5 Tips for Transitioning Insurance Companies

This is never fun for anyone but it can be especially difficult for medically complex children. Instead of a doctor’s office or two, there’s a medical supply company, the pediatrician, and all of their specialists. Prior authorizations have to be submitted to the correct insurance, so you may need to update insurance information with doctors you haven’t even seen yet!

Tip #1 – Call the new insurance company. They won’t be able to tell you much until the insurance activates, however, you can request a case manager be assigned before the transition. This gives you an advocate on the inside that already knows your situation before the paperwork starts flowing.

Tip #2 – Call and update insurance info with all of the doctors who write a perscription for your child. That way if there are any issues at the pharmacy which require additional paperwork from the doctor’s office the responses get sent to the correct location.

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Medical Identification (Medical ID)

I highly recommend anyone with a child who has complex medical issues or special needs purchase a basic medical ID. There are a lot of different kinds available. There are adjustable ones with velcro and watch bands. For the fashion forward there are adorable combinations of pink and blue bracelets. You can choose to engrave the details on a plate. Some have a pocket where there’s a little piece of paper you write on. Whatever method you choose, children with special needs and complex medical issues NEED a Medical ID.

Why? You might be incapacitated by the same thing that injured your child or your child might not be with you. Then…

  1. Drug allergies will not be discovered until the drug is administered.
  2. If your child has an implanted device, such as a shunt, no one will know to check right away if it’s been damaged.
  3. They may offer your child who silently aspirates food or drink.

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4 Ways to Encourage Independence

Children with medical needs or other special needs are heavily reliant on their caregiver in many cases. In the majority of situations, this is out of necessity and not preference. Most parents would love their children to be able to play on their own for a little while so they can take care of household chores, make phone calls, and take care of other tasks. I’ll share a few ways myself and other Moms I know have increased their child’s independence. I hope they work for you as well!

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How Working Can Make You a Better Caregiver

It may sound like a bad idea to add another responsibility on top of an already agonizing workload. After all, managing a household is certainly plenty of work. Fortunately, many modern day conveniences allow for a household to still run well without sunup to sundown backbreaking labor. On top of that, many things people consider hobbies can be considered work if you’re good at them. Photography, painting, and writing are all legitimate careers. Is it going to pay your bills? Probably not, however if you enjoy your “work” then any money which comes from it is simply a bonus. Instead of a job it’s a break from the monotony.

Is your child able to be taken care of by someone else for the same, or less, money than you would make working full or part time from home? If so you can work from home and be available for any emergencies which might come up. For example, my son’s feeding tube is the only thing a babysitter would encounter over an eight hour period. With a weeks worth of training, someone could easily learn to do that.

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Cleaning to Sanitize vs. Cleaning for Appearance

I had the time and energy to clean the house today. While I was shuffling through and bouncing from room to room, I realized something. I don’t clean the same way I did before my son was born. I used to go from room to room top to bottom and do everything at once. One room had to be completely cleaned before I moved to the next. It’s like night and day.

Now I clean the biggest mess first. The toddler had a massive vomit episode in the kitchen. I guess it’s time to vacuum and mop the hardwood floor. We’ve had a vomiting episode in the bedroom. Time to vacuum and wash the bedroom carpet. Every once in a while I’ll get a chance to take care of something that isn’t related to our son. For example, today I cleaned the bathroom! It would be way too embarrassing to admit how long it’s been since that happened. I can’t remember the last time I was able to enjoy a completely clean house.

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My Child is Sicker Than Yours

My Child is Sicker Than Yours

I ignore it as much as possible, but every once in a while I stumble across a conversation involving this awful competition. It goes something like this…

“My child has hypotonia…”
“Oh, so does mine! She also has a trach and a gtube”
“Well, he doesn’t just have hypotonia. We’ve been struggling with…”

The discussion continues. By the end, the entire world knows both children’s full medical history, even if they don’t know their first names. What on earth is the point?

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Mistakes and Five Tips to Avoid them or Minimize their Impact

Mistakes and Five Tips to Avoid them or Minimize their Impact

Everyone makes mistakes, and we all know that. We’ve been told a million times, “everyone makes mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over it.” That doesn’t quite help at the moment though, because the stakes are a bit higher than they’ve been in the past.

Forgot to turn on the pump last night? That’s less calories a continuously fed child is going to get, and it’s not hard to do. Even more common, your child rolls just the wrong way and disconnects himself from the pump. He doesn’t wake up because he’s exhausted, and you have no idea. When one of you finally wakes up, the bed has gotten all of the feeding and some stomach acid. You try to prevent it, but nothing is fool-proof. Besides, you can’t connect it too tight because it needs to release if your child gets tangled in the tubing!

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Conquering Medical Terminology

It’s sometimes difficult to understand what your primary care doctor is trying to tell you, but they’re used to explaining. Some can tell by the look on your face you don’t get it, and immediately just give you a five second rundown of what the term they just used means. Even better, many primary physicians don’t hardly use medical terminology at all.

Your child’s pediatrician is similar, but what happens when you have more than just a pediatrician? Medical terminology is a massive hurdle to overcome. If you’re working with a specialist you’ve never seen before it’s especially overwhelming. First, here’s a list of things you can do to ease the pain when talking to a new specialist, or a familiar specialist about an unfamiliar problem.

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How to Deal with the Two Different Types of Guilt

Sometimes it feels as if there’s no end to the guilt hoisted upon me by others. Generally, these statements come in the form of, “You SHOULD [insert thing].” While there’s no reason the word, “should,” need be entirely removed from the English language, it’s frequently the word choice of people when they want to use guilt as leverage to direct me toward a different course of action. Guilt comes in two forms.

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4 Reasons Special Needs Kids Can’t Afford to be Sick and How to Help

We, as special needs parents, spend a lot of time fighting off illness. It’s difficult to explain to friends and family members what’s necessary to keep our kids well, and what they can do to help. I’ve listed a few common reasons special needs kids just can’t afford illness, as well as what friends and family can do to help in each case.

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