Thursday, April 15, 2010

From the Wolf Den: The Power Play

Ever been invited to a group interview? You know, those hiring sessions where you dress up really nice, carry a manilla folder under one sweaty armpit and wear your butt-kicking glasses so you look smarter? Yeah, that was me today, minus the hiring part.

In all fairness to the wonderful care providers and Ms. M from the State of Alaska, who has turned out to be more of an ally than I could have possibly believed, my time spent pitching Wolf's diagnoses, behaviors, and attributes was not as horrid as I spent most of last night imagining. It even had brief moments of hilarity.

Wolf has become famous among some local providers simply because of his unique issues and their relation to what is or is not available in the greater Anchorage area. I guess that's something to be thankful for; everyone will certainly know his name. I of course made this even more obvious by creating the "Wolf Spec Sheet", featuring a cheesy photograph and his name, age, and a bullet-pointed list of all the above items (I had to, what if, in the heat of the emotional moment of advocating I forgot something?) smartly lined up below. The squeaky mom gets the referral, right?

Many of these providers were quite anxious to meet the woman who birthed this child, i.e. Me, and they were leaning forward in their chairs practically drooling as I explained (in 20 minutes or less) our family life with this child since his First Day on Earth. Try it yourself; not too easy, is it?

Two individuals in the room were less inclined to appear as interested, even though they were the people to whom I had to convince of Wolf's inabilty to come home just now. They were: The State Medicaid Insurance Care Coordinators. Ah, Caseworkers for Quality. I believe my snarkiness at the beginning of the meeting set the tone when, as I was introduced to them by Ms. M, said, "Wow, there are actually people in that office". Too much, maybe? Frankly dear rule-setters, I could care less. At any rate, they sat there like two Depression era farmers who've just been told the homestead is up for auction. I'm not even sure they were real.

It was a productive gathering; I was humbled by the level of concern exhibited by these folks who truly backed me up, a nice feeling. Some initial plans were laid, some fears put to rest, and by the end of my 30 minutes of question and answer, I was able to take my leave without any wadded-up kleenex in my pockets. I count that as a major victory. Mom didn't open the floodgates.

The things we do for our kids, huh?


dorothy said...

Great job doing a job you never wanted in the first place...but you have grown into.

Natalie said...

...and we're proud of you!

PS. Snarky...can be good! I'm a big fan, myself.