Monday, August 11, 2014

The surgery that almost wasn't

We are just a couple of days away from Afua's cochlear implant surgery. The last several months have been surgery and sedation free. Our days have been filled with therapies and new equipment, but relatively speaking we have enjoyed a normal, even lazy summer. Now it's time to switch gears as we know the next week will be different in a nervous/exciting way.

We stayed home last Sunday to avoid germs at church and watched a live streaming of the service.

Last week, we had a call that started a bit of craziness. Our Dr wanted to change the surgery date to accommodate another emergency procedure. I tried to come up with a plan how I could reschedule a bunch of appointments, FMLA leave for hubby, childcare etc. Ultimately it was not needed but boy did it get me worried.

Then, last Friday, I received another phone call: our insurance denied the surgery at the last minute after finding a convenient loophole in our policy. I cried....and that's all I can say about that nicely. It was devastating. Crushing. Awful. Terrible. Insurance runs so much of our life already. They decide what equipment we can have, what doctors we see, what medications we use. They tell us how many therapy sessions she needs without ever having met her. And now they were going to tell us Afua could not have a chance of hearing? Ugh. Good thing Eric was home and he went into "hero mode" and I could curl up on our couch and cry. 

Jake and Afua watching tv and holding hands...inside her new ballpit:)

The weekend had us praying for a favorable outcome. Our last hope was our secondary insurance policy that normally just helps us with co-pays and such. We requested that they would take the role of our primary insurance. Within a day (today), they agreed to cover the procedure, the implant and the follow up care!!! An answered prayer for sure.
At the county fair: peekaboo with a chicken

Many children are hearing impaired and they do not wish to have a cochlear implant. Sign language is a wonderful communication method and as you can watch in this Nick News documentary, different families arrive at different decisions. Some children wish to have it but the cost is prohibitive and that is sad for those who truly feel this option is for them.  Afua NEEDS this. She can't sign effectively because  CP affects her hands. She can't use most other communication devices because they require a person to hear. She is so aware of the world around her, we see her make connections about our life all the time. So we are relieved we get to at least try giving her access to speech sounds and enhance her ability to communicate with us. Our expectations are realistic and cautiously we dream new dreams for her.
And....we got to meet Mandisa!!! She was so awesome with the kiddos.

Would you please pray for us this week as we prepare for surgery and after care? Specifically that she would be able to come home the same day and that she would have a smooth recovery? For Mommy and Daddy's hearts as handing our sweet girl to medical professionals is always a bit unnerving? For the siblings as they also are a bit anxious about all of this? Thank you friends!

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