Sunday, August 1, 2010

The brace saga

So you read here... therefore you must know that Nathaniel has Spina Bifida, right?

Well, he does. And part of what that looks like to us is that Nathaniel has to wear braces on his feet to walk. He wears and SMO on one leg and a DAFO on the other side. These are custom made, EXPENSIVE braces and not long ago we had a TRAGIC accident with the one of Nathaniel's braces.
It IS supposed to be one solid piece, it is NOT supposed to spread apart like that...

But recently it has taken on a very broken form. One Friday after surfing I asked one of the older kids to take all of the wet things out of the car and wash out the wet suits and stuff. In my brain "stuff" meant the braces and water shoes, but I must have not communicated that well. The older kid took everything out of the trunk of the car and washed out the wet suits.... but she left the braces and water shoes right outside of the the trunk of the car. Fast forward a bit after we all had naps and we needed to run a quick errand. I rushed the kids to the car, got everyone buckled in and jumped in the car to take off.

I never walked BEHIND the car.....

So of course as I was backing up out of the driveway I heard a loud CRUNCH....

Looking in the rear view mirror I saw a horrible look on the older child's face and tears in her eyes....

I said "That was what I think it was wasn't it?"

Horrible ACCIDENT.

One of those things that none of us planned, no one wanted to happen and no one was at fault. Just an accident. But something that would have to be dealt with.

Never in a million years did I think it would be such a NIGHTMARE to deal with! First there was the therapist that was on vacation so she couldn't make the recommendation on what KIND on braces to order him (we have recently been discussing different options). Then there was the doctor that was on vacation so he couldn't sign the new prescription. Then there was the insurance supervisor who didn't think that she should approve the insurance coverage for them. UGH!

The therapist I get. Although I do wish that the agency would have people to cover for them when they are gone (it happens A LOT!).

The doctor I get. He is fabulous and hardly ever takes any time off.

But the insurance company??? Give me a break! First off the braces that got broke were over 3.5 years old and really were worn out. Secondly, it was an ACCIDENT! We didn't plan it. Thirdly, in the 9+ years that Nathaniel has worn braces this is the first time EVER that we have broken ANY THING on them! And fourthly, darned it, the kid needs them to walk 12+ hours every single day! Get off your duff and approve them!

We FINALLY got a phone call saying that the new braces were approved when we were on our way to the brace makers for yet another adjustment to the 5+ year old braces that Nat is wearing while all of this gets sorted out. (He has grown A LOT in those 5 years and those braces are really too small for him and making lots of marks, but it is better than nothing at this point.) I was so excited that we could get casted while we were there and the brace maker could get started on the braces that usually take 4-6 weeks to have made.

But we get to the office and he tells me that he can't cast without a signed order in hand. If he casts before he won't get paid by the insurance company. I told him that they just called me to say it was all good, but that wasn't enough for him.

Man did I pitch a fit at this point! Serious tears of frustration.

I called the insurance company and offered to drive over to pick it up to drive it back to the brace makers and be done with it, but was told that the nurse had to process the paperwork and that could take up to 3 days.

More tears of frustration!

About two minutes latter the supervisor at the insurance company called me back. This was our conversation:

S: "My assistant said it sounded like you were at the brace makers on your last call. Is that correct?"

Me: "Yes, we had an appointment already scheduled this morning."

S: "So have him cast you while you are there."

Me: "He won't. He says you won't pay without him having the paper in his hand."

S: "Tell him you spoke to me."

Me: "I already tried that."

S: "Well for heavens sake!" And she hangs up.

About two minutes latter the office manager walks in and hands me a paper....

"Give that to Tead when he comes back in"


Somehow it was the authorization and we could cast right away!!!!!

Great news, right?

Answered prayers, right?

Yes on both accounts....

But there was bad news too....

The brace maker was leaving for vacation two days latter!!!

But at least we got casted, and Tead KNOWS we are praying for them fast.

AND Nat got to pick out his new plastic.....

Sports balls of course!

Here's praying that all of the stressful and hard to take news is DONE in this saga and somehow we get new braces that fit VERY SOON!!!!

Can I just say... some nights I HATE blogger and it's spacing/sizing issues!!!! UGH!