Sunday, April 16, 2017

Trip to Harris Health

A few weeks ago, Brad got approved for the Medicaide community first choice waiver from The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD (formerly MHMRA of Harris County). Community First Choice focuses on in-home services such as respite, day habitation, job training, and residential services. The Harris Center also offers other services such as psychiatric and a primary care clinic, (which was also on site).

Brad has been on the waiting lists since 2011. I was told last year, the list was backlogged to 2004 so I wasn't expecting him to get approved for any waiver until he was over 18 years old.

When he got approved, the coordinator wanted Brad's FIE (full evaluation) and other school records. I called the school and the school wanted a formal request to send out records. I called mental health back and they mailed off the forms to me, and I went up to the school to turn them in.

Both the school and mental health moved quick. I had an appointment within two weeks of approval. Mental Health was also accommodating. I was notified inital appointments take four hours. No way in hell is Brad going to stay still in an office for four hours or more. I been through this before when he was going to LBJ and Ben Taub hospital for pediatrics and psychiatic care. We would spend 30 minutes waiting for a doctor, 10 or so minutes in a room, then waiting hours for medications and transportation home. I was glad when I was recommended to a new clinic closer to my old house.

Anyway, the coordinator said I could come alone for eligibility and financial aide, and Brad will receive an in-home evaluation a few days later. Once again, Google Maps was my friend. My appointment was at 10:45 am. I had to leave the house around 8 am.

The day was doomed from the beginning. I left my phone in the house. Brad's bus was late and he got upset when Kalen's bus arrived and went into meltdown mode. Brad did not calm down. I had to run back into the house to shower and get ready for the appointment. I was in the house less than ten minutes. I grabbed my stuff, headed back to the bus stop, and called transportation. Transportation said the bus will arrive in 20 minutes. Turns out the bus already passed by when I was in the house. When I called back in 20 minutes, I was told the bus came by and they noticed Kalen's stroller outside.

Yes, I left Kalen's stroller outside when I went back in the house and didn't know it until I came back out. No one touched it. So now, I have to get on Metro and take Brad to school. Brad got to school in one piece and I headed to mental health. I typed in the address in google and it took 3 busses to get to Southwest Freeway. No trains at all. Torture. 3 busses, 2 transit centers, 1 appointment.

I was glad Brad did not have to come to mental health for the initial visit after I got off the bus. The Harris Center is in a shopping center with stores, restaurants, and other stuff. It was like store, store, store, big massive parking garage, and viola, this massive building at the end of the shopping strip.

Once I arrived, I signed in, and got an elevator badge to the second floor. The appointment went ok. Financial aide was first. When I thought the appointment was over, I was asked to speak to eligibility. Yay. This made the appointment longer and I needed to leave to make sure I got home in time.

I am happy I have my own place now, but I have no one to get Brad off the bus, when I am running behind. Trying to find the bus stop to get on the first bus to the first transit center took some walking (jay walking). I finally got home and walked straight to the bus stop (front of apartments) to get Brad off the bus. Brad's bus came within minutes of me getting home.

Brad's In-Home Appointment

Two days later, Brad had an in-home appointment with a coordinator. Once again, Brad had a meltdown because Kalen's bus came and his did not. If only he can figure out, I leave the house AFTER his bus passes by when he has an appointment. Brad's bus continues down Antoine drive for a minute or so before turning down another street. The bus comes back down Antoine 10-15 minutes after. So Brad has two chances to catch the bus, whereas Kalen only has one because his bus u-turns in the median because he is the only student on my stretch of the road.

I got Brad back in the house. The appoint was at 8 but the coordinator arrived about 8:30 a.m because of traffic. I had to resort to cooking to get Brad to calm down. I was going to let him stay home, but the appointment was over quick. I signed a form and the coordintator was gone. Mr. H did try to get Brad to look at some graphics but Brad refused. End of evaluation. I don't remember if I took him to school via public transportation or my mama (since she started an in-home bible study with the family at my sister house) but he got there and out my hair. (if you see a video with nurse mama bible study live on  facebook, watch, share, or leave a comment. She wants views and shares).

Now I wait for the next step. I asked for respite, a new aide, psych services, and residential living (temporary and permanent). I also asked for day habitation, which will be good for Brad during the summer, if he doesn't get ESY for school (extended school year for special needs kids, who regress during the school year). Brad didn't get ESY last year, but he received it for two years prior to last year (2014 and 2015). Hopefully by the time Kalen's name gets approved for a waiver, I will have a car.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie