Thursday, December 06, 2007

Time for tubes.

(The final picture of a small series of Ethan and his beloved Misha)

I know I’ve said it before, but we live in a pretty rural region that is very geographically isolated from the rest of the state and could be characterized as a place where natural beauty and generational poverty live in harmony. We are home to a small university, which is the main source of employment for the community and one of the reasons why such a variety of folks find themselves settling down in such a strange little remote area. It’s a very liberal town, we’re the only county in our entire state that voted in favor of gay marriage; a fact that makes me proud to call Athens home.

I love that living here allows me to bump into friends and acquaintances whenever I’m out and about running errands. This evening I saw a local audiologist at the grocery store and shared the news of Ethan’s progress with his cochlear implants. She is the one who had to deliver some difficult news to two brand new parents; she told us that Ethan was profoundly deaf. I feel a bond with her that is hard to describe, but I bet you can imagine if you think back to a time when you received emotional news. I'll always remember that day, what the weather was like, what I was wearing, even the position I sat in, and how I looked at the world a little differently from that moment forward. All I can say is that she was the perfect person for us at that time and place in our lives. I will always be grateful that it was Roxanne sitting in that warm dark room with us.

But living in a small town has many drawbacks, not the least of which is a very limited menu of educational options for a special needs child. And Ethan has pretty specialized needs. I worry.

We found out today that we will no longer benefit from the financial support that our state has been providing for Ethan’s needs since infancy. They have paid for many (but not all) of the bills that our insurance has denied these past 2 years. I have no idea what that sum is at this point, but I know that is has helped afford me the opportunity to stay home with Ethan and be the person that participates in his many appointments. I am trying to suppress my anxiety over this news and trust that everything will work out, but it’s pretty terrifying if I’m going to be completely honest.

Next week Ethan will go back to Children’s to have tubes placed in his little ears. He has had chronic fluid and has had to stay on antibiotics to prevent infection, so the time has come to take care of the problem. It’s no big deal, a common procedure, but a hassle nonetheless. I made sure today that our insurance would foot that bill and it will.

I need some help getting into the Christmas spirit; can you point me in the right direction? (I’m seriously considering baking gingerbread men tomorrow, maybe that will do it!)


diber said...

Oh. *hugs* how difficult!

flutter said...

He just loves her, doesn't he?

Jennifer said...

I wouldn't be in the Christmas spirit so much...but I can hear the music this year :) Awesome stuff! I'm sorry you're under so much's a *hug* for you!!!

Hetha said...

Flutter, he ADORES her. He lights up when she enters the room. It's very sweet.

Kyla said...

Don't go to my blog today unless you want to be very sad...but yesterday's post was good for some Christmas cheer.

"I'll always remember that day, what the weather was like, what I was wearing, even the position I sat in, and how I looked at the world a little differently from that moment forward." EXACTLY. The first time we saw the new ped was this for me and I've often thought of talking to a painter to see if I could get the moment physically immortalized because it was so life changing. I remember every detail about it. Like time froze and I was able to walk around in that moment drinking every tiny detail in. You said it well.

I am so sorry about the assistance. Is there reason they are no longer providing it?

Good luck with the tubes, E-boy!

Hetha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hetha said...

Kyla- Ohio has major financial problem and our health department has had to take huge cuts as a result. So they are telling us that our income is too high, even though we made the same income last year and qualified.

Jeff said...

You and your sweet boy are definitely in my thoughts. Here's to the tubes making things better!

Kellan said...

Baking does help put me in the mood and put on some Christmas music in the house - that helps too. I'm sorry to hear about the financial aid coming to an end - I hope you figure it out and it all works out! I envy you your small community or remote community - it sounds wonderful in so many ways. Take care, Hetha and have a good weekend. Kellan

britt said...

i can tell you that ethan will be fine after he has tubes in his ears

a little tid bit that you dident know about me is i have had to have tubes in and out of my ears since i was 6 months old i go in january to the doctor again and if they havent fallen out yet ha vane to have them removed and then new ones put in 4 to 6 weeks after that
i hpoe all goes as planed

KC said...

I need some help too with the Christmas spirit. I wish we lived closer. xo

Eileen said...

I am so sorry to hear about the money situation. It just doesn't make any sense. Is there a supervisor or any appeal process you can try to "reason" with. Or SSI, he certainly would qualify for that. I know it if frustrating, but believe that it will work itself out...somehow. Take it day by day.

You are in my thoughts! Bake some gingerbread and play so Christmas songs! You and your family deserve to have the best Christmas ever!!

slouching mom said...

oh, hon.

i hate that insurance has to be so difficult. i'm really sorry.

tubes should be a breeze for him, though, and should improve things immensely.


Sarah said...

I am so sorry for you Insurance problems. Unfortunately, I hear this way too often from parents with kids that have medical issues. It is so hard to have a child that has special medical needs and it is no far that us parents have to worry about insurance/financial problems on top of everything else. I too have had a hard time getting into the spirit of Christmas, but I do the best I can for my girls to keep them happy.

Drew's Mom said...

I know the financial struggle in Ohio right now. It sucks that all of these resources for the most precious citizens of our state are being cut.

We have had funds to RIHP cut, where several services were in jeopardy. We contacted our local Senator and the Govenor. It might be worth a try. We (along with other parents/families being affect) were able to secure some additional funds for the program. Maybe the ODH in your area could give you the names of other parents in the area that this cut is going to affect and you can ban together to request the same requirements for the insurance program as in previous years.

To get in the holiday spirit...I would recommend taking that cute little boy to see Santa! He will (hopefully) love it - and you can remember how great it was when you were a child and believed!

You are a wonderful Mom to Ethan and you will work through this newest hurdle too!

jen said...

oh, honey. this medical insurance crap is so so angering. i am so sorry.

SpokaneMama said...

What a cute little boy! Sorry to hear that insurance woes are happening. Are you surfing around support sights for deaf children? You may be able to find some agency or organization nationally that may help. I'm sorry, I don't know of any, but use the internet to find other families who've been in your situation. I did that with my daughter and auditory processing problems. Also, look for universities that do research...often they have lower cost programs.

Kellan said...

Hi Hetha and Ethan - hope you are having a good weekend. Thanks for the really nice comment on my blog, my friend. I look forward to seeing a lot of you and your precious little boy. Kellan

Mom to Toes said...

Gotta love Ohio, huh?

I'm sorry you lost the services. I would be stressed about that, too.

Our RIHP Rep told us her workload will double next year because of downsizings that are resulting due to the budget cuts.

It just isn't right.

Jeff said...

Hi again, Hetha.
I really appreciate the nice comment you left on my blog. I'm sorry Ethan had fluid drainage problems after his surgery, but I'm so glad you mentioned it to me. It helped me to know I'm not the only one.

Loudest Mom on the Block said...

I'm sorry to hear about the change in what is being provided. It does make it difficult- I can say that having kids w/ hearing difficulties can be expensive! And, it can also be difficult to find services. That is the main reason my husband took the position here, in Portland, vs. the opportunity we had in Denver. Good services available here- not as clear cut in Denver (although I do love SNOW!!) I think gingerbread cookie baking sounds like a great idea for some Christmas spirit.....

Hang in there-

nicky said...

Hi Heather
I'm so sorry to hear about this additional stress. The last thing you need is financial worries. I naively thought that in the states the funding/money wasn't such a problem because of insurance. I thought it was just over here in the UK that they are confused about what is worthwhile spending tax payers money on.

As you know I have just stopped working so that I can be with Tom. I do now spend alot of my time worrying about money. What I can say is that in the 3 weeks that I have been at home full time with him he has made a leap forward with his balance. So there is no substitute to mummy time. Give Ethan a big cuddle and take him to see some sparkly xmas trees :)


Mrs. Chicken said...

Gingerbread almost broke me, so I can't recommend it. Sugar cookies? Or jam thumbprints?

That sucks about your bills, etc. I'll keep my finger crossed that it all works out, and hope the little dude has an easy time with the tubes.

Karen said...

Oh gosh, what a stinking bummer about the insurance coverage. You may have some luck with your local Lions clubs or other organizations.

Here's a hug and a Christmas wreath cookie that I made yesterday. :)

La La said...

I'm so glad I found you. I will pray, pray, pray for your family. The financial stuff can cause so much stress. I DO HOPE and will PRAY for miraculous provisions for you all.

Don't worry about not being in the Christmas spirit. It's okay not to feel it. Be gentle with yourself.

I struggle with depression all year long, but this time of year, it's way worse.

Blessings to you. Blessings to you. Blessings to you!

That boy is gorgeous!