The Axis of Medical Evil, the Board of Education and Gordon Ramsay would totally love my shoe collection.

The weirdest thing happened when I called Boston Children’s Hospital to schedule Connor’s MRI for August when we will be up there for the TSC study again. An actual person answered the phone, and he immediately scheduled the test.

It was surreal. I dialed. Someone answered. Things were accomplished.

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite to return a message I left with the medical records department 2.5 weeks ago. So my list of CHOA departments that don’t return phone calls is now:

1. Scottish Rite EEG (note: call was returned after I recruited neuro office to get involved)

2. Emory-CHOA billing (note: call was returned over a month later once I wrote a letter of complaint and sent a copy to every single board member including the CEO)

3. Scottish Rite Medical Records (note: pending)

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The reason I was calling them is that I recently submitted my application for Katie Beckett Medicaid, which, if approved, will help pick up costs of Connor’s medical care not covered by insurance. I’ve submitted 8 metric tons of paperwork, only (I hope) minus his surgery discharge papers. Those must have been accidentally thrown away. I don’t know if the board is going to want proof from the hospital (even though the neurology notes make plenty of reference to it, but it’s government after all) so as a precaution, I sent in a medical records request. None of the check off boxes described what I needed so I tried to explain what I was looking for. They don’t provide the records until they figure out what printing it will cost and then they send you a bill. Apparently the department thinks I need the whole 200 something pages and they want to charge me over $100 for it. So I called to clarify that all I need is a couple pages pertaining to the surgery and I’m not paying $100 for it. The discharge papers were like six pages for God’s sakes. That was 2.5 weeks ago. I hate CHOA and their unprofessional business ethic.

A couple companies that deserve a positive shout out so that I can offer contrast: Level 4 prosthetics. Connor recently got a cranial remolding helmet (a more detailed blog to come on that). At his initial screening, it appeared to be covered and we paid the uncovered 20 percent portion. Fast forward a few weeks and I arrive home today from one of Connor’s helmet follow-up appointments to find a denial from United Healthcare. Say what now? You want us to pay for this $3,000 helmet? So I freak and contact all his doctors and physical therapist to get proof of necessity, and then I call Level 4, who I should have called first. They’re already on the appeal for me. Good stuff. Thank you! And United Healthcare, my child is adorable in his helmet, but I assure you it’s not just a fun accessory.

The other company is AquaTots of Kennesaw. I became nervous that I would soon be doing time for homicide due to parents who think they get to save the limited dressing rooms for their swimmers, so I expressed my dissatisfaction. They were very quick to respond and remedy the situation. And now the mom who thinks it’s okay to let her children leave their cars in front of entrances where other customers can fall and hurt themselves walks the earth safely again (until she once again almost simultaneously paralyzes me and makes me change my kid on the floor, then all bets are off).

So these are my days. Doing Connor stuff, trying to get into some freelance writing and watching Roseanne reruns. I feel like I should miss working more, but I don’t. Probably because by the time I left, my teaching to do list had changed so drastically.

Sample To Do List 2005

1. Lesson plans for next week

2. Copy 2nd grade newsletter

3. pull center materials

4. choose new read aloud novel

5. try not to turn beet red, break out in hives and pass out from anxiety when undergoing mandatory teaching observations

Sample To Do List 2012

1. Some random excel sheet with random meaningless data to be submitted to someone who will never even read it, assigned 5 minutes ago, due now

2. see #1

3. see #2

4. Collect elevendy bajillion weeks worth of data so a student can receive services, but probably not

5. Attend a committee meeting

6. see #5

7. see #6

8. see #7

9. figure out what you’re teaching tomorrow. Somebody wants another excel sheet with data due in 5 minutes

10. try not to turn beet red, break out in hives and pass out from anxiety because it’s a work day

And all for less pay every year. Hey, I get it. There’s no money to be had. Just be ready to see more of this stuff on school property if you don’t want to pay people in the education profession:

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I won’t say where I took this recent photo. I might need them to hire me one day.

What I do miss is how hilarious some of those kids can be. I received texts from a former co-worker the other day. She teaches students now that I taught a couple years ago in first grade. They told her that my “shoes haunted them.” My heels were like two feet tall, and they always watched out for me because they were afraid I would topple over. If I’d known I would have based my compare/contrast lessons on heels vs. wedges.

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I also decided to start pursuing my original plan to make some of Connor’s food myself. I have the little baby blender/steamer combo, but I’ve only used it for pretty basic stuff. I decided to finally make one of the recipes from the little booklet that came with it. Hey, why not? Connor eats EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING. This was the result:

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I used to be disgusted by moms drinking and eating after their kids, but the other day I found myself fighting the urge not to eat half his spaghetti and meat sauce. Then I let him drink out of my water bottle. But I also realized he has 50 percent of my DNA. That means it’s half my saliva. So that’s okay, right? Is that what these moms have known all along that I didn’t understand? Or should I just go out and buy some mom jeans now?

Despite the failure of my foray into baby chefery, I am still happy because winter is finally rolling out and warm days have come. I leave you with photos of my little Gordon Ramsay in a good mood enjoying the weather.

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Only a ball pit until it's warm enough to become a swimming pool!
Only a ball pit until it’s warm enough to become a swimming pool!

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