Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Success and failure

I went through the gamut of almost every emotion last night at Dima's first grade open house/homework workshop. As his teacher described some of the expectations for the year my heart sank. There are certain things that are so hard for Dima because of his background and the neglect he experienced the first 5 years of life. And part of me just doesn't see how he's going to "get" some of the things he needs to understand and be able to do in first grade. That said, I was also super excited to realize that there actually are areas where he is right on target and at the same level as his peers.

One of the other moms stayed after briefly to talk to Dima's teacher (as did I) and I was encouraged to hear some of the behavior problems her son is having. I was quick to let her know that her son was not the only one! :) It always encourages me to know that at least some of our struggles with Dima are typical first grade behaviors.

I was able to share a little bit of additional information with Dima's teacher about his background and why he is having some issues right now. He is really struggling with anxiety and it shows up as fidgeting and disruption in class (making noise, playing with his pencil/paper). He just has a hard time sitting still when he's stressed out. I'm guessing that as he gets into the routine of school again that he will settle down, but it's going to take him awhile. His teacher was very encouraging and I think she's going to be really good for him. She's strict and has high expectations but they also have a lot of fun. This is her 29th year of teaching at the kids' school so she's got a lot of experience. :)

The biggest success of the past couple of weeks is that our insurance is going to cover Emily's anesthesia for her dental procedures! In the process of appealing the insurance denial, I got a copy of the work scheduled to be done: FOUR root canals, four crowns, and three fillings. And she's supposed to do that without anesthesia?!? There was a phone number listed on our denial letter so I called and talked to Richard with UHC. He was super nice and was able to get the insurance approval even without me writing a letter of appeal. He told me to go ahead and send in the letter of appeal (fax and mail) just in case anything were to fall through, but I got a call from him a couple of days later and he said everything had been approved and the letters were being sent stating that.

In addition to the dental work, Emily is being fitted for an obdurator which will block her open palate until she is bigger and ready for surgery. In order to make the obdurator they need an impression of her upper jaw and palate...which of course needs to be done by a dentist, preferably under anesthesia. Emily's plastic surgeon recommended a dentist but since we're already going to have her under anesthesia with her pediatric dentist, I asked if it would be okay for him to do the impression. The plastic surgeon said yes and Emily's dentist agreed and isn't going to charge us for it (I think he feels bad about the amount of work she needs done). That makes one less sedated procedure we'll need (which would not have been covered by insurance and which I'm pretty sure I would not have been able to appeal since it's only a 5 minute procedure). Success!


BT said...

Of course she needs anesthesia for that dental work. Thank goodness your insurer saw the light on that.

And so great she's getting to avoid an additional sedation.

Christy said...

Glad to hear UHC came through for you. They wouldn't budge when Phillip had his dental work done.

Christine said...

Good for you. Poor thing should not have to be awake for all that.

Tina said...

This is definitely good news! How could they NOT feel some sympathy about all the work she needs? So glad you had success there and that you were able to connect with Dima's teacher and another parent with a similar situation. I think your kids are so fortunate to have you both (and of course vice versa). I just loved seeing them in church last weekend. Enjoy Ohio!!