Vaccines! Argh! Blarbble-blarbble-blarbble!

I’m just kidding, this post is really just an update on the joys of the 12-month Well Child Visit. Oh, good grief. Get me two large, strapping heavyweight college wrestling champs, one genteel nurse, and two caffeinated parents trying to grab hands and arms and legs and feet and keep them all glued down for long enough for a few shots to go in. I felt so bad for the poor little guy – I mean, Russ is pretty easy going compared to a lot of babies, albeit on louder side, even in his best of moods (what can I say, he gets his volume from me). And he tried to be a good sport about it, but shots just aren’t anybody’s favorite. I can’t think of too many people who wake up in the morning and say “YES! Needles! Awesome!” Not even some of the freakier ones.

Anyhow, the biggest worry going into today’s 12-month checkup for Russ was what they’d say when they saw that pacifier shoved straight in his mouth, and the financial butt-kicking we’d get from the cost of the shots he was scheduled for. See, we have the fabulous, dedicated, wonderful United Healthcare. Did you sense the bitterness? If not, let me phrase it some other way: I despise United Healthcare. I especially despise their smarmy, self back-patting commercials touting how awesome they are, when in fact, they’re kind of crappy. They cover many adult vaccines, yet they do not cover most (if any) childhood vaccines. Not even the basic ones. They refuse to fax paperwork to my doctors’ offices, which becomes a real pain in the butt for me AND the doctors we use. They took getting things shored up when we all went to the same plan a few weeks before Russ was born (literally, I was on the phone “chewing someone’s ass,” as my dear dad would say, on the way into the hospital). But all that would be a bit easier to swallow if their customer service were marginally better, but they always just seem to send you running in circles. I’m pretty sure United Healthcare, Waste Management, and Charter Communications all hire from the same pool of people, because I’ve had nothing but bad experiences (of the same nature) with them all.

And you guys know me – I’m clearly so adept at hiding my feelings, right?

Anyhow, today we got a really nice break in the face of more UHC ineptitude. Turns out there have been some changes made to the SC state vaccine program, and now – if your deductible is sky-high like ours is – you can get vaccines done through the state program instead of through private insurance. So, whereas our total today should have been something like $850-900, not a shot covered by UHC (“But it counts towards your deductible…” – so not comforting), we left today having to pay a total administrative fee of only $52. As much as I grumble about some things that go on in this state, it really saved our butts today. So…good job, South Carolina! Thank you!

Vaccines are one of those things that have become a supremely polarizing topic. Moms are a tough group to hang with, and I’m sort of surprised (after, ya know…BEING one for a year now) that I still don’t feel like I fit in to the group that well.

Someone is always going to disagree with what you’re doing, and you end up feeling like that’s their way of saying that you’re a terrible mom. Someone always thinks they know better than you. And I’d be lying if I said that isn’t annoying to me sometimes. But when it comes to the topic of vaccines (especially the basic ones that most all kids need for public school attendance), I’ve done my research and I’ve talked with Russ’s doctors, and I feel like he is far better off with them than without them. But I know not all parents feel that way. There’s nerve-wracking information/statistics on both sides of that debate, unfortunately. Everyone has to follow their heart.

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