Insurance

February 2009

I was insistent on not letting the issue go. I couldn’t believe what happened. How could this be happening in 2009? Did we just swear in a black man as President of the United States?

Munch woke up sick. Coughing and having trouble breathing. I was so worried. I called out sick and called the pediatrician. My baby was sick. They told me to take him to the hospital and that one of the doctor’s from the practice was there. I got him dressed and rushed out the door.

This was my first time at this particular hospital. Munch’s pediatricians are in a different state and I have a choice of hospitals. This one has a pediatric emergency room so it was definitely the optimal choice. I get there and check in with the receptionist. I’m trying to hold my fat baby (he weighs 25 pounds) and my purse.

The male receptionist asked me did I have insurance and I said “Yes”. As I began pulling out my card he asked me “Do you have Medicaid?” I was floored. Here was this white boy asking me do I have Medicaid. I’m carrying a child in designer clothes and a designer coat and carrying a designer handbag and you think  I have Medicaid?

I was offended. I said “No, I actually have a job that pays for our health insurance.” He said okay. I let it slide.

I got Munch in the back and met with the pediatrician. They gave him a breathing treatment and told me that he needs to rest. Upped his medications. The financial person for the hospital came to the room while he’s getting the treatment to get my co-pay for the emergency room visit.

I handed her my card as she charged $100. These dang administrators are worse than bill collectors. Can I please make sure my child is feeling better first? What the hell?

This hospital was getting on my nerves. I was one of the very few people of color there. I didn’t see one black doctor. Insurance games.

I reported the white guy at the check-in desk the next day. I called the hospital administration and registered a complaint. I explained that I didn’t judge those that were on Medicaid, but I worked hard to have great health insurance and I had never felt more disrespected or discriminated against.

A few hours later someone called me back and apologized profusely. They said that they would never allow a patron to be disrespected or discriminated against. They actually made the receptionist call me back personally and apologize.

I didn’t believe him when he said he didn’t mean anything by it. Whatever! Lies! You saw a nicely dressed black mother in her mid 30’s and you assumed I was on Medicaid?

I

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “I” is for Insurance. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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I Hate You So Much Right Now

Remember that great song by Kelis – Caught Out There? Aww, it was a great song to show the rage of women after being lied on or cheated on by their significant others. It was an anthem for women. You don’t have to take it. She screamed. She destroyed stuff. She showed her emotions. Haven’t we all been there before?

But, that’s not what this post is about. LOL. It isn’t about hate. It is about you. Choosing you. Choosing to forgive and choosing to create your life with boundaries.

See, a few weeks ago a friend and I were having a conversation about forgiveness. He said to me that if I forgive someone then I should be willing to share my personal space with them. I laughed. I explained that forgiveness is for self and not for the other person.

If someone commits an egregious act towards you or does something that just doesn’t sit well in your spirit, you have the right to protect yourself. Your first obligation is to you. It is and will always be. Think about when you fly and they tell you that if you are flying with children and the oxygen masks deploy you should put your own mask on first and then secure the child’s. You’re no help to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself.

Some of you may be asking, what are personal boundaries? I searched and found the perfect definition from Z. Hereford in the article Healthy Personal Boundaries and How to Establish Them

“Personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They allow us to separate who we are, and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others. Their presence helps us express ourselves as the unique individuals we are, while we acknowledge the same in others.”

Sounds simple right? It is. I know that you may think that it is hard to really do, but trust me when you choose yourself first that it really makes it easy to not allow your personal boundaries to be crossed. Setting boundaries allows you to no longer be a victim. You become the leader of your own life. You become responsible for your own happiness.

I have to be honest. Setting personal boundaries was not a lesson that I learned early on. I learned to establish boundaries at 41. Can you believe it? I don’t want you to wait. I don’t want Munch to wait. You have to choose you.

I started to choose me first. I started to realize that I would not allow someone else’s feelings or thoughts about me impact my life. I choose to re-evaluate my life and relationships to remove toxic people. I chose to live my life on my own terms without giving a care as to who felt otherwise or didn’t like it.

I chose me.

It can seem overwhelming when you create boundaries and try to enforce them, but you need to remember that it is part of your personal responsibility. To yourself. No one can make you happy but YOU. So, the power lies within.

You have to take responsibility for how people treat you. You have to know that if you continue to allow disrespect and you don’t want it then it really is your fault. Stop letting people tell you that you have to have a relationship with someone that mistreats you because they are a relative or you are connected through children. You don’t. You just live your life choosing you first.

Forgiveness for me honestly means that I don’t dwell on the negativity, pain and hurt you caused. It means that I remove you from my life with little to no contact. I don’t allow you the opportunity to hear my voice or be in my presence. I set the tone. I set the rules.

Trust me when I tell you that this is the most freeing way to live. I actually dated men that I allowed to walk all over my boundaries and then justified their behavior and rezoned my boundaries. Yep, I was crazy. Why would I ever allow someone that kind of power in my life?

Because I subscribed to the belief that I had to be this ever forgiving doormat for others to walk on. I believed that otherwise people would think I wasn’t nice. I was trying to live up to an image others expected. Now…I don’t.

I live for me. My life. My choices. I forgive. I keep my boundaries firm. I choose me. You need to do the same.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Freedom Friday – 02.16.18

It’s been a minute since I did one of these, but I wanted to share some photos of things that I’ve been up to in life. Wanted to let you know that Munch just got his second quarter grades and got 10 A’s and 4 B’s. I’m over the moon. His award ceremony is this morning.

Munch had his flute concert last month. Here he is looking so handsome. He’s actually enjoying playing the flute and I will be doing private lessons for him.

My siblings and I at my brother’s wedding. I love this photo because I just colored my hair and it was popping. LOL.

Munch and I worked hard on his STEM fair project this year. Although he didn’t win he won an award because of his creativity and enthusiasm. He was ecstatic about it.

My sorority sister made me this beautiful plaque for my birthday last month. I love it.

Munch went to the dentist last month and had to get two silver caps on his teeth, but one fell out right at the dentist. That was two teeth lost in 8 days. Hilarious. But, I’m still flossing his back teeth. He can’t get those and I am tired of paying for these silver caps. This is the second one. But, what was best about this is that Munch and I actually went to the library first and he selected a book to read for fun and couldn’t put the book down.

Finally, I’m trying to devote more time to appreciate the beauty in life. I’m learning to bask in the glory of nature and release my mind from negative energy. I’m learning to redirect my thoughts and pray more. I’m fasting and trying to increase God’s presence in my life. I wanted some fresh flowers in my office and so I went to the grocery store and bought some tulips. The next morning they had all bent in different directions and I snapped a picture because it reminded me of life. Even though we’re in the same jar some of us are bending in different directions and it still looks magnificent.

Happy Friday folks!

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Day 16: Time

I’ve often spoken of the importance of time. Time is valuable. More valuable than money to me. Life isn’t about the money you make, but the memories. Those memories require you to spend time creating them. Do you see why time is more valuable?

Your time is more valuable than anything you could imagine. Don’t waste it. Don’t allow people or things to take more time and space in your mind and heart than necessary. If a relationship isn’t working, it’s okay to not invest any more time. Time is valuable. Your time matters.

Whatever it is. Time matters. I was reminded of this yesterday when I went to Urgent Care. I had sprained my ankle and I couldn’t remember how it happened until I was driving back to work from the urgent care. I remembered.

I had slipped and fallen down the stairs Friday night. I was rushing to start a load of laundry and missed a step. I fell. Munch asked “Mommy, are you okay?” “Yeah baby” I replied. I got up and continued doing what I was doing.

It hurt Saturday as I was limping around Chuck-e-Cheese as Munch played with his best friend. I couldn’t remember the fall. I was in pain. The next day it was worse. I woke up in pain and it was swollen. I limped down the stairs and drove to CVS for an ankle support thinking I could heal it. I put cold compresses to help with swelling and took Advil.

Monday I spent four hours after leaving work early to work with Munch on his STEM fair project. Oh joy. It was his first one. More of my time. My time was spent loving and assisting my son. More standing to assist this child with his experimental trials. Immense pain was my reward after spending time with my child. I had to deal. I’m a mom. Time matters.

Yesterday though it came crashing back with pain and the little support bandage wasn’t helping. I had sprained it and kept pushing forward. I made time to get to urgent care and I’m going to be back to normal soon. But, my time maters.

On day 16 of my #23daysofthankfulness I am thankful for time. Time washing clothes, time helping my son with his STEM fair project and time going to urgent care. Even though my sprain wasn’t planned. It provided a reminder to slow down and understand that my time matters. Now, it’s time to heal.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Day 14: Lessons Learned

I am human. I will make mistakes. We all will. But, I’m thankful for the lessons learned. In all that I do, I try to see what the lesson is that I was supposed to learn. Many times I discover it and I’m thankful for it.

That’s what life is about. Learning lessons. Learning in spite of your trials and tribulations. Learning through your pain. It’s hard. I know. I’ve been there.

