Thursday, March 12, 2009

Charlotte has Rebounded and Looks Great

6:51 AM
Two things:

First: Time Magazine has a very interesting cover story about insurance this week and the author, Karen Tumulty, was interviewed in NPR's Fresh Aire yesterday (Wed. March 11). It was a great look into the problems some (many) people are having in dealing with insurance companies. This is NOT our experience as Humana One isn't denying us coverage but the mindset leaches over the boundaries. The second story is good too. Here's the link to the broadcast/podcast:

Next, I know this is extremely short notice but would any Caringbridge families be interested in a free Romp n' Roll Virginia Center playdate on Sunday? I'll open up the time between 2-5pm for any CB kids. It will be like a low-key open house and we'll have the art/party room open for a place to sit/have snack if you like.

Please answer on the guestbook or call the store at (804) 249-1001 to let us know if you're coming so we can get some idea of what kind of numbers to expect.

Thanks and take care,

4:18PM Update
We are in the homestretch of round 1. Charlotte has been doing very well and all the doctors and nurses are happy with her progress. After that little bout of grumpiness and poor color, she has rebounded and looks great. She is currently getting her last chemo medication on this round and should be released sometime tomorrow (hopefully in the morning). She has had a busy day, playing with some other kids on the unit, working with the preschool teacher on cutting and coloring skills, and taking lots of walks or rides in the stroller. She is currently being annoyingly adorable and talking her head off!
We are still trying to sort out the insurance mess. Before I call the insurance company and accept the "out of network" services, i'm trying to get some ducks in a row and make sure some of the advocates who are working with us send us in the right direction.
I finally read the TIME magazine article that Roger referenced today and it certainly echoes some of our experience. I know many people on the "conservative" end of the political spectrum who want to talk about personal responsibility and lack of government control in things like this, but what is clear in this piece is that this has nothing to do with any of the above issues. People get health insurance thinking that they are being responsible only to find out that their coverage basically only helps them as long as they are healthy. Somehow I don't understand the purpose of health insurance for healthy people. We definitely have created a system that reinforces chronic or acute care over wellness care. It's very frustrating.
Anyway, I digress...
Roger and I have looked at our calendars for the next two weeks to see where we might have needs.
To give everyone an update: food-wise, we are a-ok. We either have had meals come in this week or know that we have some more coming next week so I think the Reynolds pantry/freezer will be well-stocked for the next little while.
We also had the services of a housecleaner donated to us and will be utilizing that next week so the house will be in good order.
I know we will have to schedule lots of doctor and therapy appointments in the coming weeks. For the most part Roger and I have worked out our schedules to always have one of us with her. The main exeception is on Tuesday mornings. For the next two Tuesdays (17th and 24th) until my mom gets here, we will need someone to watch Charlotte at our home from about 8:30 (ish) until about 1:30 (ish). If you can help with this, please sign up on the Care Calendar. If you need a reminder or help accessing the Care Calendar, please go to the LINKS section of our Caring Bridge page. A link to the webpage is there as well as the username/password codes that you need in order to access the site.
Aside from that, we do welcome visits from friends, family, and other kids. While we do not need to take out of the ordinary precautions, her immune system will be compromised, especially in the next week so please do not visit us if you have recently been ill or have had a household full of unhealthy people.
I think we are reaching the end of our current batch of bracelets and Melissa will be placing another large (1000!) order soon. This means that we have sold almost 300 bracelets in just a few short weeks! WOW! Her bank account is growing and I just had to write a few checks this week for medical bills that have begun to "trickle in". We are so grateful for all the donations. The money, gifts, gift cards (many times for restaurants or groceries), clothes, and thoughtful cards are all so appreciated. Again, if you haven't received a personal thank-you from us yet, you should soon and I really appreciate your patience!
The 1000 bracelets should tide us over for a while, I think! I spoke with Barclay DuPriest at the RMC bookstore yesterday and she has asked for a large quantity from our next shipment so they can be a central distribution site for the Ashland area. More on that to come soon!
Before I sign off, I want to mention the "Secret Angel Stitchers". I had never heard of this organization before, but last week we started to receive random cards in the mail from this group. Somehow we were nominated and these ladies send machine stitched angels, animals, and other sweet tokens with a personalized card. These people send their gifts anonymously and pray over each token. We have received gifts from as far away as Australia and every day when i get the mail there are 1 or 2 more. So sweet! For more information on their organization, you can go to
Thank you to whoever sent in the nomination. We feel more than blessed!
HUGS to everyone,

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