My bi-monthly stint at adulting (ie bills) this month came on the heels of a rather emotional week full of wonderful highs and discouraging lows. So as I poured over bills and called insurance companies and juggled prescriptions and on and on, I began a tally in my head of how many hours I spending on the administrative backside of raising a kid with Type 1 Diabetes. After a bit of googling all I can say is:
Dear Universe - You Owe Me Some Back Pay!
To be truthful this is a total tongue-in-cheek post meant to add levity to a situation that is far to
often the reality of not only myself, but parents of special need kids everywhere. I don't work. My husband is our sole income provider. As such, my time, though vital and important and NECESSARY, is very much unpaid. As happy as I am to be doing this, being terminally unemployed while still working like a dog DOES, at times, wear thin. When money is tight or, in our case, your trying to attain some big financial goal like buy a house....the reality of the unpaid time can begin to bear down a bit.
The nature of managing Type 1 Diabetes, much like ANY life-long chronic condition, requires not only the day-to-day medical management, but the weekly/bi-weekly/monthly administrative management as well. You must be an expert in your insurance policy and all it's ancillary coverages. For that matter you must also know a bit of insurance LAW to manage the Unwritten things your policy doesn't cover but are in fact due TO YOU. You need to have skills in business accounting, accounts payable, and then tag in some hefty knowledge about basic medical and insurance business practices to round it all out. Now for us I also have to have an insane amount of dietary, nutritional, gastro-intestinal, and other medical knowledge in my brain as well as the money stuff. I keep a running account and time table and schedule with various medical suppliers and I schedule a constant barrage of doctor appointments that I must then drive to and from. With my nearly 6 years of experience being a parent to a Type 1 Diabetic with Low Immuno-Globulin A kid, I could likely qualify (if you ignore all those pesky degrees they want) for an entry-level job in the fields of
Medical Office Assistant
Medical Insurance Liaison
Certified Diabetic Educator
Based on some very loose google searches, the AVERAGE pay for any one of these fields is about 45k a year. That's it. Seriously folks, these people are saints and should be paid more....but I digress.
So if I break down the amount of hours I THINK I spend in these fields each month it looks like a
Medical Billing - 6 hrs per month
Medical Office Assistant - 4 hrs per month
Medical Courier - 8 hrs per month
Nurse Practitioner - 20 hrs per month
Medical Insurance Liaison - 4 hrs per month
Nutritionist - 94.5 hrs per month
CDE - 54 hrs per month
That's a rough total over just over 90 hours of month I dedicate strictly to the skills involved in managing this "manageable" condition. None of that includes my usual household, mom-life, wife status,
boymom'ing, writer, blogger, homeschooler, et al duties as required. That's 90+ hours of my time in a month JUST for medical, monetary, and administrative crap. Not including the fact that I have a whole barrage of skills in my wheel-house that include the ability to scrape spaghetti off the ceiling. True Story.
With the average pay scales I found, I could get paid upwards of $58,000.00 per year for my time. Since I'm nearly 6 years into this, that's a back pay total of $348,000.00 dollars. That doesn't include the nights/weekends I've had to spend on medical stuff and in hospitals, ambulances, Emergency Rooms, and urgent care clinics, and at time and a half....well....
Dear Universe....I'll take a check for Eleventy-Billion Dollars please!
One super exhausted mommy.
ps - if you actually WORK in one of the aforementioned fields, I tip my hat to you for dedicating your education and life to us families who need you...and then you go home and take care of your OWN families. Big props to you....and hopefully a raise!
Check out some of my other posts on Type 1 Diabetes and Motherhood: