Friday, July 01, 2011

3294 Dear Diary

Friday, July 1, 2011

How "good one is in bed" has more to do with the combination than with any skill.
-- Silk --


One purpose of this blog is to act as a diary for me, so I kind of know what happened when. I don't always remember what I did three days ago, let alone last month. Of course, I also often don't realize the significance of small things when they happen, so they get left out and lost. So the usefulness is often compromised. Eh.

I wanted to go upriver this past week, probably Tuesday evening through Thursday, and had told the Hunk I'd be up. But it didn't happen. And I'm already starting to forget why.

Nugget had a pediatrician appointment on Wednesday afternoon. Daughter had managed to convince the doctor to delay Nugget's first immunizations for a month, so she'd be getting them Wednesday, and Daughter was a nervous wreck. She asked me to go with her. She was so afraid herself that I think she was almost afraid she'd have to leave the room. Ok, Gramma can be the bad guy. So I didn't go upriver Tuesday evening. I can go Wednesday, and return Friday.... (Yuck. Garden State Parkway, Friday on a holiday weekend, heading toward the shore points?)

Tuesday afternoon Daughter and had I spent some time looking up baby carriers on the internet. She wanted one that could be used on the front with the baby facing in or out. I pointed out that Nugget would soon be too heavy for a front carrier, so maybe she should look for one that could also be used as a back carrier. We found a few that looked good. I emphasized that she shouldn't buy it online, though, at least until she'd tried one on for size and comfort.

So Wednesday after the pediatrician appointment, Daughter suggested that we locate a selection of carriers on Thursday. Wednesday, by the way, was a long day. Daughter is pokey anyway, but she stops dead every two hours or so for 20 minutes or so, to breastfeed the Nugget.

On the way home from the pediatrician we had stopped at a huge Target to see if they had any carriers (no, not a single one), and while I was standing at the counter in the Target snack bar a man next to me set a cup of coffee on a small bit of shelf set there to hold a debit card reader at the front of the counter, while he paid his tab. The unsecured shelf tilted, the coffee slid off and hit the floor, and the hot coffee shot straight up, a veritable volcano, and splashed my neck, tiny boiling droplets from behind my right ear to my shoulder.

No, I don't need 911. No, I don't need the store nurse. I would like a cloth with some ice, please. Now!, if it wouldn't be too much trouble? Yes, I would like to see a manager. Yes, I would like to fill out an incident report - for the sole purpose of bringing attention to that unsecured shelf, which should be removed or secured, because the next person burned could be a Nugget-type. Or a litigious type. Who would certainly have a case now that I am reporting it.

The manager removed the shelf immediately. Next time I'm in Target, I'm going to check.

Then Daughter asked me to watch Nugget that evening while she worked on some medical insurance problems** and wrote an article for an organization newsletter. So I didn't make it up river Wednesday evening, either. Ok, I can go Thursday evening, then return Saturday evening, and that's better for traffic anyway.

So Thursday Daughter, Nugget, and I headed for the largest Babies R Us in the area, south of here, just a bit north of Asbury Park. We tried on several carriers. Daughter ended up with a frame backpack - the Cadillac of carriers. Good for hiking with Nugget. By then it was close to 5:30 pm, and she suggested we visit the Asbury Park boardwalk, Hercules works near there so he can join us, and we can have dinner there.

Boardwalk? Yeah, ok. Asbury Park, by the way, has gone through about 50 years of depression, despite the ostentatious (and pretentious) mansions lining the roads in. The city and boardwalk are just now starting to sort of recover. The boardwalk is bracketed with buildings showing obvious decay, but also apparent recent attempts at restoration. We walked the full length and back, with dinner in the middle (overpriced and not that good). During a Nugget diaper change and feeding, I decided to walk down to the water. I'd forgotten how difficult it is to walk on soft sand, and with the dead nerves in my right ankle and shin, my foot dragged, and I ended up pulling something in the top of my right thigh.

