Fairy Tales Can Come True……………..

Last Wednesday I got the phone call every girl dreams of. Yes, George Clooney invited me to his lake house on the Amalfi Coast!

No, it was better than that. My Congressman, Ryan Costello of the 6th District of Pennsylvania, through  his amazing assistant, Lisa Reynolds called me to say my mother’s problems with the Veterans Administration are well on their way to being solved.

As a caregiver, we list this in the miracle column.

If you have followed my past few blogs about this journey wherein I am trying to get the VA to correct their mistake from 15 years ago and get my Mom back on to her proper medical insurance, you know it has been nothing less than a”clusterf#$%k.”   That quote, by the way, directly from a VA customer service rep who thought he had put me on hold, and that moment was ever so much better than any Muzak.

Since January 9, I have already spent countless hours on the phone and faxing, scanning, emailing and snail-mailing documents to various demons of the Veteran’s Administration and Department of Defense hoping against hope that I could stave off a medical insurance disaster before it happened.

In the interim, my husband suggested I call our Congressman. I was thinking about that very thing. Since my  husband gets Congressman Costello’s newsletter, he noticed that he has a position on the Veterans Administration Committee. So, what the heck! Ain’t that what we pay these guys for?

I spoke with the ever-so-kind Lisa Reynolds. I faxed her all the documentation that I was constantly sending out to the Federalis. And for some odd reason, I just let her do her thing and waited to hear from her, probably because I continued to inundate myself with phone calls and wild goose chases to the VA.

On Wednesday, Lisa called to say that the Congressman has gotten my  mother registered with the correct medical insurance back to 2002!! Hooray. Happiness, Joy, Exaltation.

Not so fast………………..

“That’s the good news,” she said. Uh oh.

“The only glitch is, your mother has to submit all those incorrectly paid bills, for the last 15 years, to the new insurance with in 180 days or it will not be covered and she will be responsible for those medical bills,”

Oh gee whiz, that sounds so easy, like , I don’t know, gathering all the pine cones in the forest for the last 15 years and then shoving them up their ………… sorry, I got distracted looking for a metaphor.

“But we have until August,” Lisa exclaimed.


Yet, she most assuredly told me that she would assist me in getting all that information from the old insurance company to send to the new one. Mind you, these are both arms of  Veterans Administration insurance. It’s not like it’s Aetna and United Healthcare. They are both Veterans medical insurance.

But they are not allowed to talk to each other. Only we can talk to them and then transfer information back and forth. I found that out in my 10,000 phone calls between all these quasi-agencies.

But I can live with this. I can do it!

RYAN COSTELLOSo I want to right here, right now, give a formal thank you to my Congressman, Ryan Costello, who I did not vote for, but who has restored my faith just a bit in the system. He worked for his constituents, regardless of their party affiliation to solve a real problem in his District. I am grateful for his attention to this problem and for his associate, Lisa Reynolds for tackling this crazy issue in record time.

See, people it can be done. People who don’t agree on everything can help one another and get things done. Wow, what a concept.

And it never hurts to laugh while helping….And dream of George Clooney’s House on the Amalfi Coast….

“You Just have to Laugh………….”

©Cathy Sikorski 2016


0 thoughts on “Fairy Tales Can Come True……………..

  1. I feel for you. I am a disabled veteran, as well as the caregiver for a Wounded Warrior. I am a great advocate for my husband, not so much for myself. I was trying to save my own life, and went to my Congressman. His Military Liaison told me that Congress CANNOT tell the VA what to do. God bless you for advocating for you Mom, God knows nobody in the VA will.

    1. I am so very sorry to hear about your lack of success with your Congressman. He’s just not right that he can’t help you. I know how hard caregivers work and to compound it with your own disability makes it so very, very hard. Please consider contacting both your Senators. We who are helping cannot take no for an answer. And if you can find anyone who will help you make calls or do paperwork, please do so. I’ll keep you and your husband in our prayers. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service to all of us in this country. We are lucky to have you and your husband. Best wishes to you and all your family.

        1. So glad to hear that program is helping you. I am speaking at the Veteran’s Caregivers Conference in November and I will pass your story along. Take good care.

  2. Yay! What a miracle that you found someone who genuinely wanted to help!!! I’m sure you had Lisa laughing along the way!

    1. Hi, Cath..so love hearing from you. Yes, it’s so funny that you know that I had my Congressman’s assistant laughing. Indeed she and I both could see the humor when we had to! Best to you!

  3. Fifteen years of medical bills?!? Honestly, if my father wasn’t already dead, hearing this kind of stuff would kill him. Glad you’re getting some help, even with the good news/bad news scenario.

    1. Yes, Judith, as you know, you just have to take each day as it comes and do the best you can to make it better for your caregivee…..kind of weird how we share this ‘one day at a time’ with alcoholics…hmmmm…

  4. just super Cathy !!!!! I don’t no if I want to Laugh, but I do want to say, RIGHT ON TO YOU GIRL!!!!!!! yes!!!!! (smiles!!!!)

    1. Sometimes, Jerome, it’s just about the smile, isn’t it? You should have seen the smile on my Mom’s face when we got this good news. I just couldn’t let this story pass by without telling the truth about who helped me out! Thanks for your continuing support!

  5. Thank you for doing this wonderful thing. Also, thanks to your husband who thought of it. Bibidy, bobity, boo.

  6. Great to hear our elected officials are really getting something done, not just fighting each other for air time on Fox News or CNN. Hats off to Representative Costello.