Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our day at the Audiologist

She looks across from the desk at me and says, "Do you have Medicaid?" I shake my head no and wonder why she would assume that. "Well, you'll have to have a chart made over there..." She points randomly across the waiting room. The girls and I walk into a small room with a few desks to have Jameson's chart made to see the Audiologist. "Do you have Medicaid?" Once again, I shake my head no.

I want to explain that my eyes are bloodshot because I worked all night and slept for an hour and a half this morning. I want to explain that while this is yesterday's pony tail, I am still a good person. I want to explain that I have 6 kids and if I look tired, it's because I am. I want to ask why everyone assumes I have Medicaid. But I'm too tired to be confrontational.

The woman stares at the insurance card, confused. Confused that someone with this many children could have insurance? Possibly. Confused as to the relationship between card holder and patient. "Are you foster mom?" Confused as to the name in the insurance card. Most likely. You see, Jameson and Josh have official documents which have about 4 or 5 different spellings and arrangements of their names. I try to explain that Jameson goes by her middle name. "Well, she'll have to go by Merkeb here..." I tell her it makes no difference, but begin to wonder why that's a reason to be upset.

We meet with the audiologist and I supply her with the paperwork from the educational testing Jameson has already had. She spends 2 minutes glancing at the test results and spends no time with my daughter before she says, "Well, if they didn't give her enough time to focus on the testing, this is probably just an attention deficit." I explain that the professional who tested her had spent 12 hours with Jameson and was very patient with her. So after 2 minutes, this woman clearly knows Jameson better.... better than me, better than the professional who spent hours testing all aspects of her learning abilities.

I explain that I didn't care what the problem was as long as we find a solution to it. She looks at the testing which showed Jameson on the low side of normal for a 2nd grader. She says, "She did very well on this testing. She must have had some schooling in her country. She's near normal." I explain that she's supposed to be in 5th grade... and being near normal for 2nd grade is great, but we have been working for a year and a half to get to the low level of second grade and have identified significant learning problems.

I want to scream that I'm not making this up. I'm not being overly concerned. I want to scream that I need answers. I need this to get better. I need her to stop sitting there judging me. Looking at me like I'm bringing my child in for more expensive testing when it's not warranted. It isn't because she's from Ethiopia. It isn't because she is a new English learner. It is something that needs to be addressed.

And as I walk out, she asks me if I have Medicaid.



MommyBrec said...

I wanted to laugh and cry and scream at different points during this post. I am so sorry you can't get the answeres or the help you and Jameson deserve!! SO frustrating! Keep us all posted...I will look forward to hearing what you find out.

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

Okay, Gina, obviously I don't deal with the adoption issues, but I have definitely dealt with the judgement of people assuming you must have nothing and must have five different dads if you have five different children LOL. Excuse me ma'am, but I have regular normal hard working people insurance (haha), all five of my kids are from the same daddy AND to boot, we also didn't start having those children until we had already been married for over four years! We have had those same looks and those same statements and this is with my kids all dolled up in their Gymbo. clothes with hair done nicely and matching hair accessories (not that it should matter AT ALL!). Anyway, I just had to say that I completely understand from that standpoint. I sure hope you guys figure out what's going on with Jameson and are able to find out how to help her.

Rebecca said...

I would have been ready to pull some hair out -- both mine and the snotty, know-it-all lady behind the desk! I think you exhibited excellent self control!

*Gi* said...

Good grief! I think by that point, I would've turned around and said, "If I HAD Medicaid would you take me seriously?"

I honestly don't know how you kept your cool with that office. I hope, for your sake and Jameson's, that there is another Audiologist available in your area. You deserve to have answers.

SisterMom said...

Oh jeez Gina you didn't tell me all that happened! What in the world is wrong with people?? What difference does Jameson's heritage, skin color, native language or freakin' payor source matter!???
I know that you know your daughter, spend 20 hours a day with this child and you know something is off. Apparently this was not the solution you had hoped for, I am so sorry I hope you are able to find the help Jameson needs.
Oh--one time Miranda had Addis with her at the grocery alone--she came home in tears because the checker insisted she couldn't purchase something with her food stamps! Miranda was so upset she couldn't even respond. The assumption was obvious though......