we’ll take some human services, please

Today we spent the morning at our county’s human services office. On Monday, my rejection notice came from the AIM program, and I was informed that my application would be forwarded to Medi-Cal with a 45-day waiting period. Fuck that, I decided. I was going to take matters into my own hands. I called the local Medi-Cal number, spent an hour climbing around the various limbs of their phone tree only to reach a man who told me I needed to come into the office to make an appointment to have my questions answered.

So today we made the 40-minute trek to make the appointment, but I just happened to bring a whole file with income documentation, pregnancy verification and the like in a trusty file folder.

We walked in to an overwhelming line and the even more overwhelming stench of the stalest of cigarette smoke. There were children running around, strung out adults peaking over their shoulders any time the door opened, really young women looking really scared, and mostly a lot of pretty normal-looking people who looked annoyed to be standing in line. We made it to the front of the line while flirting with a cute toddler, and I was handed a huge stack of papers to fill out before I was to get into another line. Whilst filling out said papers, my wife kept me organized and sane as we listened to a woman recount –seemingly to anyone within earshot–every  instance of her childhood abuse, all while she played a hand of cards (The woman was later holding this same hand of cards upon leaving the bathroom and upon leaving the doors where appointments seem to be held. I don’t know where the game was held, or with whom.I got a peak; it was nothing good if she was playing poker.). There was a whole subgroup of people in their twenties high-fiving each other and catching up. They could easily have been my community college students. I was kind of glad today that they weren’t. The last thing I needed to hear today was, “Hey Ms. T! What are you doing here?”

We got through the stack of paperwork fairly quickly, entered a new line, and before we knew it, we were in front. We agreed that our strategy was to be really nice to the worker we encountered, just as we both tend to do at the DMV, and I did just that. I smiled, asked her how she was doing, told her about the AIM issue, and she looked for me in the computer without any luck.  She then asked, “Are you planning on carrying to term?”

Um. Yes.

I showed her the extra paperwork I had, and she took everything I had, put me into the computer, and told us that she was going to rush my application, that there would be a decision and a caseworker by the end of the week. She stamped “RUSH” on all of our forms and reassured me that I didn’t even need an appointment. And just like that, we were out the door. It was that easy. This woman was amazing. She was nice. She treated us with dignity and respect; it was so different than so many other experiences we’ve both had with similar institutions, and we were more than happy to fill out a positive comment card for her thanking her for her service.

Now we wait again, but it’s a little wait, and I somehow feel like this is going to be resolved. I won’t sigh just yet though.

Tomorrow is our next OB appointment, and it’s the first I’m attending all alone (we’re starting a marathon scoring session for the state university system this week, so J has to stay home and score, score, score). I look forward to a heartbeat and to no ultrasound (this would be the first without one–I really don’t want one every time). Next week, however, is our big 20-week (holy shit, we’re almost half-way) ultrasound–the big anatomy scan, the big reveal (of the sex, that is). I suppose I’ll have to set up a poll. Any informal guesses?

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7 Comments

Filed under health care, the P word

7 responses to “we’ll take some human services, please

  1. Glad to hear the lines weren’t too bad. Helpful people are so wonderful!

  2. I’m happy to hear your paperwork was resolved. Kindness will get you far!

    I’m guessing girl. I can’t wait to hear if I’m right!!

  3. Elsha Quinn

    I say boy 😉

  4. Glad you found someone competent to help! Hoping that things resolve themselves quickly and as they should. Good luck at your appt!

  5. “Are you planning on carrying to term”? What kind of a question is that??

  6. cindyhoo2

    I help many of my clients get through the exact process you speak of. I could totally imagine being there with you. I am so pleased that you found one of the competent few working in the department— and to be treated kindly to boot, what a treat! I am glad that you are finally close to getting resolution and of course to having insurance.

    I am with strawberry: “are you planning to carry to term?” WTF? Bad question!

    I am guessing a boy…. no good reason for that thought though. 🙂

  7. Wow! That’s an amazing climb through a bureaucratic tangle. Good job!

    I can’t believe you’re at 20 weeks already!

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