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Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Little Cricket’s Delay: Playing the Politics Game

Most days the only thing I feel like I learn is that sheer mental and physical exhaustion can’t actually kill you. As I learn more about navigating this new world I learn more about the politics, the hoops, the denials and the fight that I am going to have to master. Each day I try and focus on another piece of this gigantic moving maze. Some days I feel less lost and like I am making good progress, and some days I feel like I am carrying 1000 pound weights and drowning.

I found out through various channels how to get into the UCLA Early Hospitalization Program. If you go through traditional channels the wait list to get into the program is 2 years. If you go through the back door, and play the politics, it can take as little as 2 months to get in. That back channel consisted of seeing Dr. S, a board director at ECPHP.

So I made an appointment to see Dr. S. And as reported she did an assessment and made a call to the gatekeeper at ECPHP. By making that call, the theory is that my Little Cricket will be moved higher on the list. I hope that it is true and we get in soon.

After our appointment I spent the rest of the day filling out the thick stack of paperwork and printing out the large stack of assessment my Little Cricket has racked up. I printed our family photo and an adorable photo of my Little Cricket and then I personally dropped it off to the gatekeeper at ECPHP. Funny enough I met the gatekeeper a little over a month ago in the elevator. We were having such a wonderful conversation that I got off on the floor she was exiting so we could finish. She was telling me how wonderful ECPHP was and how my Little Cricket would benefit from it. Anyways she remembered me, and our conversation, and we had another quick chat about how excited we were to enter in the program.

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I’ve talked to several other moms, who have been to the program and asked them to share the things they did to get in. And then from that list I devised a strategy. Apparently constant updates, sending in new reports, and check in is key. It lets the gatekeeper know that you are still interested in the program and it keeps the most up to date information at her fingertips. She basically doesn’t have time to call and ask for updates, nor does she have time to go through the 300 people on the wait list making phone calls and waiting for replies. One mom had a brilliant plan; she included a sheet of paper with a handwritten note in a thick sharpie. I plan on doing the same. I will be known as the pink sharpie lady. Every week I will send a report, a photo, an update on how my Little Cricket is doing in therapy. That and the handwritten letter will hopefully help distinguish me from the mountain of other paperwork she receives often.

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