Nervous-Breakdown or Just Life?

breakdown2How is it that you can feel the presence of God and things changing for the better and then something completely change direction and then you are questioning life and its existence and if you are praying to a ghost at times?

I don’t think just Single moms feel this but that anyone in general can feel this at times. It has been a rough week. As per previous thoughts and blogs most of you know about my issue with the healthcare and trying to get my daughter help and literally not knowing where to turn. I have been fighting this battle for months and the reality has set in and there are no words to describe what I am feeling exactly. I say this a lot when I write because you feel so many things at once that you are just lost and fogged.For one, I hold everything in and I am just a robot and keep going like I am super woman.

My Description is this:

Single Mom 100% = No Dad and No Child Support

Career Mom = 60 hours atleast a week. (fortunate to be able to have home access to work)

Student = I finished 30 Credit Hours this Term (IT Degree)

Job = Systems and Performance Analyst = Crystal Report Writer and SAP programs manager. Maintain hundreds of reports everyday along with re-creating old reports, installs, creating and writing new reports, maintaining 2 websites and sharepoint sites, assisting others with IT and Data Issues, Running many transit files for customers, operational needs and data as needed, day, night, weekends etc. Educate and help other IT professionals within the company with their coding needs, Assist Sales in closing accounts with verification of reports, etc.. the list continues sadly and my Salary would more than double if I didn’t live in the Midwest.

Being Mommy = Attending all the parties at my kids daycare and participating and bringing things. Right now we have her valentines cards completed and I made raspberry muffins for her to take and just made dinner like every night. We will read and go over her flash cards and make it a game then do puzzles and writing where I have her switch hands during both activities to try and exercise her brain per I have read that helps aid in the therapy process and even possibly help regain some of her hearing that is lost. I will try anything to help her. Then there is the normal mommy chores of laundry, cleaning, making Sophie’s own milk, etc.

Being a Daughter: My parents live 30 minutes away so I try to pack us up each weekend or every other weekend to make the trip to visit for the day or the weekend. Sounds enjoyable, and it is but the stress of taking a toddler to another environment and keeping the usual routine is challenging and can really throw you off. But you do it because you want that time with them and they want that time with you and their grandbaby.

Therapist: I have a Speech therapist that is willing to work with me and show me what to do every evening and I can afford her one day a week to help but I need to make up for the rest each eve, atleast 3-4 days for sure. This is my New title that I am just now learning until I can get a full understanding of what she needs and what I can afford after her evaluation of her ears and neurological development. She needs a full room devoted to this that is only that and since we live in a 2 bedroom apartment I have devoted my room to this and working on that this weekend. I sleep on the couch anyways or we sleep in the recliner together so that I can keep her elevated most nights. Not something I admit to many because they don’t understand how fluid in the ears works if it doesn’t flow right or if she is congested then there is nothing but muffled noises. I am sure this sounds crazy but as a mom if there is any thought to helping your child succeed you will do it.

Bargain Groceries: Master Coupon Clipper and Ad Matching. Surviving to get all the groceries we need at the best price.

These are just things that came to mind because it is what I deal with currently. How do women survive as Single Moms and come out successful when they have the job most go to college for and still can barely make it? Will things ever get better?

There are days when I feel so blessed and can see that bright future and then life turns on you again and you question what is going on!? Will I always have to live my life fighting or will my time finally come where I can relax and feel joy and be happy? They say God does not punish but that he tests us to make us stronger. But what about when you have been tested and tested to where you literally get that weak mind and feel you can’t handle anymore rejection or work and you feel that no matter what you do you are failing? Continue reading

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Fighting the Healthcare Battle ‘Being Rejected, No Financial Assistance, and Ready to Give Up’

Stethoscope wrapped around hundred dollar bills

Before you read, keep an open mind and understand the battle and know that this is not a complaint but an opportunity for something to change.

I have a great job as an IT Programmer/Web Reporter for a large corporation and we have insurance which I always assumed would cover everything. I have noticed the past few years that there are certain things that are not covered or less is being covered and I am having to pay more up front. I never really had to battle and beg for help on getting insurance to cover something until recently. If anyone who reads this has any ideas I am open to hearing them for sure!

