Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Myoelectric testing

We've been waiting...and waiting...and waiting for Hanger to tell us that they received insurance approval for a prosthetic. Our pediatrician already wrote a prescription for it. Who knew you'd need a prescription? Crazy but true... Turns out Hanger never submitted it to insurance at all. Instead they went ahead and retrieved the myoelectric (myo) tester from another location to be sure that Bella's muscles in her left forearm work properly to control a myo. This has been over a month long process just to get the tester.

(This is an image from the internet that shows what a myo could look like for someone like Bella)

Yesterday, we went into Hanger to do the testing. Turns out, Bella's muscles are on fire! She was able to move her wrist in the ways that our prosthetist asked in order to trigger her muscles. Demonstrating that these muscles triggered means that Bella would be able to control a myo. She was super excited! She loved watching the tester lights go up and down on the monitor. She loved being able to "see" her muscles do something on a machine. It was a really sweet moment watching the excitement in her eyes and her face light up.

Our prosthetist said "She likely wouldn't need much occupational therapy if you practiced at home. All of her muscles are intact and fire properly. She's able to control them to trigger the muscles when asked. That means that she could open and close a hand on the prosthesis." Watching her face was like watching fire works on the fourth of July. She was thrilled to hear that she could make the muscles work in the way that she needed to to control a prosthetic myoelectric limb. I was excited to watch her continue to trigger the machine and watch her laugh with delight.

It was a short 15 minute appointment. An appointment that could change things for her and our family. We've always said that we would support our children. This was Bella's idea. She really wanted to try a prosthetic. She says that she thinks it will make some things easier. I would agree with her... I'll also be the first to say that it'll make some things harder too. Things she used to doing with her hand the way that it is. Things like playing with certain toys, tying shoes, doing pony tails, cutting things with scissors, eating... she'll have to do things differently. Kids will be curious in a different way.

Now, we wait...and wait...and wait... for Hanger to talk to insurance and our pediatrician to talk to insurance. For insurance to deny a prosthetic and then to appeal... that's how this works. So for now, we wait.

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