June 12, 2013

the nevada welfare office.

No one really needs to read this.  It's mostly for posterity's sake.

Baby Nugget is on Medicaid.  Honestly, it's our only option.  Unless you would like to foot the bill...  But I'll warn you - she already has four different doctors, diagnostic testing, a looming major surgery, a 4-6 week [minimum] recovery stay in the NICU/PICU ahead of her, and countless follow-up appointments and procedures.  So, as you might think, there is no way in heck we would even know how to say a number with that many zeroes at the end of it, let alone afford the deductible and 20-30% of her medical bills.  Instead, we are going to shamelessly ride the ObamaCare train as long and as far as we can.  [We're both still on our parent's plans through this year, and then we'll be no-income students again,]

That was more information than anyone needed.  I apologize.

What I really want to tell you about is my visit to the welfare office today.  It was my third visit.  Fourth if you count last week when I left after three minutes because the line stretched all the way outside.  The first time I went with my mom and just ended up dropping off my practically blank application.  The second visit was to turn in all the documents to fill in the pages and pages I left blank.  Today I was there showing them John's birth certificate to complete the process.  Did you know that a Social Security card doesn't count as proof of citizenship??  It doesn't.  You need a passport, birth certificate, or green card [I think, I never really figured out what the third option was.]  And we apparently lost both John's passport card and birth certificate during the move.  Whoopsie!

Anyway, while I was standing in line this morning I made a "friend".  At first, I was unaware of the new relationship.  She asked me how far along I am, and I told her.  Then she scooted her dog-carrier very close to my feet and stood very close behind me.  That's fine.  Some people have different sized personal-bubbles.  Mine happens to be on the larger side, but for an hour or so, I can deal with whatever if it means my baby's application gets completed.  And then it happened.  About a half hour into the line, my dear friend starts up the conversation again.  Boy or girl?  First baby?  How old are you?  Are you ready?  

Now, "ready" is a very different concept for John and I.  We are essentially prepared: we have a crib, car seat, tower of diapers, and a whole lot of love.  We're just waiting for this little girl to come and take over our lives.  What we don't have is any real idea of when she'll be home, what hurdles we'll have to jump over with her, or how complicated her medical care is really going to be.  So instead, we're getting ready for a whole lot of unknowns, and a whole lot of all-nighters at the hospital.  And because my new friend shared all of her own pregnancy-related complications and issues with me, I decided to fill her in on my own.  I told her my baby girl has a heart condition, and so we're getting ready for a lot of time in the hospital, and not so much the "bringing home baby" aspect of parenthood.  [That will come later, and we'll get ready for that once it's time.]  

Well, I should have known from my new friend's close proximity while standing in line that she does not possess any size bubble.  She rubbed my belly.  I don't mean she reached out her hand to pat the bump.  I mean she RUBBED MY BELLY.  For an extended period of time.  It was awkward.  It was uncomfortable.  Even Baby Nugget could tell.  As soon as that hand was back where it belonged [nowhere near my body] the nugget straight-up rolled over and I'm pretty sure she shuddered.  Like she was telling me, "Mom, that was not OK.  Let's not ever do that again."  At least I know my girl will be as awkward as I am...

But honestly, it was a good thirty seconds.  Even people I know haven't had their hand on my belly for that long.  I've maybe had two or three people I know touch my belly, but only for milli-seconds at a time, immediately apologizing because they're sure I can't stand people touching my belly all the time.  And we're talking good friends and neighbors here - people I've known since I was six.  I honestly thought I could get through my entire pregnancy without any of that unwanted belly-rub action.  I must have jinxed myself.

But back to my new friend, who was completely unphased by the obvious shock on my face.  She continued to tell me about her own life and medical issues.  Then there was an awkward silence.  I really didn't want to keep talking.  I wanted to leave.  But there was only about ten people ahead of me by then, and I really needed to prove to the welfare system that my husband is an American citizen.  So I asked about her dog.

I really hope I never have to go to the welfare office again.  I just can't handle making new best-friends-forever so fast.

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