My baby girl was one of several babies out there that suffered Chronic Ear Infections for months and months. Finally when she was 9 months old she was referred to an ENT Dr that put tubes in immediately, but that turned into more problems. She developed Staph from that surgery and became really sick on and off. They swore it wasn’t the tube that was infected and she got it elsewhere and would not refer us to Children’s and wanted to take care of it there through medicines. The medicines worked while she took them but once she went off of the antibiotic it came back. I knew something was wrong but I tried to trust the Doctor until I finally had enough. She had never ran a high fever before and her daycare called saying she had 104 fever! I immediately left work and called her pediatrician because I was afraid this could go septic. They got me in and said she looked fine and the ears were still infected and cultured it again. We started another antibiotic and given the max dose of Tylenol and sent home to watch it. My Gut just told me something was wrong and my mom was feeling the same way. The next day was Saturday and we headed straight to Childrens Hospital ER to see what options we had to get the staph infection cleared up and see their ENT specialist to try and get this baby girl some relief! It was the best thing I did! They cultured it and got us to see the ENT Dr that Monday. The culture came back as Staph and she needed those tubes out immediately! The day comes for surgery and as discussed the tubes will be replaced and the ear canal cleaned out and if the infection was bad enough and the adenoids were large then he said it would be in the best interest to take them out. I was devastated that my baby had to go through this but it had to be done.

After the surgery was done he came out and said she did great and that the infection came from the tubes, mostly her left, and her adenoids had to be removed. Sophie was in pain but came out of it well and I was so grateful. At the time you don’t think about money or insurance, only your child because that is the only thing that is important. Sophie did great with no problems for months and then we went to the follow-up appt where they did a full hearing evaluation. Everything from sights and sounds to using the machine to test the eardrum and vibrations. I noticed that there was never a response to her left side without a visual or the clown popping up in bright lights on her left side, so I was prepared for them to say something I just did not know what. They said they tested it 3 times and there was no activity on her left side. I just looked around for a bit and asked what exactly that meant.  Could tell they were choosing their words wisely. She said after serious infections hearing loss is a possibility but we never know if it is permanent until they are around 3 years of age.

I was like wait, wait, wait, so what do I do? Can I help her? What does this mean? They said that they would do another hearing test in 9 months to determine more. I could not believe what I was hearing.. 9 months!? My child is learning to talk and pronounce words and you want me to let her development be hindered by this? I don’t understand. She said, there are options if you want to be pro-active but it might be tough. I was like tough? She said, well do you have Medicaid? I said no we have insurance through my work, isn’t that better? She told me to hang on and she would be right back. She came back with a stack of papers to give to my pediatrician and for me to fill out for them and to give to my insurance. She was very nice and told me she would want to do the same as me and get help but to know that it could get pricey if my insurance did not cover it but said the developmental center would do a full evaluation and she has seen hearing return to children when caught before the age of 2.

I left thinking I just had to set up another appointment somewhere else and then as I was driving home it hit me. Did they just tell me that my child was deaf? No activity in her left ear?  I just could not understand and I also just did not want to and My mom was making excuses that maybe it was from the surgery or it was a fluke. But this is hearing! We hear things everyday no matter what. Even with an infection there is activity happening in your ear! I tried to just relax and get through the holidays and research what needed to be done while I sent the stuff to my pediatrician to work on and get her referred for testing. It is now February and this was back in November, so it has taken some time for sure.

I finally got information in the mail from the developmental center and they were needing more information faxed in about insurance etc since it is the new year so I faxed everything in last week.  I call to follow up to see what is going on and they said they needed me to sign a payment agreement to make sure I would pay so much at the time of the scheduled appointment and atleast half of the full bill the day of the appointment. I asked why it was being done like this because I have insurance and then the ball dropped! No where in my policy does it cover specialized therapies associated with hearing loss other than the audiology testing. It covered prescriptions and Psych evaluations per this was considered therapy and under the mental health policy. So I had to clearly understand and hear it for myself that I have no coverage to help my daughter regain her hearing through any therapy. Medicaid covers at 100% and any other government provided insurance listed under Medicaid is covered as well. I just did not understand and told them that I couldn’t believe it but I would do whatever it took and would pay. So I asked what the charges would be and she said she would fax me the information for the full day of evaluation per my pediatrician referred us for that because you want to make sure nothing is neurological and to make sure that everything is considered so they know how to help.

