Thursday, February 11, 2010

Once again, more time passed than I had intended. We had an eventful week, with my return to work, Mason's first time at daycare, and some appointments.
Work went fine. Mason did wonderful at Holly's house - he even went down for a nap with no one laying with him! I ended up working more hours than planned, and by the end of the week, Mason was definitely showing signs of not liking it. He was clingy and anxious whenever I left the room. Nothing major, and kind of nice to see that the attachment is definitely there!
We had his appointment with the opthamologist who was not terribly concerned about the strabismus. Neither were we - it has resolved so much from those first few pictures that we had of him. The doc agrees that it will probably continue to resolve on its own.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about providers and services. Many of you know that the big concern that I have had from the beginning is the amount of advocacy I know we'll have to do to get Mason what he needs. I'm not an assertive person by nature, I don't like to hurt people's feelings or make things hard for people. We have Early Intervention services in the home right now. He is eligible for those until he turns three in July. In April we will have to meet and review his plan to start the transition into the Special Education track. It sounds like at that point they will push for him to be in a headstart or some other type of group setting to receive services. I know that this is good for a lot of kids, but it is not where I want Mason right now. At all. And the services we are receiving now are fine - we adore the lady that comes to our house, but I feel like it isn't enough. It isn't as much as I expected. With his issues I really expected to have PT OT and Speech at least once a week, and what we get is just PT once a week, and then that provider can call on an OT or ST if she feels the need. So I am seeking to get him in to a private physical therapist with wonderful facilities and a great reputation. The problem with this is the co-pay. $25 for each visit. Doesn't sound like much, but if we go once a week, that's $100 per month. Remember that we're raising four kids on a teacher and social worker salary. So, we've made the decision to apply for Mainecare for Mason. Our insurance will cover what they normally cover, and then Mainecare (Medicaid for out of staters) will pick up the rest. I was initially nervous that this would cut down on our options, but I think it will open more doors for us in the long run.
The other thing with providers I still haven't come to a decision on. For a long time we have been considering changing Primary Care Providers. My dilemma with that is that I LOVE the doc, but the office is very hard to navigate, it's difficult to communicate with them, and it takes forever to get anything to happen. For instance - even though the office had flu vaccinations this year, they didn't have openings for people to get the flu shot. Max has breathing issues, and Mason was just getting home with multiple medical concerns, and I couldn't get them vaccines. I was able to get them the same day I called at the office in town where we would change to. I think this is going to happen, it's just a matter of timing. I'm not sure what happens to referrals that have been made (cardiology) if we change providers. So it's just complicated.
The kids are all doing great! Reports cards came out and Myles' teacher described him as a "model student" and Madeline's described her as "a gem." Dan's question was, "whose children are we sending to school?" Maddie is missing both of her front teeth. She looks goofy and so much older for some reason. Myles can now ski completely independently which makes it much more fun for all involved. Max is getting used to his role as big brother, and we have lots of fun now when it's me and the two little boys in the mornings. Mason is just thriving. His language increases every day, and he's such a social, charming little guy.
I should have my camera back (thank goodness!) next week, and I really want to get his speech and his physical progress on video because it's pretty remarkable. Until then. . .


Julie & Patrick said...

I always love to hear the updates and by all accounts, you've got your hands full! Change is always difficult, but remember, just like most things, once a few months go by you will hardly remember the hard decisions you had to make along the way. You are doing great with all the kids and they are thriving! Love to see that in all the pictures, it is as if you had to have the fastest shutter speed on that camera set to capture them, as they always seem to be in motion...having fun!!

Julie R

The Pfeiffer Family said...

Thanks for the update. Sounds like all your children are doing great! It is so hard to make changes, especially when you are one that doesn't like to make waves or hurt people's feelings. I am one of these people, too. God will lead you in the right direction and you will receive the best care you can get to meet Mason's needs. You are a great mom and know your children better than any doctor. I love your photos. All your kids have the best smiles and just radiate joy!

April :-)

Anonymous said...

They are all smart and adorable! I love Dan's comment about whose kids are we sending to school!

Love you,

Aunt Ang

Kristi W. said...

Glad things are going well with daycare for Mason! Good for you for advocating for him to make sure he is getting the services he needs. We recently were able to get Medicaid for Shaili which will be a big help since our "insurance" is really nothing more than a catastrophic coverage. Her PT was surprised that she qualified and I was just really thankful!! Hopefully Mason will have the same blessing soon and he can start benefiting from more services. :)

Laura said...

It all sounds very complex. I just wanted to give you my 2 cents from Missouri. I am a Speech Pathologist in MO (which may be different than your state), but it seems like if kiddos have any form of Medicaid or ours is called something different in MO it is much easier to get them outpatient services in a hospital setting (where I work). I used to contract with a Headstart as well and I was actually pretty impressed with the setup... again Missouri may be different. I saw kids 3 times per week. Copays add up quickly and once per week does not sound sufficient to me,either. Your children sound like they are absolutely flourishing. Hang in there on getting the services you need... any way you have to do it.

Nic said...

call me. let me help.


Peter and Nancy said...

Ugh. It's intimidating to try and figure out a new "system," especially when it involves paperwork, insurance, etc. You'll have lots of loving prayers coming your way as you navigate these potential changes.

Even though you think of yourself as not that assertive, I have a feeling the mama bear in you will take over because it's for your son. :o)

Hugs to you and your beautiful family,

Michelleybelle said...

Hey Kristy!
I am having a Lia Sophia party this Friday that I would love for you to come to (I think Abby might be mentioning it to you too). It would be a great chance for the three of us to sit down and talk about our experiences in navigating special services.

I have been less than impressed with Andro County's early intervention system, and I feel so grateful that we started receiving services through Androscoggin Home Health so early on. As far as I know, all it took for his services to be covered by our insurance was to have our pediatrician refer him for the services. And our Mainecare also picks up whatever insurance doesn't. I think the Mainecare route will be a good idea for you too.

Hope you can make it, I would love to talk more!