So for the last several months, I have been in the process of trying to get a new wheelchair. The one that I use currently is well over ten years old. Mind you it's still holding up in very decent shape. I have traveled with it many times to see why girlfriend who lives in New York. The reality hit me, that I should probably look into getting a new chair when I was coming home from and trip. And as I was getting into my chair, I noticed that my left tire had no air in it, it was completely flat. I’m not sure what happened, it must have been something when the flight staff was putting my chair under the plane.
The airport staff tried to fill up my tire with air, but nothing worked. I had to be wheeled out in an airport chair to my dad’s truck. In hindsight, I should have filed and claim with the airport to have them pay for a new tire. But in my moment I was too frustrated and tired to do so. As it stood, I went and paid over a hundred dollars for a new pair of tires. Shortly after this, it was scheduled to meet with an occupational therapist, to start the process of getting a new chair. Long story short, the OT doctored up a letter to my insurance to get me a new chair with all the bells and whistles. I was feeling all confident that everything would go through just fine, and I would have an awesome new chair in just a few short weeks. Well, no I was very wrong, my insurance denied me a new chair.
For one they said, that my chair would be too expensive and on the other hand, they said that if my lower back hurt from sitting down. To “just stand up” The context behind this, was that the OT was also looking at getting my a chair that offered more lower back support. Which when I push myself sometimes my lower back can flare-up. This was of course, very discouraging for me on a few levels. First, (and this is painfully obvious) it shouldn’t be so hard to get a new wheelchair or whatever assistive device a person may need. Especially if you have had the wheelchair for well over five-ten years. Furthermore, I can see that maybe what was initially asked for in the initial submission was maybe a little too much. That being the case, at least put forth a cost range that is more appropriate from an insurance standpoint. Second, even though it can be difficult to capture everything needed in a report, but I strongly believe that there needs to be a better understanding between insurance companies, and the disabled community. It isn’t always as easy as “Just stand up” or not being within the standard time frame for a new chair, sometimes things break or stop working. So in my humble opinion, there needs to be a better understanding among insurance companies, or better yet a reformation of sorts.
What’s Take Away From All This?
I know that it can be very disheartening when dealing with insurance companies if you are currently dealing with the same struggle. Know that you’re not alone in the fight, as cliché as that sounds. As an optimist, I try and find the good in daily life, though sometimes think just suck too! But here’s the deal, in life whether we like it or not, want to or not. We have to decide to make the most out of every situation. No, I don’t have the new wheel-chair that I desire, I have appealed my case, but I have chosen to make the most out of the chair I do have. It still functions well and gets me where I need to be. I’m thankful for the chair that I do have. I’m glad that it fits my body still, there’re those in this world that don’t have the proper chair that they need. In some other countries, some people cannot even leave their homes because they do not have a proper wheel-chair, let alone a ramp to get outside.
So for me, and what I believe we all could glean from this short article and trial, is the art of being content. Content in all things, content in good or bad. Content in rich or poor. Why? Because contentment is one true sign of inner peace and stability. I’m not implying that we just smile and act like everything is okay, nor am I suggesting that we give up the pursuit. What I am saying though, is that in this process we keep our wits about us, you keep banging on the door and you keep your head up. I confess that there have been times where I have felt frustrated and lost my temper. And nothing ever good or noble comes out of it, at least in my experience. What does work though, is while we are learning to keep a healthy perspective. While we are learning to be thankful and content for what we do have, we keep seeking and knocking on the door. We become a persistent and seemingly annoying person until we get what we want.
Image credit: Brandon visiting girlfriend in NY