Anyways, she said 500.00 was due today to be put on the schedule and that since I had private insurance it was looking about 8-10months out! I could not believe this! Can I not get my child help any other way? 500.00! I have insurance that I pay for and it is useless in this matter so I have to be treated as if I don’t have insurance. I told her I was going to call her back because I wanted to call my insurance and get a full breakdown from them because something can’t be right.

I call my insurance and it was true. There was nothing covered under Developmental therapies or evaluations. Only Psych disorders and evaluations through certain doctors within the state. I asked what I was supposed to do and they said to ask for a payment plan and financial assistance. I got off the phone and wrote some things down.

Hearing Loss

Failed Testing

Referred by ENT Specialist, Audiologist, and Pediatrician

Medical Records prove the need for therapy

My daughter has not had any infection since the surgery but still has hearing loss

She is showing signs of withdraw in certain places with muffled noises

Im noticing speech difficulty

She turns her head so she can hear people talk on her right side

Some days she acts as if she can’t hear hardly at all

After writing everything down I had to realize that my daughter needed help with or without insurance and I had to figure out how. How could something that is medically necessary not be covered by all insurances? Then the Fax of the cost breakdown came through. I was worried it was going to be close to 1200.00 like her surgery that I had to pay for up front because it was the same surgery within the same year and they would not cover but only a percentage of it. It was more than I could have even imagined!!  Everything from MRI to several different types of hearing tests and behavioral testing to play therapy and occupational therapy and IQ-type testing and Speech testing came to a grand total of 8136.00. I know what you are thinking.. Isn’t this a lot of medical testing!? Yes it is but different medical codes due to it being at a developmental center and not a hospital it is considered under the mental health policy. Keep in mind this is part of the Children’s Hospital but it is their learning and development center. No matter what I said or did there was no changing to get insurance to pay. And this was just the beginning not the continued therapy once they find out what she needs. I was just sick! I work so hard and I need this so bad for her! I could never forgive myself if I didn’t try.

I decided to call other centers in the state to see if I could get anything cheaper and to my surprise I got rejected many times just for my child being under 3! And some will not help until your child is atleast 5!! I found one place that would take her but it would be for play therapy just to see how she is coping with having a hearing loss in one ear. I took it and its going to cost but it is only 300.00 and we have an appointment in a few weeks.

I took a few days to think about the other place because I know it is a specialized therapy and I know she needs it and I just had to figure out how I could pay for it.

We live in an apartment and I have been saving to build a house and just started the paperwork per I am finally approved! Nothing big, just 3 bedrooms 2 bath and I needed to make sure I could cover the cost of the interest and the little things here and there in case something went over budget and to have money to close on. I called the place today and paid the 500.00 and signed the papers that said I would pay 50% on the day of the appt. To my surprise they said they had an opening then end of March and I took it! I was thrilled that we got in and to know that my daughter now has a chance to get better and that she will get therapy is wonderful! I used the money however that was for our house. I know we need a better place to live but I am thankful that I did have this saved up or else I don’t know what I would have done. I will use my refund to help with the therapy costs after the evaluation and requested to be put on the payment plan and regardless I will take out a loan if I need to.

I don’t understand why it has to be this way and why I can’t get help when someone else can get the therapy for free but all I know is that sometimes you can’t fight the battle and I could have given up which is what most probably have done and will do but I didn’t. I am hoping for a miracle and for my daughter to regain her hearing and be able to cope with whatever outcome happens. As a mom, I will do whatever it takes for her.

Has anyone out there had to fight the healthcare battle and are there any options? Please share your story if you have!

proudsinglemomblog@gmail.com

Knowing Your Value

How often do you let others determine your Value?

value

Do you worry about what other people think? Do you get upset when untrue things are said about you? Do you pretend to be someone you are not at times to impress others or to make others not see the “real” you? I am sure we could answer Yes to atleast one if not all of those questions.

But Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? We allow society to judge us to where we take into account what they think of us when their opinion does not matter, only God’s opinion matters. I say this because I am truly guilty of this myself. I don’t want others to know me because I feel ashamed for my past that includes lots of struggles. I get embarrassed and avoid people just so I don’t have to deal with confrontation at times because of the fear of rejection and judgment.

My devotion this evening talks about how we are not to worry about what anyone else thinks other than God. I know this and have always known this but I struggle to accept it. I am in constant turmoil of hurting because of being labeled. Yes I am divorced, yes I have had bad relationships, yes I have made mistakes, and YES I am a single mother. Those labels make me feel not good enough and made me separate from God because of my own shame and guilt that I created myself by letting other people and Satan control my thoughts. Whatever you choose to believe is who you will be.

So the way you think of yourself at this moment… Is this someone you want to continue being? Is there someone who is making you feel this way? Then why allow it? I am asking myself that question as well and at times I still do depending on my state of mind and how vulnerable I am at that moment because I am human after all.

The thing I need to tell myself and what I challenge you to do as well is only speak positive of yourself. “ I AM a single mother and I am AMAZING at it!” “I did go through a break-up or divorce AND I am stronger because of it!” “I WILL remove poison out of MY Life so that  can lift myself up and move forward successfully and happy and not miserable!”

Our mistakes are valuable when we learn from them. They teach us and they teach others and create us to be the person we are today.  “If we never make mistakes then we are probably not making many decisions.” (Joyce Meyer).

If someone offers you a 50.00 bill, is it worth taking? Yes it is because it is money and it has value and material items can be bought with that. What if someone takes it back and crinkles it up and then gives it back to you? Would you take it still? Yes, because it is still 50.00 and will buy the same things as it did earlier. What if that same 50.00 bill was crinkled up and had coffee spilled on it and then tried to be rinsed off and dried and it looked worn, would it still be worth taking? Of course! The value of that 50.00 has not changed!

So the question is: Why is that 50.00 still worth the same value no matter what but when we try and value ourselves we discount ourselves based on our mistakes rather than rise above it and realize that our worth is the same now as it was before?

This is what I am trying to answer myself. I need to know my worth no matter what mistake or failure I have had or will have. In God’s eyes we are the same and worth everything in his eyes and we do not need to let anyone else tell us otherwise. Remove the inner demons that fill your head full of that and remove the poison in society that makes you feel that way. Don’t retaliate and make them feel without value either, but rise above it and know that only God matters and you are worth it.

“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” Matthew 10:31

A Lost Christian

When I accepted the Lord into my life I was young but very ready. I loved him and knew he loved me and I was raised with a strong knowledge of who he was and knew I would never steer away from him. Little did I know that there is this little thing called “life” that happens and comes between us and God if we allow it. I went through some hard times and even though I never blamed God directly and still continued to pray, I neglected our relationship for years. I just never knew how hard it would get later on in life to choose him over issues in life and even myself. I have spent many nights crying and confused over the past 10 years. Over the past 6 years I have spent it mostly praying to just survive. This is where I refer to myself as a “Lost Christian”.

Here I am a saved soul and supposed to be witnessing to others and here I am lost out in the world and can’t seem to find my way back. How did I get this way? Had it really been that long since I spent night after night close with God? The answer is yes. Even though I knew the answer was God and that he would save me and help me I chose to follow life and its struggles rather than let God lead my life. I married the wrong person, suffered health issues terribly, suffered a miscarriage, lost myself in trying to find other relationships, suffered break-ups, endured heartaches, suffered severe depression that took me down suicidal thoughts many times, and looked for direction in every other way except through the one I knew could help me. Even though I prayed and cried out to him many times I felt I could not be close to him or that I could not choose to give it to him because of my mistakes. I was embarrassed that I had drifted away from him and chose to follow everyone and everything else other than him. I covered myself in self-pity and doubt and read self-help books faster than they were being brought to the shelf. Did I learn a lot? Oh my YES! But what does it mean? ABSOLUTELY nothing without God.

I had all the knowledge but there was this one thing I was not doing. I was not giving my life to him to drive and control. I was even in a therapy session with a Christian counselor who said I should give it to God because he needed me to have that relationship with him just like I needed him to have it with me. I looked at her and said “ I can’t, I’m not ready to give him the control.” Why did I say that? Because I was raised with that strong Christian background to know that when you give God control you have to listen and let him have the control and have that personal relationship with him or he would get your attention one way or the other and I knew my struggles could get worse if I was not ready to listen. I was just not ready to let go, I was that fearful of what would happen. It was all Satan and his mind games. I was lost and needed to find my way back and I had to be ready just like anyone has to be ready for anything. He wants your true heart and mind focused on him and not just part of it. There were many nights I would wake up in the middle of the night and it would be pitch dark in the room and I would just think…that is how I feel, Lost and I don’t know what to do or how to find my way.

