There are many aspects to my life as a mommy. Like every other parent, there of course is the typical role I play as a mommy to a toddler who is literally into EVERYTHING, especially the things she is not supposed to get into. Like every other parent, Jeremy and I are her teachers. We try our best to teach her things like patience, being gentle and kind to others, and right from wrong.
As a mommy to a toddler with special needs, there are the roles of nurse, therapist, and advocate for my child.
When I became a mommy, even a special needs mommy, I was prepared for all of these roles. I embraced them. That is not to say that I do not struggle or am not challenged in these roles even on my best day. But I saw them as part of my daily life and prepared myself for them.
The one role that I never thought about, the one I never prepared myself for, is that of businesswoman. I am talking about the role I have to play when dealing with the endless, hours long phone calls to and from insurance companies, early intervention, doctor's offices, medical equipment supply companies, Medicaid, Jeremy's Employer HR department. The countless hours I spend coordinating and scheduling therapies, surgeries, order and delivery of supplies and equipment. I'm not sure why I never thought about it. Who else did I think would be taking care of these things? It kind of snuck up on me, I guess.
And the paperwork, OH the paperwork!! Medical records, bills, receipts for co-pays and scripts, plans of care and IFSPs, paperwork for upcoming appointments and procedures, insurance EOBs (there are literally close to a thousand every year!), study reports and evaluations, forms to fill out. PHEW!! I think any parent of a special needs or medically complex child can relate to what I am saying.
When we first brought Marissa home and I was smacked in the face with this role, I would let the paperwork pile up on the table. I quickly realized that I needed to get organized, so I bought a file box. This method worked very well for a while.
Then it became too full and I knew I had to go through it and get rid of a bunch of stuff. Of course this requires just a little more than your average cleaning since all of the paperwork has our personal info on it. I can't just throw it away, I have to shred it!
Over the last couple of months, this role as businesswoman has completely overwhelmed me. I allowed the paperwork to just pile up on the table and the thought of tackling this job has been more than I can wrap my head around. But, now Thanksgiving is a week away. I refuse to eat our family dinner on t.v. trays in the living room! My hand is now forced and I must face the role of businesswoman/document shredder/paperwork sorter and filer head on. This is what I am going to face on Saturday: