The Struggle of Getting Medical Equipment

Kala Godin avatar

by Kala Godin |

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My life is full of medical appointments, and they all tend to be fairly inconvenient. Necessary, but inconvenient. I can’t attend them on my own because, well, I can’t drive or take care of myself. So, my mom ends up having to take a day off work to take me where I need to go.

My most recent frustration has been new seating and the scheduling that goes along with that.  

The struggle is real.

Medical equipment can take an incredibly long time to get. Filling out the paperwork. Sending in the paperwork. The medical insurers deciding whether or not you are eligible for the equipment, or whether it is necessary. Approving you. And then ordering the actual equipment.

It’s a process. A very, very long process. If all goes smoothly, it can take anywhere from four to six months to receive your products. These products are necessary for your daily life. Let’s just say that my seating process has gone less than smoothly. By the time it’s finally settled, it will have been close to two years.

Last year, I had a commode chair that was breaking apart. The metal pins holding it together were rusting.

It’s going to be four months.

No, no, this thing is not going to last the month. (In truth, it was so rickety it wasn’t going to last even that long. But you work with what you have.)

That’s just the process. That’s how these things go. Unless you can pay out of pocket. Then we can get it to you in two weeks.

We were lucky enough to be in the position to purchase it ourselves before the old one completely broke down. However, this isn’t always the case. Medical equipment is expensive, so there’s a reason why there is coverage for it. And even then, extra costs are often placed on us and our families.

The process takes a long time. And one is not always aware of eligibility. That commode was eight years old, and I didn’t know until after the fact that I could get one every four years.

Equipment is essential to our daily lives. It helps us to live and to thrive. Often, getting it approved doesn’t always go smoothly and we have to advocate for ourselves until we are blue in the face.

We fight tooth and nail so that we can go on with our lives. 

Because if we don’t, who will?


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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