My office is strewn with file folders. I can’t turn around without rolling over some vital document. The recycling under my desk is so full I can’t straighten my legs. My desk is covered with a mess of papers that were once distinct, important piles.
Although I would never claim to be the tidiest person, this is bad. But I have an excuse: I’ve just finished doing our taxes.
But of course, I wasn’t just doing the taxes. I was answering emails from the school physiotherapist about getting a new stander for Deane to further his recovery from surgery. This involved registering with our insurance company’s online system so I could ask if they would fund a stander – yes, but only once a lifetime. Then there was a series of emails with the therapist and the equipment supplier about whether we should or could seek other sources of funding – no. And finally, what size stander should we get – youth, but still checking on how big it can go.
And then there was attempting to switch our government-funded assistance from someone who feeds Deane, to someone who would do his stretches. First, I asked the company that sends the workers. They said I had to check with the government agency. The agency said it was a liability issue – personal support workers cannot do physical therapy. Their advice: get a doctor’s certificate to have a physiotherapist demonstrate the stretches to me. (I know how to do them! I’m looking for assistance.) Going full circle, I called the hospital social worker to ask who to call next. Waiting for a response.
Squeezed in between, I was fielding emails offering suggestions about how to find summer help. I responded gratefully, answered questions, provided details and tried not to get too hopeful.
Of course, this was also the time we ran out of diapers, caloric supplements and constipation medicine. All of which needed to be ordered. I had to leave a message about each of them. Now, all of them need to be followed up to ensure the messages were received.
In the end, it took me a week to assemble the 1.5-inch pile of medical expenses, the two-page spreadsheet of childcare expenses and the documents detailing how we try to pay for the first two. As I trudged down to the post office this morning with the overstuffed envelop, I marveled at how much time I spend trying to keep up with our lives. I have the luxury of flexible, work-from-home employment and I’m barely keeping up. Imagine how difficult it is for those who work full-time.