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Press ‘End Call’ To Restore Your Sanity

June 26, 2013


Shayna Gehl of The Disheveled Parent comically recounts for us a day when even the smallest task can turn into a day’s worth of headaches!

The saying goes something like this: being a parent is both highly rewarding and equally challenging. I have learned at the very least that much since having children. Each day brings new laughs, unexpected surprises, and pull-my-hair-out moments. Plus having a toddler and proddler is one of the most challenging combos to have. (I made that word up. Somebody made the word ‘tween’ up. Well, pre + toddler= proddler. You’re welcome). Anyways, the daily grind with my mini duo already has enough drama. I don’t typically seek out the opportunity to introduce more. My husband and the hospital however…they sometimes provide little tidbits for me!

Enter conjunctivitis, sinus infections, and hospital fiasco. Getting ready for work, I see hubby dressing and reading a letter that came in the mail. He looks at me “Shay, did you see this? We were billed for something our insurance should cover. Oh, actually, I just noticed the hospital billed our old insurance by mistake.”

Hubby turns, looking into my and proddler’s pink, watery eyes and asks “Shay, do you think you could call the hospital today to clear this mess up?”

I gaze back at him while bouncing proddler, trying to mask my fear “I will try to take care of it during nap time. I have to get a hold of the pediatrician to get pink eye medicine first”.

I am scared to death because I know this is going to be way more than just a phone call. The progression of my morning battling conjunctivitis proved just that. Unbeknownst to me, the kids pediatrician broke his leg and was out of the office, so when I finally got a hold of him the first time and explained the situation (Toddler brought pink eye home from preschool and now baby sister and I both have it. We need medication for all three even though toddler somehow didn’t get pink eye, he just lovingly distributed it throughout the family. I fear the cats are next) he quickly agreed to call in meds for the kids. When I pushed the 35lb (without the two bodies) double stroller (with the two bodies) a mile and a half to the pharmacy to pick up the medication, I was informed that there were no meds under our name. I had to trek all the way home and attempt to reach the pediatrician again…at his home…with a broken leg. You can imagine he wasn’t happy when I got through again and he learned the meds were not taken care of. You can imagine I was not happy when I had to push that stroller with two kids 3 miles again. You can imagine they were not happy when they realized how eye drops are administered. Good thing nap time was around the corner. We could all use a little down time. Then I remembered I had to call the hospital.

With phone in hand and p-ler on hip (She chose today to skip her nap) I dialed the hospital billing department. My heart sank as I listened to the automated touch-tone system. I shouldn’t have been shocked. I have only come across two places with absolutely incredible PEOPLE serving as customer service associates: Amazon and Paypal. Apparently you can indeed buy everything on Amazon, including excellent customer service! Paypal, well, they have the word pay in the name, so that should qualify us for something right? I am so deep in thought, I miss the entire main menu and wait for it to repeat.

Press 1 for English. No, I don’t want to learn Spanish today, of all days. Maybe I will start tomorrow. P-dler getting antsy.

No, it’s not an emergency, I will refrain from hanging up and dialing 911, although I’ll reserve that option for later (Just in case. I have a bad feeling). Bounce, bounce, bounce.

No, I don’t know my party’s extension, although I have a feeling if I did I would be transferred to another automated party, so there. Whine. Proddler is whining.

Crap! I missed the rest. Now I have to wait to start over.

1 for English, pass for emergency, pass for my party’s extension. Set Proddler down, she starts whining loudly, on the brink of a scream, pick her back up.

No, I don’t need visiting hours and directions, pass 4. Bounce, bounce, bounce.

I don’t need patient information, not 5. Bounce.

No to outpatient clinic, sorry 6. Numb arm, switch P-dler to the other hip. She starts wiggling.

Oh thank GOD the billing and finance department!!! Enthusiastically pressing 7.

To my surprise a person answers. “Hi, my name is Candy. How can I help you?” (I made that name up. Candy is ironic since this is becoming more bitter by the minute). P-dler starts crying. Candy can’t hear me.

Shouting “Yeah hi Candy, our old insurance company was billed for a visit our new company should have been billed for so now it appears my husband and I are responsible for the cost when in reality the wrong company was billed so we just need to bill the appropriate company- which you do have on file since you’ve billed them before-”

”Oh, I am so sorry we are the ER billing, you need to speak with Wanda, let me transfer you….”

“Candy wait!” Too late. I wanted to ask for the extension number in case I got dropped. Proddler is now screaming. Bounce, bounce, bounce. Throw back out, question if I’ve dislocated my hip.

“Hi, this is Wanda, how can I help you?”

Explain situation again.

“Oh, I’m sorry you are in the wrong department. Let me transfer you.” Busy tone.

Screaming proddler, napping toddler begins stirring.

“Hi, my name is Shelley, how can I help you?”

Screaming proddler, crying toddler, shaking arms.

“Yeah hi Shelley. Let me tell you this. If you can’t help me, you are going to need to call 911 for me because I’m gonna lose it over here and my arms are too weak to dial the damn number!”

shaynaShayna Gehl used to be a mental-health counselor, now she just needs one. Follow her on her (often solo) parenting adventures in the city that never sleeps! Visit her blog at www.thedisheveledparent.com, on Facebook- The Disheveled Parent page, and Twitter @dishevldparent.