She came home from school on Monday, which happened to be her 6th birthday, complaining about her feet. She had worn a pair of Converse sneakers that day along with a pair of skinny jeans with little zippers at the ankles and her brand new Justin Beiber tee shirt given to her by her brother ~ she looked beyond adorable, but was apparently suffering from fashion feet. We changed footwear, and I thought nothing else about it. Until the next day... and then the next day... more complaining, but it became evident that it was only her right foot that was bothering her.
Yesterday morning, as I wandered through the crowd of grandparents and students at the book fair, I looked up to see my favorite pair of brown eyes. We walked down to the nurse for a medical opinion, and she quickly told me that if she had been complaining all week and Motrin didn't seem to ease the pain, I should take her in to have it examined.
The doctor examined the foot, scratched her head a little. It had some of the markings of a fracture and some of strain. Her arches are high, and she over-pronates (which I am making a mental note of in case she ever wants to attempt running like her Mama so I can stop her before she spends way too much money on shoes and orthotics and doctor visits). The doctor said she needs more arch support in her shoes which involves finding some super-small inserts. But she also wanted to rule out a fracture with an xray.
We walked to the diagnostic center there at the hospital, signed in, and were called over to the lady at the computer to get all the information in order.
"There will be a $200 copay today."
"Excuse me... what did you say?"
"Your insurance requires a $200 copay for the xray."
"For an xray?"
"Are you kidding?"
"No... I'm sorry... I wished I was..."
Long pause in which I wanted to put my head down on the counter and weep uncontrollably.
"But we pay like $900 a month for this insurance... and I just gave the ER (as I motion just over my shoulder to the right) $200 last month when she fell and split her head open... what am I supposed to do??? I have to make sure her foot's not broken..."
I really can't find the word to describe my emotion in the moment. By this time, it was after 12:00. I had been at the doctor since 10:45. I was hungry. My blood sugar was low, and I was running on fumes. I wanted to cry. I wanted to be mad but had no one to whom I could direct the anger. I wanted to tell Madalyn, "Hey, sister... your foot had better be broken..." but I knew that would be absolutely ridiculous. She may be overly dramatic about certain things, but she has never been a complainer about pain. I knew she was hurting, and there was nothing she or I could have done any different or to make it go away.
There was no one to blame, no one who could make it any better, no one that could have it make any sense.
The sweet young lady informed me that she could discount my copay 30%. She explained it all to me and gave me my receipt and even hand wrote in the discount at the top in case anyone at Blue Cross gave me any grief about it. I was more than thankful.
So we took the over-priced xrays, and within 15 minutes of being home, Madalyn's pediatrician called to inform me that she did not see a break in the foot. So we are going along with this care plan: ice compresses two or three times a day for three days, regular doses of Motrin for three days, and good supportive shoes. If the pain is not better within two weeks or it becomes more severe, I am to call and get her back in. You know, so I can pay another $200 copay for more xrays.
This morning, while she was still lying in her bed, Madalyn called me in her room and said, "My foot hurts." She had not even put any weight on it yet. My Mama's heart tells me it's fractured... but the $200 worth of xrays and the doctors that looked at them tell me no. What's a Crazy Mama to do???? I can tell you one thing I'm doing today ~ I am looking into purchasing an Individual Blue policy through Blue Cross for almost half what we're paying now... and hopefully cheaper xrays in the future.