But, there is always a lesson and it will get better. No matter what you are going through there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You may not be able to see it but it is there. When you get to the end, make sure you share your story because someone else may benefit from your story of triumph.

Be a blessing to others and learn the lesson that you were supposed to learn. It’s day 14 and I’m thankful for lessons learned in my #23daysofthankfulness.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Day 2: My Niece

I had to send a special thankfulness post to my beautiful niece. In this #23DaysofThankfulness post, I wanted to highlight this amazing young lady that I’ve been blessed to know, love and watch grow into the great woman that she is today. My niece is a sophomore in college and is a cheerleader for her school. What makes her so amazing? Her fighting spirit.

See, my niece is 19 today. Happy Birthday Princess! Auntie loves you more than you could ever imagine.

Nineteen years ago today, I was blessed to witness the birth of my first niece. It was an epic experience as that was the first time ever that I had witnessed a live birth and just being there with my sister and her husband watching life come into this world overwhelmed me with such joy. She was a preemie. She was born eight weeks early. We were so worried, but the doctors told us that her weight being 5 pounds even was a great sign.

She was in NICU and her dad and I went to visit her. She was so tiny and beautiful. I put my hand through the holes in her glass incubator and rubbed her chest as she screamed, crying and oblivious to the world around her. I said “Princess, don’t cry. Your daddy is right here with me.” No lie, she stopped crying, opened her eyes and looked right at her dad. He started crying like a baby.

A fighter was born.

And just like those many years ago that she was fighting for stronger lungs and a low birth weight, she’s continued to make us proud. In everything she does. It was at the age of 16 that my princess suffered a mental break down. I watched this strong and vibrant girl crumble from the things in her mind. I loved harder.

I admired my sister for her continued strength to love and encourage her daughter as well as mother her other two children while being a full-time working wife. Can you imagine having to do all that? I was thankful for it all. My niece brought mental health closer to home for us. She helped us understand her needs. She grew super close to my mom and we just loved each other more.

Throughout her mental health struggles we learned to love and learn how we can help. We encourage each other. We encourage her. We are thankful for the opportunities that her school provides with free therapy and her own room. What a blessing! So, my day two of my #23DaysofThankfulness is for my niece. Thank you for making me love a little harder, learn more about mental health and just living this beautiful life. You are loved and appreciated more than you know.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

My IVF Journey: The Road Less Traveled

The two week wait was agonizing. How could I continue to act like nothing was going on? I was possibly creating life in my womb. I was scared yet hopeful that God would be in all that was happening.

I went about my daily life trying to occupy my time and thoughts. Luckily, I was gearing up for my busy season at work, but my marriage took a hit. I thought I was losing my damn mind. Nothing could prepare me for the hell that I found myself in.

I spent so much time crying out to God. I wanted to know why o’ why had He forsaken me? Why did he allow me to be in so much pain? I put my mask back on. The mask of pretending that I was okay when I was in an unfathomable amount of pain.

I was losing control. Nothing in life seemed to be going as it should. I couldn’t let the world see.

The world couldn’t see that I was dying and trying to hold on to my sanity. I am a survivor. I had survived worse, but how much more was I expected to bear?

I prayed that God could hear my cries. I was alone. Trapped in the pain of my mind. The weight of my wedding ring was burning my skin. The  two week wait passed with more tears and numbness than I thought possible.

I got up and went to the fertility clinic. I had survived the two week wait. I had to get my blood drawn. I was used to needles by then. Hated them, but I was becoming indifferent to pain. They told me that my nurse would call me later with the results.

I sighed. I knew the drill. It was probably another negative. I mean how could I be pregnant at this point? I couldn’t think about it. I had to get to work.

Waiting for the call from my fertility nurse was agonizing. I busied myself with meetings and work. I still had a job to do. A job that I needed with so much uncertainty surrounding me.

I was traveling a road that was new to me. Foreign. Was I pregnant? Did I want to stay in my marriage? Am I strong enough?

I checked my voicemail. The nurse had called. I called her back. She was unavailable. I had to wait for her to call me back.

Damn it!

Keep moving. Keep working. Occupy your mind and thoughts.

She called 30 minutes later. She said that my test was positive.

I was pregnant.

Tears rolled down my eyes.

I was pregnant.

I closed my eyes. “Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes, your test came back positive” she said.

I was now a mommy. I was standing at the crossroads in my marriage and I was finally pregnant. God has a strange sense of humor. I didn’t sign up for this. What’s happening to me?

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.