Advocacy = Quality of Life

A comment I read several months or years ago still stands high in my mind. It reminds me that my job never ends and must continue if I want to see the best quality of life for my handicapped son. The comment goes like this: The quality of life for my child depends upon the level of my advocacy. If I am tired or weary his quality of life will reflect that.
I realize I cannot be tired. It doesn’t matter how many nights I have worked as his night nurse, watching for any seizure which may appear in a second’s notice by the rise of his body or the trembling of a hand. I must advocate for the best and with tireless energy.
This is true for all parents of children with disabilities. Each parent faces a new day of obstacles mixed with joyful pleasures of their child’s smile or embrace or glimmer of thanks for the help they receive.
Parents of children with disabilities face enormous tasks to complete aside from tasks required as caregiver. The largest one is maintaining the health insurance coverage and therapies to maintain and hopefully increase the muscular, cognitive and emotional progression of their child toward a better and productive existence.
Recent healthcare changes over the past two years have created a giant muck of mess that has caused many parents to repeat themselves and their actions toward consistency of therapies. My son, who suffers from a TBI had an interruption of rehabilitation due to mismanagement of accounts and services. His insurance was dropped for two months before the powers that be realized he was not to be dropped because he was insured since birth because of his Down’s Syndrome. It took insurance another month before his therapies could be approved, which set him back three months. Three months are critical when one needs to consider the “window of rehabilitation”. Now that he is finally “catching up” to the level of performance he was at prior to the loss of insurance and therapies, he faces a possible loss of therapies again due to poor management by the healthcare provider; quite possibly forcing him to travel at least one hour to a therapy because the county where he resides doesn’t see the value of pediatric rehabilitation.
This angers me, and many other parents, when the companies created for healthcare don’t demonstrate patient care nor do they uphold their mission: providing the best environment for patients to heal. My son needs therapies. He needs access to therapists. The pediatric therapists provide the environment and the skills to show him how to heal. When the healthcare provider takes them away because other patients may have better insurance, they take away my son’s quality of life and ability to become a productive citizen.

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