Friday, August 22, 2008

Walks, Food, and Frustrations

This morning we finally got out of the house! It's still gray skies here and pretty nasty looking, but we didn't fair too badly with just a light misty sprinkle on our last little bit of the way home. The new stroller rides like a dream and the kids all really enjoyed it-- even moreso because we haven't left he house in 3 days! Kristopher has decided that the strap on the handlebar that's intended to keep the stroller from rolling away if you're running on hills especially, is for him. I guess it's my preschooler leash :) I won't complain! It keeps him close! On our way out of the house we grabbed the mail and had two wonderful surprises! One was a cup holder for the stroller from Bethany- THANKS!! And the other was from All Children's Hospital and included 2 letters sent to Emma that were forwarded to our house since we got out of there so quick. Thank you for the kind words! I save all the cards sent to the kids and have them in a scrapbook. One day when Emma is older I hope she'll enjoy looking through her book and seeing all the beautiful pictures and people who have prayed for her life.

When we got home Emma was still refusing to eat. She hasn't been eating that well lately and hadn't eaten anything since getting up. I continued to hand the bottle back to her when she'd toss it over and over and over again, then take it away for a little while, then give it back... we did this for about 30 minutes. Finally I got a medicine dropper and teaspoon by teaspoon and amidst tears she took down most of the rest of the bottle. I really hope she didn't aspirate as sometimes she'd gasp when she swallowed... She never has before, but that wouldn't be a good thing. You wouldn't think apples with oatmeal would be such a bad thing to stomach! She seemed to like it, just didn't want to EAT it... Hopefully this too shall pass, but I didn't think her hunger strike should go on much longer since she hadn't eaten si nce last night.

And the majority of the day today I've spent hitting "redial" on my phone. Trying to get through to the Medicaid office to be sure they've matched up our old case and new one. The letter they sent me in the mail says that they need everything since the beginning including all the 10,000 papers that I've already sent them... And every time I call I get a busy signal.

After literally 4 hours of redial I got through. A very rude lady gave me another number, of course, to call to see if my information has been scanned into the system. I try to clarify and she says again- "it's just a system, it has to be scanned in," she tells me.
"Ok, I get that, but what do I do if it HAS or even if it HASN'T been scanned in?" Ah... this was a difficult question.
"Susan is your case manager, but since you're just applying for medicaid you don't need to talk to her, just that number."
"I'm sorry, but I'd like to know who to follow up with, this is my third time trying to get through this application and I want to know TODAY whether my paperwork was received and whether they're expecting anything else from me. My paperwork in the mail says that it's due by Monday and today is Friday. I'm not willing to find out they don't have it by another denial letter in the mail. Can I have a contact number for Susan?"
And with that... She said "You're just applying for medicaid, you just call that number, the case manager won't take a call." And SHE HUNG UP.

On to this super important call number to find out if it is in the system... AUTOMATED. Finally I get a prompt "If you need to talk to a representative..." YEP. Then it says... "Due to high call volume, all representatives are now busy. Please try you call again later." And it HANGS UP.

I tried another three times, all to find the same result. Then I got on the Internet. I found a number for our area medicaid office. Worth a try... I called and hit "0" for the operator after finding out that it, too, wanted to send me to the same automated number I'd just gotten off with. I quickly explained to the operator that I've applied for Medicaid 3 times and haven't been able to make it through the entire process yet. I'm having difficulty finding someone that can answer my questions. She says she'll transfer me to a customer service representative. That was at 12:30. For the next FORTY FIVE minutes I sat on hold listening to the recording say that the wait time was currently over 10 minutes. HA! A LITTLE!

The next person I talked to was actually very sweet. She, unfortunately, couldn't help. She said that DCF is the sole people that work with the application and that they only deal with benefits when it gets to her. She asked questions and tried to understand the situation, and she gave me a number to call which is the DCF Client Relations number. Long distance for me, but then there were two extensions as well. I asked who else, other than everyone I'd talked to already, might be able to help, and she said that the state office always gets things done. Yes, my next calls will be to Tallahassee. After I try the Client Relations.

I dial the number, put in the extension... "this extension is undefined." and back to the automated answering machine. I put in the second extension I was given... "this extension is undefined." and back to the automated answering machine. Know what the machine was saying? Call the AUTOMATED NUMBER that I'd been hung up on 4 times already from... I don't think that's gonna cut it.

So now it's 1:30, I've been on the phone for probably 5 hours today and have yet to get ANYWHERE helpful. And you know what? I'm REALLY FRUSTRATED. In case you couldn't tell...


  1. Isn't the stroller awesome, even with 3 kids in it?! You are welcome for the cup holder too. I'm sorry you are having such a hard time with medicaid ... why does it have to be so hard!?

  2. I hope you get this all figured out and praying that Emma soon eats better!