How Do I Set Up My Child’s Services at Our New Duty Station?


20140724-143129-52289016.jpg

The dust is finally starting to settle down on our pcs roller coaster ride. The boxes are almost unpacked and I’m starting to get the layout of the land. The first important step I need to take next is to set up our children’s services. But how do I do that? Well I am here to give you a little help.

If you didn’t know- once you change Tricare regions you will need to get all new prescriptions for your referrals. We went from TriWest to TriNorth, because we switched Tricare regions we have to get new referrals before our children are able to start receiving services again. Which means we had to go to our new PCM to get the new referrals to our specialists to get the new referrals for our services and prescriptions.

I would suggest calling to make a appointment with your child’s PCM ASAP. If you are unable to get a realistic appointment day scheduled, try asking if they have a clinic case manager or speaking with someone at the base patient advocacy department. For example, we arrive mid July. We were given an appointment date of mid August. Bug has a rare medical condition that requires mail ordered supplies and medication. We would be out of those items if we waiter until the system worked. Therefore, I had to call the base patient advocacy who informed me they actually have clinic case managers. The case manager was able to get us next day appointments. Now all our referrals to their new specialists have been placed and we even have scheduled a few appointments with the specialists.

It really just takes time and patience. One last piece of advice is to alert all parties involved of your move. A month prior to our pcs I informed the medical supply company that we would be moving. They were then able to alert the new branch of our incoming and our needs. This worked well as the new branch called us and set up a delivery before we even seen by the specialist. They also called our insurance to see what needed to be done on their end to speed the process along.

Advertisements

Organizing Our Chaos: Summer Hiatus


20140708-083931-31171361.jpg

Yesterday I posted about my summer abroad visiting family and loving life back on the mainland after FOUR YEARS (I still can’t get over that!) of island living. I’ve been sporadic with my posting and begging my co-blogger to help out. She has been amazing, but now we both are at the point mid-summer where we are just having to much fun and enjoying our family.

As you know we are a family blog. We love to share our funny, positive stories along with how to manage and organize chaos while raising children with special needs with a dash of being military wives. Enjoying your family, despite diagnosises, is our most important point we like to make. Furthermore, because of that we can going to cut back on our daily posts to live what we preach. Hopefully, we can provide you with new entertaining stories like Dirty Water and Manhood. Take the rest of the summer to read some past articles and familiarize yourself more with who we are and what we our mission.

Tip{py} Tuesday: Road Trip Tips


20140701-084747-31667137.jpg

Just recently the kids and I completed 5 stages of a road trip for our PCS from Hawaii to North Carolina. The last leg of our trip was over 800 miles, two days and 15 hours of driving. I am flying solo and needed all the help I could get dealing with three children under the age of 6 with ASD. And guess what? We all survived. Which means there was a small glimmer of doubt in my mind we wouldn’t. I did picture a few times strapping my children to the top of my car like a hood ornament. But saner minds prevailed and all my children carried out the road trip in style in the back of the car. However, it was not without it’s moments of “are we there yet”. So how did I not throw myself out of the moving vehicle due to incessant complaining and fighting?

First, I prepared them. I got on my iPhone and plugged our route into an driving app- Waze. It told us how long it was going to take, all road hazards and police on our route and the route. The kids were able to scroll around the map and see the towns and other things we would pass. It gave them a plan; they knew what to expect.

Next, I made a roadtrip basket. We have some new to me stores on the mainland called Five Below (where everything is under $5.) they had some foldable, collapsable and flimsy baskets. The metal got crushed and dented; but the basket still works and it was only $5.

I filled the basket with age and skill level appropriate travel games like Candyland, Old Maid, Go Fish and a normal deck of cards. I added in coloring books, Crayola mess free markers, picture books and mess free snacks (think squeezable applesauce, snack traps with goldsfish and cheese and cracker packs). I stuck the basket within reach of my oldest and with the instructions they must ask before getting a snack and he must help his sister get what she needs. Bug being the hard core rule follower was great at his job. I played into his skill and told him it was an important job. He loved being responsible and it calmed him down knowing he was in charge of that situation.

The last thing I did was almost the greatest and cheapest. I found two suction cupped baskets at Walmart. They are used for sticking bars of soap or toothbrushs in while hanging in the shower. Inside them I places the kids mess free markers and headphones. This way the smaller items must likely to get lost where contained. They also used it as their trash can and to hold other items. I have seen them in much larger sizes. I stuck them to their windows and bam! They had everything they needed at the fingertips.

Of course there was fighting, but at least for the most part there was silence.

Mommy Moment Monday: Nothing Completes a PCS like a Trip to the ER


20140623-125143-46303533.jpg

I think I have read that title phrase a million times and sadly it is still true. So here to entertain you on your Monday is the first story from PCS hell.

