Yesterday I spent the morning in Robby's kindergarten class helping with their Thanksgiving re-enactment feast. The boys wore feathered headbands while the girls sported adorable Pilgrim hats. We made "stone soup" (from the classic book about sharing) and pumpkin pies. After lunch the class retreated to the carpet, where they performed what the five year olds promised was a traditional Thanksgiving dance: The Hokey Pokey. (Okay, we weren't exactly authentic with our re-enactment, but we certainly had fun.)
Watching Robby sitting with his little classmates, I paused to absorb how much has changed during the past year. He is growing into such an amazing young man. I am so grateful and blessed to be his mom. While I still miss him while he is at school, I'm willing to admit that he is growing and thriving and that the "K" word isn't as bad as I feared.
I am thankful that I am able to be fully engaged in his life. As much as I complain about my insurance adjustor and the hoops that I must navigate to receive care, when the red tape is completed, I am fortune enough to have a prosthetic. So many amputees do not have access to adequate prosthetic care, not only in other parts of the world but in our own country.
So many policies have a lifetime cap on prosthetic care set at an obscenely low amount. I have a friend whose policy maxes out after $10,000. In most cases, $10,000 will only buy three toes and a poorly constructed socket!
Assuming that the lifetime cap is not an issue, many amputees face mounting bills because of requisite co-pays. Some policies require a 20% co-pay on all prosthetic care. Considering that an above knee prostheses with a mechanical knee costs approximately $20,000, the amputee must come up with $4000.00 in order to receive their leg. High co-pays keeps life changing bionic devices simply too cost-prohibitive for so many amputees.
Scrounging up the co-pay amount is a financially impossible feat for an individual who has lost their job due to medical issues or an accident that necessitated the limb loss. Without the prosthetic, they are confined to a wheelchair with limited employment options. A cycle has been established that is difficult to break.
This Thanksgiving I consider myself to be inordinately blessed. I have excellent prosthetic care which allows me to live my life to the fullest. My heart breaks for amputees across this country who cannot walk to the dinner table tomorrow simply because they can't afford a prosthetic. The discrepancy concerning access to adequate prosthetic care in this country is tragic. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be on the propitious side of that continuum. I realize that because of my access to prosthetics, I am able to be the mom that Robby deserves.