We didn't get home until after 10:30 pm. Nope, not going upriver Thursday evening.

Now it's Friday and there's no way I'm going anywhere near the parkway or the turnpike today. Not to mention that the top of my right thigh clenches every so often.

Maybe Saturday evening? No, that would be returning Monday evening, eeeeek! Sunday evening? Returning Tuesday? No. I have a mammo scheduled down here for next Wednesday, and I need to pick up my old mammogram films (CD) up there, and they won't be ready until Thursday, so I may as well wait until then to go up, or it would be another week before I get the films.

I wonder why I never get anything done.


**The insurance problem. It's a lot more complicated than this one example, but I'll describe one of the problems that has me shaking my head.

When Daughter's water broke early in her labor, there was a lot of thick meconium, which is a bad thing. Then she didn't dilate beyond 9. Then she developed a fever, and they were worried about infection, both her and the baby. They actually piped saline through her uterus to wash out the meconium when her fever kept going up and the baby's heartrate increased. And Daughter's blood sugar was too high. She had poorly controlled gestational diabetes, so the Nugget was likely to be born with too much insulin in her system, which could result in hypoglycemia.

So finally there was an emergency caesarian, and the Nugget went into the neonatal ICU for two days while her risk of meconium inhalation infection and hypoglycemia were assessed and controlled. Daughter was breastfeeding, so she visited the Nugget every few hours. Then they had a day and a half of rooming-in, with both of them on IV antibiotics.

It was altogether, from the time Daughter arrived at the hospital very early in the morning until they were released, four days. (Or something like that. I forget and I'm not going to look it up now.) Anyway, it all sounds like medical necessity, right?

Surprise. The insurance company allows three days for a birth. Period. And they count the first full day as the day you arrive at the hospital, so if you arrive Monday night at 11:45 pm, that's the first one of the three days. They don't count from the birth, but from the mother's arrival. Duh? Does this mean that if you arrive late one evening, and are in active labor for two days, which is not unheard of, the hospital is expected to kick you out an hour before the baby is born?

I guess this is to discourage anxious mothers from arriving too early. BUT!!! Daughter's water broke early, and there was heavy meconium. ALL medical advice is that this is a concern, and to call your doctor, and then do as you're told. Daughter was told to go to the hospital immediately. Why is there no exception for emergency cases?

So, the insurance company is refusing to pay for the fourth day.

Second, although Daughter had originally wanted a home birth, but all kinds of obstacles were thrown in her way, she ended up with a hospital 40 minutes away, which is what the insurance company insisted on, because she was considered high risk. Got that? That the insurance company wanted this particular hospital because it was a high risk birth?

Surprise surprise. The neonatal ICU at this hospital is (for some unexplained reason) considered OUT OF NETWORK! The fact that Nugget ending up in the ICU was not exactly planned, but should have been a consideration, given that it was a high risk birth, and the fact that it was an emergency, doesn't seem to matter to the insurance company. When Daughter asked what else she should have done, she was told that she should have had the baby transferred to another NICU that was in network. The fact that Daughter was breast feeding was not a consideration. So no, they're not paying for two days of NICU since they hadn't given prior approval. Duh?

Um, why did they insist on this particular hospital again? When you say "high risk", doesn't that presuppose the risk of NICU? Wasn't that implied?

It sounds to me like the insurance company is giving them a hard time just because parents of a new baby are unlikely to pull out the big guns, being tired, depressed, and busy with higher priorities.

I say fight it.

This is stupid.


Becs said...

There are times when it really is easier to not have insurance.

Easier but not cheaper.

At Asbury Park, did you play skee ball with God?

Chriz said...

After trial and error with 5 different carriers, mom and older baby recommend the Ergo Baby Carrier. Solid, comfy, lightweight, front and back options, easy discrete breastfeeding, and survived 3 months hardcore trekking in Thailand. It looks good as new today even with all the abuse we gave it. When nugget outgrows the frame, Ergo is my recommendation; my sis with 6 kids says the same...