Yesterday was a very exciting day for our household. It is a day that we’ve been waiting for for over 1.5 years. And that is a lot of waiting, friends.
Yesterday, Cassie got her new wheelchair.
Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, right? Well that is because you don’t know how much anguish has gone on involving said wheelchair. We attempted to get a new chair for her last year, but were denied. The rule with our insurance is that you are only allowed to get a new wheelchair every 5 years and then as needed. Last year when we tried, it had been 5 years and she had outgrown her wheelchair. The paperwork was done and sent into insurance. And then our request was denied.
How can they possibly deny a request for a wheelchair when the one we had at the time was from when she was 3. Three years old. And she was 8 at the time. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a big size difference between a 3 year old and a 8 year old. I guess growing is something like magic. Magic that insurances don’t seem to understand. After being denied, I sent in the paperwork to appeal their decision and was promptly ignored. Nice, eh? This year, I was ready to fight.
We went through the process once again of trying to get the Prior Approval (PA). At this point Cassie looked like a giant in a child’s chair. Her butt wasn’t even completely on the chair and the back of the chair only came up to the middle of her back. Top this off with the fact that the chair didn’t even go straight anymore. Whether she was in the chair or not, when you pushed it away from you, it curved to the left. For some reason they can’t do tire alignments on wheelchairs and the techs at our friendly Home Medical place couldn’t figure out what was going on. Hearing all this, I’m sure that you can understand my readiness to fight for a new chair.
Cute as this chair is…it doesn’t fit her.
Her feet are on the ground instead of the footplate that we can’t even get to stay on anymore.
Now, just a little background. We’ve been going to the same Home Medical place since Cassie has needed medical supplies and equipment. They know us well there. When we walk in they know us by first name. Kinda scary to me, but nice also. And since the beginning, we’ve worked with the same lady, Cheryl, to order equipment that we need. Back to the story now.
Fortunately, our friends at the Home Medical place are over-the-top wonderful and like us. After seeing how much Cassie had grown in the past year and how the wheelchair fit her, they were ready to do whatever necessary to get her a new one. They even gave her a loaner chair to use until the Prior Authorization came back approved. We were all determined to make ‘the system’ work this time.
When we first heard back from insurance, they had questions. Something that made Cheryl and myself want to run headfirst into a brick wall. Not only did it feel like a stall tactic, but it also felt like they were thinking that the need for a new chair was questionable. Cheryl was as frustrated as we was and it made us feel less lonely in this whole process. It was decided that a note from Cassie’s Physical Therapist wouldn’t hurt. After a short conversation with the therapist and going over how last year had gone with the trying to get a new chair, (Cassie has had same therapist since age 3) she agreed that she would write up something to hopefully aide in showing that a new chair really was needed.
Then we waited more. For your information, I’m really not that patient of a person. Especially when it comes to something that I want or something that my children need.
Finally, about a month ago I received a call from our friends at Home Medical and I was informed that the PA had been approved. If it was possible I would have hugged the person on the other end of the line. I literally looked up to the heavens above and said “Thank God!”
Other then ordering the actual chair, having the techs assemble the chair and setting up a time to go pick it up, all that was left was for Cassie to pick a color for her new chair. Cassie went back and forth through the colors I brought up on the computer trying to decide. We’ve gotten to this point and now she was stuck on picking a color? Seriously…who cares about the color! Hurry and just pick one before insurance changes their minds and takes the PA back.
I was patient though and let Cassie pick her color. It is the one thing that she gets complete control over in the decision making process. For her first chair she chose ‘Toxic Green‘. Click on the color to see what it looks like. Only the frame is the color that she picks, but it still made me frightened when she chose that color. But it wasn’t horrible and it made it hers.
This time after going back and forth she chose ‘Fuchsia‘. Again click on color to go to page that will show the color. It is a color that is between her two new favorite colors… pink and purple.
Look, if you will at the difference in size between new and old. Wheel size is least of differences, but if you look at the back of the chair, you can really see how tiny the green one is.
Moral of the story and simple pleasure for me to share with you: Seeing your child smiling and happy makes everything and anything worth while.