Thursday, February 25, 2010

Celebrating Caroline

Some days time seems to fly and others, it just stands still. As I think back to the day Caroline was born, it seems so much longer than 6 years ago. It seems like she has always been a part of our lives and I just can't imagine what would have happened if God would have listened to our timing of waiting for another year or two before having her.

Caroline is pure joy--I can't think of her without a smile coming to my face. To describe her, I would say she is passionate and caring. She loves with her whole heart and doesn't hold back when she's feeling something. That makes for a bit of drama, but I never doubt her honesty in how she feels.

Caroline curls up in your lap or around your shoulders on the sofa, just like a baby kitten. She is not afraid to grab my hand--just because--or look over at me in the middle of something to say, "Mommy, I wuv you." She walks around the house on her tip toes and spins in ballerina twirls everywhere she goes. She doesn't like to get "schweaty" and would eat macaroni and cheese for every meal, if we let her. Her heart is generous and she would give every last cent she had if someone asked her for it.

I don't know what kind of job Caroline will grow up to do, but I do know it will be something relational. When she was learning her letters, she would recognize the ones like "H" for Hope or "B" for Bubba--always had a relational context to it. She is a whiz at math, so she might be an interesting contrast.

So, as I celebrate Caroline's 6th birthday today, I am also celebrating her presence in my life right now and the many people she will bless as she grows up. She is a light and so very precious to all who know her.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One Week

So, today marks the one week mark until I have surgery that will ultimately lead to being able to hear again in my right ear. I had a dream last night that they called to cancel it--which is something I've thought of a few times, as I start to fear the anticipation I am feeling. While I am typically anxious about most things, I really have a different feeling with this one. I still have the occasional thought or dream, but I am a lot more at peace. Probably because of the way it came about. Let me explain...

When I first tried out the device and was told I was a candidate for it, I spoke with the lady who schedules surgery and was hit with reality. My insurance had to approve me first and from what she typically sees, that is at minimum, a 6 week process. Once insurance gave the go-ahead, then she had could schedule the surgery and that was a 3-4 month wait. After the surgery, my scalp would have to have a 3 month healing process before I could get the actual device and begin hearing again. So, I left there with the optimism that I would hear by Christmas.

Two weeks after she sent the pre-approval request to the insurance company, I recieved a letter from them telling me that they DID cover this procedure and device. I called the doctor's office the next day and left a message to schedule surgery. Two days later, I had not received a call back, so I called again and was told that they received a letter saying that insurance did provide for it, but would not pay. The estimation for the entire process is @ $6000--something we don't have in our back pocket at this time. She sent me to the Texas Disability Office to see if there was financial help and I was give other options that I just didn't feel peace about.

I think at this point, I hit an all-time low. My doctor had assured me just 2 weeks before that there was no chance I would ever go deaf and I believed him. I felt like all hope had been snatched from me and the reality of the disability was staring me in the face. As long as I didn't know there was an option, I was able to cope, but once I tried on that device and could hear again, I was ruined for settling with only one ear working. The reality of talking to the people at the Disability Office had hit me (as had sitting in a meeting with so much background noise going on that I had a headache from trying to concentrate so hard on the people talking who I was with). I remember thinking and saying, "Sure, there's no chance I'll go deaf--as long as I have lots of money."

So, I stressed over it and spoke to our HR Director who encouraged me to call my insurance company directly. I did, and the man I spoke to said in his system, the entire thing was approved--even the device. Huh? I called my doctor's office again, and was told that was not what her letter said and she agreed to fax it to me. So I waited. I received a fax in the morning that said she had already sent my file for repeal, so we would have to wait for it to come back.

I had several people questioning my doctor's office (who I had absolutely loved up until this point)--including myself. So I left another message for them--trying to be kind, but stress my sense of urgency in getting this approved quickly so that it would all fall in the same calendar year for insurance deductible purposes.
Around 2 pm, I received the fax. She had double underlined the words "This plan does provide coverage for this service." When she read it, she swore it said that it "does NOT" and looking at the letter, there is an obvious spot where the word "Not" could have been. She may have made a mistake, but this is a person who looks at letters like this every day--her whole job is to schedule these surgeries.

In the course of calling her back and having her pull her copy of the letter to read it to me, I found out that someone the day before had just cancelled their surgery for the end of February. She put me in that spot. So instead of having to wait 6 weeks just to get approval, I was getting my surgery in almost that same amount of time--something they never see.

I know this has been a long one, but I feel the need to write it down so that I can remember it. If she would have read that letter correctly, then I would have had the surgery scheduled for the end of April and received my device in the late summer/early fall. I truly believe that the letter DID say they did not cover it and when she faxed it to me, God deleted the word "NOT." I know that sounds far-fetched, but I believe that He takes care of us in supernatural ways and miracles are performed every day without our knowing it.

So, I am amazed once again by the way He loves me and cares so much about me that He is showing me in a tangible way--giving me my hearing again.