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.