitting around waiting for hand outs. Well I can tell you my friend. We are far far from that.

We have sold everything we own to make ends meet. We no longer have a vehicle that fits all of us, we downsized from a 2005 Dodge Durrango to a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix. Then we have Andy's truck. that is a 1999. We have cashed out all of our 401K's and stocks. We have 50.00 in our checking account. I just had to call my Dr. and get in for an appointment because of an infection, asking him if we could please tag the 70.00 office visit to the rest of our bill. Thank goodness we have an awesome Dr. and he knows and understands what we are going through and said it was fine.

This is what we do every day of our lives. Fight for things that we shouldn't have to fight for.

Yes I am bitter sometimes, but my life is good because I have my kids, and they have their parents. In the long run that is all that matters. I vent on my blog so that I am not running around like a mad woman screaming at everyone.

One human can only take so much.

Thanks for commenting. But you should not judge other people. Have you ever heard of the saying words hurt? Cause they do, and it's not nice to kick people when they are down.

That is the point that I am making. I am sorry for speaking the truth. If you didn't want to hear it, then go away, and don't come back.

You are an ass for telling me that I am wrong to take my kids to the park. Do they not deserve some fun time? Am I wrong for going out and enjoying the fall colors and teaching my kids about different seasons?

Do you realize that it was Dakota who found your comments, and he was sitting here in tears asking why someone could be so mean to me when I do everything I can for our family.

I had to explain to him that people are not nice sometimes, and they don't understand what we go through. That it doesn't matter what other people think as long as we know that we are doing the very best that we can.

So thanks alot.

Yup, I do complain about money. It's a huge sore spot in our lives right now. But after all we have been through and continue to deal with, I think I can complain. Like I said it's my blog.

Thank God not everyone is like you, and that we have true friends who understand and don't try to make life horrible for everyone else.

I think that's all. Dakota helped me write this, so if you are upset about something why don't you come back and chew out my 13 year old who has special needs, okay?

But I can tell you that we both feel a heck of alot better. :)

Niksmom said...

Pam, I am SOOOO glad you stood up to the anonymous troll!

And, anonymous troll...if you have the cajones to come back and read this...(EXPLETIVE) you for being such a mean, judgmental person.

I hope for your sake that you are never placed in a position such as Pam, Andy, and their kids have been in. They embody the power of faith and family and community. If you are half as lucky you will have that in your life; it sure sounds like you don't. You must be a very sorry sort of person.

My Three Sons said...

WOW!! I thought my post stirred the pot. I actually read your blog and was one of the first to comment on this and you know what, I agree. I certainly didn't look at your blog as a bashing on illegals. I don't mind them being here, I just think they should become legal, have taxes taken out of their paychecks, and pay into our govt. owned programs just like the rest of us. I own my own business and I have to match all my employees taxes so I usually pay IRS around $60,000.00(I'm so not kidding on that amount) a year. That doesn't include city, state, personal property, unemployeement, sales tax, and so on. It is very frustrating for me to play by the rules when others get away with not. But then they expect to use up all of our programs. Charlie's mother came here from Cuba and guess what? She is legal. She worked her whole life and ended up living with us for her last 4 months while on Hospice. Prior to that, she couldn't afford her heart medicine and that was with insurance.

It's funny that hard working people like us who have insurance cannot blog about are views on people abusing our system.

One thing that kills me about that hospital is Rhett's problems are because of them. They should have a picture of you in every employee lounge and when they see you coming, give you the royal treatment. The last thing on PICU mind concerning your son should be money. I myself think it is ballsy that they would charge you for anything. Your situation is unique. I think people should back off and let you vent. That's why I'm here. I'm here to support you and your entire family.

I think that Andy deciding to go into the Navy is brave. He isn't exactly 18 and that sure as hell says a lot for his character. He has always tried to provide for his family and I cannot believe anyone would come down on you for that.

Hollister, I'm like you, I wait until things go on clearance and stock up. You can always get great deals at the end of season. But you know, your kinder than me, I certainly wouldn't justify to anyone how I spend my money.

Taking your kids to the park, I'm glad. That is good for all of you to get out and bond. Your family deserves to know that there is life beyond medical issues and everyday life stresses.

Dakota, people in this world can be evil. Just know for every one dumb person, there are 100 that love you and your family. You are such a sweet boy and I always enjoy seeing your pictures.

Okay, I feel so much better. See I have been in a slump so I guess I'm now venting on your blog as well.

I love you guys and you don't need to change a thing. Your one of the best mom's I have ever come across!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Navi said...

ok, you're tweet got me over here (I read you occasionally when niksmom responds to you)

I was curious. I'm kind of pro providing healthcare to illegals, but not when you turn down citizens. that's ridiculous. and your comment didn't say anything about illegals in general, just that particular hospital was catering to them and not providing charity to citizens. So, whatever anonymous poster said (yay to you for deleting it) was ridiculous.

In MI, we have a law that requires ERs to provide care, so you get asked about insurance in check in, and you get billed later. I don't know if they have any charity hospitals though... That sounds really neat. They really should balance out charity to illegals and citizens though...