Friday, November 7, 2008

Transportation Woes

I hate that Jason's job means I have no way to get to anything. It's bad enough to be trapped at home, not even able to do errands or take the kids to the playground(or to have shelter when it's pouring rain and you have to stand at the bus stop after the looooong walk down there!). those things are part of being a stay at home mom, with one vehicle and a husband with a job that takes him from client home to client home. It's not like he can just be dropped off places.

What makes me crazy is not being able to get the kids to appointments. I thought I have solved this dilemma, by setting up transportation via van through the kid's Medicaid. We give them dates and places ahead of time, they set up our ride.

You would think that "medical transport" would be clean, safe, and courteous. Or I did. First service we used was called Cape Fear Regional Transport. Beautiful vans, immaculate and clean, awesome drivers. Always on time. Medicaid stopped using them, but didn't see the need to tell me, so we missed the appointment day...

Next we were assigned to Bluebird Cab company. Again, "medical transport." Was it clean? No. There were cigarette butts in the little compartments on the doors. The guy (who was smelly, unshaven, had nails a good 3 inches long, and hair longer than mine...) was smoking IN the car. He did not want me to put in my car seats, saying that "cops never fine taxi drivers for kids not in car seats." He finally did stop smoking, I got my car seats in, and we headed off. The guy struck me as the type who would peel the skin off a woman and wear her skin Hannibal style, while singing this song:

In between swerving into opposing lanes, he told me about his 7 children and his teenage wife. Needless to say, he did not drive us back home. I waited for my mom to pick us up.

After that, we started with Here2There Van Service. Relatively clean vehiclesin good repair, nice folks. 60% on time. Most of the time I got picked up on time, often waited an hour or more afterward though, and sometimes was never picked up again at all. A few times I got picked up for a 4:30 appointment at 4:25. By the time we got there, we had less than 20 minutes left of therapy session time. Not even an apology. I was beyond furious. I don't yell at people though, it's not in my nature. I just smile and say "it's ok, but we need to start being on time" and leave it at that.

For the most part, H2T was excellent. Very nice people, we got where we needed to go, and they were the most reliable of any of the van services we had tried.

Problem is, none are reliable or organized enough. I'm sorry, but a company that specializes in getting people to appointments simply HAVE to be:

  • Punctual
  • Organized
  • Clean- These are MEDICAL appointments
  • Reliable

Anyway, somehow, this last week, the list of appointments for the next however long did not find their way into the right places. Zero communication between Medicaid and the van service, they each blame the other. The absolutely wonderful receptionist, Sherry, at the therapy place, fixed that for me by faxing 13 pages of appointments. The Medicaid lady was not happy with me. Oh well, this is what she's getting paid the big bucks and the state offered health benefits for.

At this point, I've given it up. I'm going to borrow my mom's car every Tuesday and Thursday and drive myself. I'll let them know I need gas vouchers rather than a van service (should be cheaper for them anyway!) and just deal with having to get to Greensboro to pick the car up early, and dropping it back off late. I'm glad my mom agreed to that, hopefully it doesn't end up being problematic.

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