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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Mobility Saves

The past few days have been incredibly busy, and I suspect that my packed schedule has caught up with me. I woke up yesterday morning not feeling well, and have progressed from bad to worse quickly. I now have a fever of 103, I am coughing and am struggling to breath deeply. I guess the chemo is still wreaking havoc with my body and has lowered my immune system.  To be honest, I'm not looking forward to today. With Scott at work, I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to rest and take care of Timmy.  I wish Moms could have sick days!

Despite being sick now, I certainly don't regret how I spent my time last week. I was able to introduce prosthetic parity to a large group of individuals who had no idea about the real-life struggles in the amputee community. I was honored to represent this community through my testifying at a Congressional hearing on the issue. While I still think we have a long road ahead of us, I am taking solace in the fact that a dialog has been started on the issue.  I may be an eternal optimist, but sitting on the train on the way home from DC, I couldn't help but believe that we made an incremental movement in the right direction.

Living in a proof-driven society has been detrimental for the amputee community because we have been lacking empirical data about the benefits of providing prosthetic devices.  While I can share hundreds of anecdotal stories about a life completely turned around when a prosthetic was received, these testimonials have little impact on the bureaucrats making the policies. They value research and savings above improved quality of life. 

For the first time, the limb loss community has research that proves that providing a prosthetic and/or orthotic device lowers the cost expenditures over 18 months. When a prosthetic is provided, individuals have fewer secondary conditions often associated with immobility.  Although the upfront cost is higher for the insurance company, the investment results in fewer medical bills over time and after 18 months equates to equal or lower medical expenditures.  (The entire study can be viewed at www.mobilitysaves.org)  

I hope that we moved the bar a little towards insurance fairness, but I have no illusions about the amount of work that lies ahead. My experience on Friday only strengthened my resolve to work towards effecting change on this issue.  But not today because today I'm taking a sick day.  Or, as much of a sick day as I can muster while trying to wrangle a curious one year old all day!

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