The other day Facebook thought it was being kind by showing me a picture of my son, in a hospital room, dressed in a pediatric hospital gown with his head all wrapped up in bandages awaiting a EEG, in the event I wanted to be reminded of this lovely moment from three years ago.
Call me crazy, but I don’t want to be reminded of this moment. Thank you very much.
I still remember how we ended up in that hospital room. Peter, who was nine, was being a little silly the night before. He started shaking his head back and forth, for what seemed to me to be no real reason.
At first I thought he was just playing around. He is a wonderfully imaginative and somewhat eccentric child, (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), and I could see him trying something like this just to see what it would feel like, or what kind of reaction he would get. He didn’t seem too bothered by it.
But by the next afternoon, I knew something was really wrong. Peter uncontrollably shook his head back and forth. His arms flailed. His eyes blinked and rolled back in his head. His tongue was spastically sticking to the inside of his cheek.
“Mom, why can’t I stop moving my head? I’m getting dizzy.”
I felt horrible for him. We went to his pediatrician, who sent us to the emergency room at a specialty hospital for children.
A parade of medical professionals and specialists tried to figure out why my kid was suddenly suffering what they feared were seizures.
A few hours later, Peter was admitted to the hospital for some further tests and observation. Some of his blood work came back suggesting an undiagnosed strep infection. He was scheduled for an EEG in the morning, and we were moved to a new room, which brought with it a new parade of specialists looking for answers.
I did my best not to let my mind wander, but I was scared that something very serious was wrong with my sweet boy.
The EEG came back negative, but our doctor was still concerned and wanted to explore further. We were happy to be released from the hospital a day later, but we had more questions than answers.
I was extremely grateful that we had the resources to afford the specialist that was recommended and the tests the hospital felt were needed. We are fortunate to have good health insurance through my husband’s employer. We also have family that offered to help us if we should need it.
Thankfully, it turned out that it was the strep infection that was causing the issues, and Peter soon returned to his old, happy, non-head-shaking self. He’s now a very happy 12-year-old and finishing the sixth grade. When he shakes his head now, it’s to protest homework or having to clean his room.
We were lucky. Very lucky. Not only did we have the resources to find what was wrong with our son, his issues were easily resolved. That’s not always the case, and not all families are as fortunate as we were.
That is why I was so happy to learn about the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF).
UHCCF has a grant program that offers help to families who are U.S. residents and have a child who is 16 or under with medical needs that are not covered, or not fully covered, by their health insurer. Applicants need to have a commercial health plan, and a family’s adjusted gross income will determine eligibility. If you or someone you know is dealing with a sick child, UHCCF is accepting grant applications now. Find out more about the UHCCF Medical Grant Program.
The aim of UHCCF is to fill the gap between the medical services and items a child needs and what a family’s commercial health plan will pay for. (Exclusions do apply.) This can allow a family to get their child a service they need that their health plan doesn’t cover, such as physical therapy or a hearing aid, without the added stress of worrying about the added costs at a time when their finances may already be strained. Learn about some of the families that have been impacted by UHCCF.
UHCCF has awarded more than 13,000 grants to families with the aim of awarding a total of 20,000 grants by 2020. I was very impressed to learn that 88.9% of qualified, completed medical grant applications are approved.
My husband and I were so lucky that we could focus all our energy on getting Peter well. I can’t imagine the extra stress we would have felt if we had to worry about a test or specialist Peter needed that wasn’t covered or mostly reimbursed with insurance.
UHCCF grants are funded by donations. If you would like to help make medical grants possible to families that are in need, UHCCF always welcomes donations from both individuals and corporations.
I am thrilled to partner with UHCCF to help spread awareness about this amazing program. They are giving my readers a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card when you share this post on social media. The giveaway ends June 30, 2017. Make sure to enter below. Thanks!