Reblog: Shenanigans of the Insurance Variety

January 2 2021

Mental Health and insurance shenanigans – I spent two days last week, with another full day the week before, trying to get an appointment(s) set for Thomas for 3 different issues. 1) Mental/Emotional Health 2) IQ Test (to apply for a local school) and 3) Autism Screening.

It would be helpful if all of these could be done with the same person (psychologist), and/or the same time. Unfortunately not. First, finding someone who takes Thomas’s insurance. The IQ test is not covered unless it’s done with the autism screening. The IQ test needs to be done by end of February. Those who take his insurance for autism screening are scheduled out 6 months to TWO YEARS! Quotes for IQ test: $525 – $650.

I probably sent about 20 emails and placed a handful or two of phone calls. Lots of responses of not taking the insurance, and then if they do, they are booked way into the future, or they don’t see his age group. I got on a waiting list for a mental/emotional health appointment that’s only 2 months out. Waiting for a call back to set an appointment for August for the autism screening. Waiting for an email response to set an appointment for the IQ testing for this month. Each. One. With. A. Different. Person.

Fortunately, I’ve had about 19 years of experience advocating for Lillian, and I’m grateful that we do have access and options. I’m up for it, and I can handle it. Honestly, I think I’m kinda weird in that when I keep hitting dead ends, it fires me up even more, and I WILL find a solution. I be like, don’t get in my way now. I’m doing this! Hahahaha!

I just feel sad for people who can’t figure this maze of sh** out, or who have no one to advocate for them, or who need mental/emotional health help ASAP, but aren’t in a state of crisis! (A photo of something beautiful to balance this post … HA!)

February 2021 Update – I put Thomas on two waiting lists that were about 2 months long. We should be just about there with the wait. We decided not to apply to the school so we didn’t need the IQ test right away, so we’re set for August for the autism screening with IQ test. Whew! 

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Shenanigans of the Insurance Variety

November 15 2021 Update – Thomas has been seeing a therapist since March 2021, and it has been incredibly helpful. He had the autism screening and IQ Test in August. He was diagnosed with Level 1 Autism, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Now we are moving forward with solid diagnoses and get can targeted therapies and coaching. What a whirlwind!

Dear Anyone Who Feels Like They Don’t Matter

Dear Anyone Who Feels Like They Don’t Matter,

I hear you. I acknowledge you feel this way. I see you when you tell me these thoughts create a dull pain you feel throughout your entire body. I hear you when you say that you just want the pain to stop. I know that the intensity of this pain is excruciating at times. I hear you.

I wish, like I’ve never wished for anything before, that I could take this pain away. I wish I could help you to know that you do matter. I wish I could help you see the positive ripple effect of your existence.

I know that I cannot help you see this by merely saying it. I understand this. Please know that I am here for you, I will sit with you, I will hold your hand, I will listen, I will not tell you that you are wrong. You have these thoughts and feelings. They are valid. I hear you. I see you. I am here to help you have strength to get through these thoughts and feelings.

I will try to help you see the others to whom you matter, those who would be lost and heartbroken were you no longer here. I will try to help you find the creative outlet that inspires you to pour these thoughts and feelings into. Nothing is more important to me than being here for you and helping you see and find these. It is my hope that with this as the first step, and with the passage of time, it will lead to you and your thoughts knowing that you matter.

Please know that I am here for you. You matter to me.

With Oceans of Love,

Someone Who Loves You More Than You Know


After my separation and divorce in 2006, and for about 10 years after that, I often had suicidal thoughts. I wanted the pain, the confusion, the thoughts of not knowing what to do, to leave me alone, to be silenced. These suicidal thoughts never persisted for long, as the next immediate thoughts were about my two kids.

I derived strength from knowing I had to be here for them. It took many years, yet, I did eventually come to know that I matter. My thoughts shifted away from the pain and confusion, and shifted to telling me that I matter, that I would get through the tough times, and that everything would eventually be okay.

I learned to use writing, walks, nature, meditation, and mindful living to give me strength, and to encourage myself when my thoughts were at the lowest. These activities worked for me. They may not work for another. However, I do know that there is a creative outlet that will help each of us process these thoughts and feelings.

**Please note: I am not a doctor, a therapist, or a psychiatrist. I am simply a mother who finds herself sharing this message with someone she loves. I was moved to make it an open letter as I know there are many others who may feel this way. Please know that there is someone in your life that wishes you to know the above message, and that they are there for you.

I am actively working on getting professional help for my loved one, as we have been on waiting lists since late December/early January. It was rough last night, and I felt the need to share this.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 160 crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 1-800-273-8255. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Samaritans ( is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in distress or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom. They provide a 24/7, toll-free crisis line, as well as local branches. Samaritans Helpline can be reached at 116 123.

(The two photos above credited to Brett Syles on

See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.