Our first PCS was a overseas tour four years and one kid ago. Of course there was a lot of stress in anxiety trying to move our entire lives and two kids (one with a life threatening medical condition) two under two years of age across an oceans and away from family. Joy oh glorious joy how I was so thrilled to be taking that trip that involved three layovers and over 24 hours of travel. Needless to say by the time the movers showed up at 10, I already needed a drink. However, that had to wait since Diva woke up THAT morning with a 105 fever. She was not herself and we decided that we didn’t want to chance her getting worse and with a fever for the first time that high and not knowing at the time if she shared Bugs medical condition, a trip to the ER was needed.

However, before I could load her up in the car, we needed to pack it.

Here is a little PCS pointer: anything you DO NOT want the movers to pack you need to isolate. I have heard of people designating certain rooms with “do not pack” signs on the doors, people standing 24 guard over the items to make sure they are not packed by mistake and more. We chose to pack everything not going crated into our car. After our belongings were loaded and driven off, we were driving 15 hours to our families house. So it was easier and made since to pack the car before the movers got there. What ever method you choose; choose one!

So the epic day arrived, pack out day. Diva woke up with a 105 fever and the movers were due at any moment. Hubs and I threw all our luggage into the luggage topper we bought and used on top of out vehicle. The movers arrived and I left with Diva barely lucent in the back seat.

Strike one: Hail. Yes, hail. I drove over to the nearest emergency room in the neighboring town through a hail storm. I was scared out of my mind, but Diva needed medical attention. I arrived and tornado sirens where screaming at us. Not only giving us a warning of the storm but also more to come for our family.

Strike two: We spent 6 hours in the ER with no cell phone service. I have a slight problem with needing to be in control. Not knowing how the move was progressing was sending me into a panic attack. Being locked in a mouse hole sized white sterile room was taking its toll. I held it together for Diva. Finally, she was discharged after her fever was under control and tests showed nothing serious. So I ran her out to the car in the storm. Luckily the hail and sirens stopped. But not the sheets of rain.

Strike 3: We arrived home just as the rain stopped. I walked in the house and instantly realized one flaw with our plan of loading up the car pre trip- standing there with only a PINK pull-up on was Bug. Diapers. I forgot to leave diapers. Hubs was smart enough to call one of my friends with a small child and asked to borrow any diapers she had. Sadly for us, her daughter was potty training. I just kept reassuring Hubs that all real men wear pink. He then informed me of how it all happened and strangely kept reassuring me that Bug was ok. . Never start off a story by reassuring me the kid is ok.

Apparently Hubs was busy helping the movers. He knew Bug would be content watching tv. Bug was content. He was also content drinking the 6 cups of juice Hubs kept feeding him. Needless to say, the one and only diaper in the house filled up fast. Leaking through his clothes and my favorite embroidered silk thread pillow (which promptly went into the trash). He tells me how he called my friend to get diapers and how she showed up quickly only to discover that Bug must have still been thirsty because they found him and the floor covered in weed killer! Bug must have been searching for a drink and thought the weed killer was a tasty choice. However, poison control didn’t feel that was a humorous conclusion. We had no way of knowing if he actually ingested any and how much. Try advised us to watch him, which we did much more carefully. Lucky enough, he never reacted.

And the home run: After the lecture and lesson from poison control I felt we needed to get the some clothes on the kid. Hubs scaled the car to get into the car topper and our suitcase. After he opened it up he discovered our “waterproof” car topper wasn’t. He further found out that everything in it was drenched. He opened up the black suit case and here it is folks… The grand slam… All our clothes in the suitcase were dyed black; an entire and only suitcase full our our clothes ruined… All our clothes we had with us for the next two months.

Yup. It was a glorious experience. Obviously we all survived and we got a new wardrobe to boot.

** keep us in mind the next two days as we travel across the United States on the longest and almost last leg of our PCS. From St. Louis to Richmond, VA. What I love best as I drive is knowing I am every kids road trip bingo dream ~ Hawaii plates!

Therapy Thursday: Stuck on a Ride We Can Never Get Off- Tricare’s ABA Policy in the News Again


20140619-143126-52286424.jpg

We, as parents of children with special needs, boarded this roller coaster of emotion sometime back, assumed at one point we could get off. Ok, maybe I am the only parent who thought this and now reality has adjusted my once jaded view, but I am getting tired of these hills and valleys we ride. And I am not talking in reference to my children. I am talking about what we all must do to provide them with the treatments they might need.

So prepare yourself this coming July 25th when Tricare once again throws another 360 loop onto our rails.

In an article published June 18, “Tricare is consolidating its disparate autism therapy programs into one Autism Care Demonstration Project for children of active-duty, retired and reserve component personnel starting July 25.”

So there you have it folks. Make sure that seat belt are tightened and all arms and legs remain inside the cart at all times. Although it appears for now the ride won’t get much more bumpier; it’s never smooth sailing.