As A Parent

Well, we’ve all heard the Shakespearean phrase “hell has no fury like a woman scorned” taken from ‘Taming of the Shrew’. But me think William didn’t meet up with a fiercely protective mother, otherwise he would have realized that it was better to take a chance with a scorned woman than tangle with a mother protecting her young. I’m saying this because I was up in arms with the insurance company, Prudential, during the past couple of months. I was told by the insurance agent (or financial advisor as they’re now known) that Buddy was diagnosed with a congenital condition during his hospitalization in KKH in early July. According to the insurance policy, any congenital conditions diagnosed within 2 years of the start of the policy would be excluded from claims submission for any treatments related to the condition.

Naturally, after I heard the news I hit the roof. What congenital problem?? Buddy has no such condition! I called up the insurance company and demanded to speak to the Claims Officer to sort this out; and separately also contacted KK Hospital for Buddy’s medical report. But the hospital replied that I should get a copy from the insurance company instead, which is honestly ridiculous. Buddy has every rights to his medical report! When I contacted the claims officer, he also wouldn’t release the report, but was able to provide information on the diagnosis and the doctor who signed off the report. I insisted that it was a misdiagnosis because Dr OK didn’t notice any such condition in Buddy. Besides this doctor (Nandhakumar) who signed off didn’t examine Buddy. (Yes, I noticed something strange and pointed out to the examining Dr Metro(sexual) at KKH, who then brought it up to Mother Hen when she came along. But they didn’t seem perturbed by it. In fact the condition went away after a couple of hours and no follow-up nor treatment required.)

I then contacted this Nandhakumar, and pointed out to him that he didn’t examine Buddy and he might have signed off on a wrong diagnosis. He suggested to bring in Buddy to see a PD at KKH to ascertain. The Prudential Claims officer told me that in order for the congenital diagnosis to be erased from their records, the KKH doctor would have to send a revised memo to the company. So I made an appointment for Buddy to see Nandhakumar, determined to make sure Prudential not short-change Buddy. Yes, I regard insurance companies as necessary evils. To me, they represent greedy corporations who would not pay premiums if they can get away with it.

Well, it turns out Buddy does have this particular congenital condition, which is apparently rather common. Unfortunately for him, he was hospitalized and the condition manifested and the doctors had to put it down in the medical report. If it was only diagnosed two years after the policy start date, the treatment would be claimable. Nandhakumar explained that this condition is very specific and mostly benign, except for the rare occasion when complications happen. It can be easily treated with a day operation, and he suggested Buddy sees a surgeon to determine the status of this condition and when would be best for an op. We agreed since we won’t want any complications to happen to him in future.
I also told Nandhakumar to send a memo to Prudential to be specific about this condition and the exclusions of claims should only pertain to this. But all he said was that the insurance company shouldn’t exclude any treatments unrelated to this. I was starting to wonder if he was unwilling to put up another memo on our behalf. For God’s sake I paid more than S$100 for an appointment with him and I expect something beneficial out of it!

I asked the Claims officer specifically what they are excluding in Buddy’s insurance policy, and he insisted that they are not putting in any exclusions. As for the medical diagnosis, it came from KKH and he reiterated that the insurance company won’t cover treatments relating specifically only to this condition. Fine! I guess I can’t say the company refuses to insure since it’s stated clearly in the policy document. So now I’m turning my attention to the hospital, and insisting on getting a copy of Buddy’s medical record.

From “fighting” with the insurance company and possibly KKH, I’ve to fight Buddy’s tantrums. I don’t know where he learned from, but he has started throwing tantrums by lying on the floor or rolling around and cried like a banshee when he doesn’t get what he wants. There was this time when we were at IKEA and my husband took Buddy to the play area within the restaurant. Buddy didn’t want to be on the rocking horse, nor did he play with the pots and pans or the car race track. Instead he wanted to carry around the kiddy stool (like what he does at home) and taking it out of the play area. I stopped him, and he got upset. He then proceeded to throw himself on the floor and wail in protest. I suspect this must be an in-born behavior because young kids everywhere kick up a hissy fit like this. Unfortunately Buddy is too young to understand my explanation, least alone reasoning. He can’t even put together a sentence yet. All I could do was to pull him up from the floor and put him down where it’s ok for him to play.

But the worst scene Buddy made was at the Aquarium at Resort World Sentosa (RWS) last week. He didn’t want to be in the stroller nor did he want to walk on his own. Instead he wanted me to carry him. I knew he was hungry and tried putting him in the stroller so that I could feed him. But he cried like a piggy to slaughter, and even when I tried to sit him on the chair, he refused. I had no choice but to forcibly strapped him into the stroller as he nearly brought the building down with his crying. Instead of giving him solids, which he rejected, I offered him a milk feed and he calmed down immediately. When I pushed him around after, he fell asleep. Yeah, he was basically hungry and sleepy.

Problem with Buddy now is that he doesn’t like being put into the stroller. Maybe he doesn’t like being restrained. At one time he didn’t want to walk either and only wanted to be carried. My father-in-law actually thought (unbelievably) he might have polio. Now he’s more willing to walking on his own, though with my husband, Buddy still wants to be carried by him. (He can get away with a lot from my husband.)

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