Now, I have given it all to God and have our personal relationship back and it takes work. I get afraid that I am not doing enough or listening enough. Then I realize that he loves me and approves. I have to stop letting Satan control these thoughts. Do I look back and wish I would have done it sooner? At times, but I wasn’t ready and when I tried I failed because my mind and heart were running separate directions. There were a lot of lessons, hard lessons that I needed to learn and share about before I took the calling of giving him the complete control. God always has a plan and that is something we all need to remember.

I believe all Christians have their point and times of feeling lost, but we have to give it all to him. Letting him take over and speak to you and control your life is better than anything we could do and it leads to happiness and that is priceless. I feel comfort every night talking to him and knowing that he knows I am here and listening. There is a point and time when you realize and mature to an understanding that you need guidance and seek it everywhere but there is only one person who is guiding my life now and that is God. Each new day I have learned more about my TRUE self and my TRUE worth and realizing he is the only one I need to please. The approval addiction we carry out through life and wanting everything and everyone to accept us for what we aren’t and what we want to be leads to nothing but disaster in the long run. I think back to the times of coming home and dreading living another day. How could I be so lost and think I was not worth living another day!? Nobody deserves those thoughts, but life is dangerous and sucks you in and society takes control and tries to change who we are. It is up to us to decide when we have had enough to give it to God and stop being lost. So have you had enough? Are you ready to give it to God and let him show you true happiness?

Innocent Words of a Child

The holidays have passed and Sophie just hit the milestone of 19 months! It is so amazing to look back and see pictures from today verses a year ago. I am so grateful for each passing day and think of how many adventures we have had in such a short amount of time. It seems as if she has always been a part of me because I can’t even remember hardly the days before I had her. Even on the craziest days I still look at her while she is sleeping and I still have tears that I catch running down my cheek because I am just so thankful to have someone in my life that has taught me what true love is all about. To some that may sound cheesy or maybe even a thoughtless rambling to start off a conversation but there is meaning behind these tears.

My biggest fear has always been the day that she asks about her Dad or a dad or her situation and why it is different. I know these days everyone has a unique situation but that doesn’t make it any easier as a parent. I always imagined it being while she was in Kindergarten figuring out about how other kids have a Dad and she then realizes that something is missing and comes home asking why I have a dad and she has a Grandpa but why doesn’t she have a daddy like everyone else. Now before anyone starts judging you should know that it is a blessing to not have her Dad in the picture because he doesn’t want to be and I do not believe in forcing parenting upon anyone and forcing them to be a parent and resenting the situation and the child. Then I would have another issue at hand of explaining why she isn’t wanted or feels wanted by her Dad; Either way there is no winning but I want her to always feel wanted and loved.

Here I am waiting and worried about Kindergarten when the moment happened while she is 19 months old. I am writing this while it is completely fresh per it happened just recently and I am still hurting from the pain of the innocent words out of her mouth. I have noticed that over the holidays she was letting the Daddy word slip out while referring to my Dad and we would have to remind her it was “Papa” and she would be fine and we would pretend nothing happened and go on. However, nobody really pretended anything, we just all kept it to ourselves. It hurt to hear her call him that because I know she was hearing it and understanding it from being at daycare (aka baby-school). I finally broke down to my mom and she said not to worry about it because she was just trying to use her words. I knew she was just saying that to make me feel better but I pretended it worked. I haven’t heard anything out of her since, regarding the “Daddy” word lately so I thought maybe it was a fluke for the time being.

Recently we had a playdate with a friend of mine and her little one. I was excited to go and have a playdate because it had been so long and we were to exchange gifts with the kids. They are close in age so it is always very cute to see them play when we get together. I am always concerned if men are around and wasn’t sure if her husband was going to be around because I never know how Sophie will react. Normally she screams and if they have a beard it’s over because she will scream out of complete fear. However, none of the kind was there so we were having a great time. Then it happened… Her husband came through the door and the little one yelled Daddy!! Then Sophie turned towards him and just started gleaming with bright eyes and was talking her jibberish and laughing at any attention he gave her. I was calling her name but she didn’t hear me and was following him as he went down the hall saying “pease , pease?”. I wasn’t sure why she was saying please, so I had her come back down to me and she just looked confused and asked in the sweetest voice, “ Daddy Pease”. I said, honey I am Mommy (Trying to change the subject). She said “no no, Daddy Pease, Pease Daddy.” Then she grabbed a book and started heading down the hall and I went to get her and said “ Its ok I will read the book”, She then turned and looked and said “ Daddy no book?” “Daddy Pease, Pease?” I then became sick and had a lump so hard in my throat I couldn’t swallow or speak and just held her and walked her into the living room. My friend was in tears because she knew I was holding back and could only imagine what I was thinking. I had tears roll down my face but I was holding so many tears back I could feel a massive migraine coming and I couldn’t see for the flooding of tears being held in my eyes. I sat her down and finally swallowed where I could talk and she kept pointing at my eyes saying “eyes, eyes mommy”. I said yes, these are my eyes and where are yours? And she pointed to her eyes and then she pointed to her nose and I asked where her belly was and we tickled it and got her laughing. I finally said, “Let mommy read you the book ok?” and she said “K, tank ooo”. I read her the book as best as I could without choking and thinking anymore about it but in my mind I felt like a failure. My friend and I talked briefly about it just enough to put it out there but no details because I think we would have just cried until we were sick. The innocence of any child I think could bring anyone to tears.

As we left all I could think about was that one thing and the whole situation playing out in my head. I know every parent has their own battles with their children and their own pain but when you are going through your own pain you don’t really see anything else but your own. Right now I just tell myself that I am grateful for what we do have and that I am doing the best I know how. As we came home I just loved on her and made dinner and wanted to hold her as much as I could but she was just so tired so I laid her down and she was out pretty quick. I came in the living room and just cried because I had too. I had so much I had held in I just bawled. I looked for a movie to take my mind off of everything, even tried watching a scary movie and then I noticed something. Both movies had the same similar plot. One was a television movie where the mom was protecting her daughter from becoming victimized in college and the other was a horror film that ended in knowing that the mom had victimized herself to prevent suffering of her daughter. You may be trying to figure out what I am getting to and it is just this….We all have battles and have choices on how we handle them. How do we know what is right? We don’t.

My mom used to always tell me anytime I was punished or when I was hurting that she could feel it and I would understand when I became a parent. I never knew what she meant until I became a parent, and the older your child gets it does not get easier, it only gets harder because they can tell you what they want and what hurts.

After I finished crying I went in to Sophie’s room and she was sleeping so peacefully, I put my hand in her hand and just prayed for peace, love, and guidance.  I prayed that when she wake and these words came out of her mouth again that I would know the right answer but that I wouldn’t resort to lying even though she is so young. I went back into the living room and started going through my phone when I heard a whimper of her waking up. I am sure she heard me from being in there but I was just happy to see her awake and hug her since I had been crying all evening. She looked at me half awake and said “mommy”, I said yes baby, you have a bad dream? She didn’t say anything just laid her head on my shoulders so I knew she was sleepy. I laid her back down and she stood up and said “Daddy, Daddy, no no no?” I said Baby, I’m mommy but your Daddy is up there and his name is Jesus, as I pointed to the ceiling. I said “Sophie’s Daddy is in a place called Heaven and he watches over you and Mommy and protects us and makes us happy (as I tickled her belly)”. She giggled and pointed up and said “Daddy” and I said yes and I am mommy and I love you so very much. I know it was a lot for her to take in but it was not a lie and it was the answer I had prayed for. She laid down and as I was about to walk out I said “Night Night Love you” and she stood up and said “Mommy, wuv ooo, K (K comes after everything these days). I just looked at her and then gave her a kiss on the cheek and said “love you so much night night.”

Where an adventure comes a battle may follow. We don’t always know the right answers but there is someone who does. Being a mom has taught me to be humble in a lot of ways and to rely on God when times get tough. Too many times people give advice based on instinct or their own experiences and thoughts. That is great in some cases, but in this case my advice is to let you know that you are not alone in any situation and call upon God to help you.

9” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 (NIV)