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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, August 17, 2015

What Keeps Me Awake

I feel like I have been working non-stop since these medicare proposals were released. When I haven't been actively lobbying against the adoption of these horrific ideas, I have been pondering them and thinking of new ways to help the community understand the ramifications. I wish I could just turn my brain off for awhile and completely relax, but I also know that right now I don't have the luxury of relaxation.

Every time I think about letting up, my mind goes back to the proposal, and I quickly feel like fighting again.  If enacted, amputees across this country will be disabled by their substandard prosthetics instead of missing a limb. According to these proposals, I would not be utilizing the carbon fiber, highly reactive energy returning foot/ankle that I use every day.   Amputees will be living a different existence if these proposals were enacted, and in truth I do not want to be part of that reality!

Medicare wants an amputee to prove "motivation" before receiving a prosthetic. It is cruel burden to expect somebody who has just had their world turned upside down due to trauma or disease and who is tethered down with IV pain medication, to then prove "motivation" to strangers with a clipboard.  Many times motivation follows acceptance, but this Medicare proposal does not allow time for the natural grieving cycle.

Individuals with cognitive impairments can be disqualified from a prostheses. I was floored when I read this proposal. Dedicating my life to special education, I find the devaluing of our special needs population particularly offensive. In addition to being discriminatory, the proposal lacks any qualifiers. What is the cut-off where one is deemed incapable (without given the opportunity to prove their worth)? I suppose the core question is this: Do you really want your insurance company to start doling out treatment protocols based upon IQ?

Those who have received crutches, a cane, a wheelchair or a knee scooter at any time can be denied a prosthetic. This proposed rule would disqualify just about every lower extremity amputee! I become furious when I think that my wheelchair, which is currently covered with boxes of Christmas decorations in the garage, would be the reason for my denial.

I am also insulted by the insinuation that relying upon a cane, crutches or wheelchair somehow makes an individual unworthy to receive a prosthetic. Not everybody can wear a leg full time, and relying upon a mobility aid is appropriate and necessary. Canes, crutches and wheelchairs are tools to help with mobility and independence. Making a stand that an individual can have one or the other will adversely impact the mobility of thousands in this country.

Huge advancements in prosthetic technology are essentially wiped out by these proposals. The elevated vacuum system, a method of suspension that is the only means that many can wear a limb, will no longer be an option. Medicare is going back in time and trying to dismiss the strides that have been made in prosthetic technology.

I have fully admitted to having significant sleep issues, and the recent Medicare proposal has only made it worse. Every time I close my eyes I begin to ponder my life under these regulations. This is not a reality I want to experience!

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