• Samantha Isaacs

Cultivate Resilience

Over the last several months (it’s been 2 years if I’m honest) I’ve spoken and written about waiting to get in to the Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Center for Integrative Brain Research (mouthful). Dr. Dobyn’s is the nation’s leading expert on brain disorders- such as polymicrogyria and he has been such a blessing to the families who have been able to see him.

Things started to progress towards an appointment in August. We had several phone calls with his team and made sure that he received records and anything they needed.

In January, I got a call that all of Hank’s records had been reviewed and the next call would be to get him on the schedule for an appointment.

Cue the phone call last Thursday. She said we have an opening on 4/2. Cue chaos in organizing a trip across the country for an appointment in 9 days. Babysitters because husband works 12 hr shifts, plane tickets, rental car, hotel room. Reschedule existing therapy appointments. Insanity. But excitement. Elated. Pure joy in this opportunity.

Then... Enter Monday. Monday’s already a drag, right… back on the grind and getting unpacked from our trip to Tennessee for a few days and the kids headed back to school. Just “ugh”. My phone rings- a familiar Washington state area code- and I think they’re calling to confirm our appointment. She is slow to get it out, so I know there’s a problem coming, explaining that we’re out of the area (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana) and our insurance is out of network and she’s dragging. I know it’s coming. “Pre-Authorization”… I can taste the words on my tongue before she gets there.

She says, “We are unfortunately unable to see Henry on April 2 because we haven’t received the authorization from your insurance.”


There’s not another word for it.

I said I understood (not my first round with out of network providers and pre-auth’s) and assured her I wasn’t upset with her even though I know my tone was bitter.

It was too late in the evening to do anything about it. But I was MAD. I cried. I was sick to my stomach from the disappointment. It was really hard to not just yell about it.

I got many phone calls, texts, facebook messages, and comments. Friends and family and supporters praying for us, encouraging me, feeling the same feelings.

I stayed up until 4:30 Tuesday morning working it out in my mind and in my heart. I refuse to lay down with a burden like that. Because when I wake up, I don’t want to pick it back up and take it with me through the next day.

I wrote a letter to our insurance company. I emailed it where it needed to go and explained the situation. I prayed and read passages. I took some deep breaths. And I decided that there was nothing more to be done except release it. It was done and it was unable to be changed. It can be rectified and adjusted for a future time but nothing will bring back the appointment for April 2nd.

Here’s where I am going with all of this.

Anger and heartache and disappointment, being bitter and upset, clinging to it… it won’t help. Taking today’s emotions into tomorrow only lowers your starting point and creates a bigger mountain for you to climb.

Special needs parenting is already an uphill battle. Our loads are heavy laden. Why add to them unnecessarily with negative emotions and a drained battery.

When I laid down to sleep, there was calm. There was a resolve to face it tomorrow, with peace. It is 1,000% required to feel emotions- anger, excitement, sadness, disappointment, joy, accomplishment. We have to. Those are what make us the parents we are. There is a line though, a line that if crossed allows our emotions to control us and not our minds of clear thinking. Those feelings are visitors today. Let them come and then let them go. They don’t get to move in.

Feel the feelings. Acknowledge them. Witness them. Release them…

We can choose to sit down today’s baggage at the foot of our bed and pick up the next morning. OR we can choose to unpack it, throw it away, process it, whatever you want to do to get rid of it. You can wear your tragedies as shackles… or put them on like armor.

There is always a choice. It’s your choice. No one gets to decide for you how you respond. We can respect it and we can help you cope. But it’s your resolve that will pave the way forward.

I’ve become resilient. I’ve found strength and resolve and meaning. The things that go “wrong” in our lives have the potential to be a launching pad. They have the ability to become our gift to the world.

Those moments that can be so emotionally defining are times when we need to be able to say “I can do something with this” and we do!

You are resilient, too. You are here, yesterday is done and this is a new start. Thrive today.

Light and Love,


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