Saturday, 28 January 2012

Bupa turnaround!

Gerbers. San Jose, Costa Rica. Jan 2012
So following on from my rant last week I received a surprise telephone call yesterday afternoon from (drum roll please) a lady in the customer relations department at Bupa.  At first she started reciting an obviously, carefully worded script about how they simply couldn't cover me and all the reasons why.

I stopped and asked that for just one moment if Bupa could just stop and listen to me.  If I had had the time to prepare I would have worded it better, but instead I reiterated what I had asked for, how and why I felt I hadn't been treated well and what my expectations were.  

My objective: I just wanted to know if Bupa could pick up the costs for a private diagnostic consultation with a recurrent miscarriage specialist plus if there was anything else that they might be able to cover.

She responded "Really?  Is that all you were asking?" I reiterated "Yes, from the day I called you last year until now, that was all I was honestly expecting, a little bit of help, anything more you could manage would be a bonus but even that would be a massive help."  I offered again to send the debriefing summary letter which I received explaining the very complicated detection of CHI and what it meant after I lost the twins, she was the first person to say that "yes, she wanted to read it."

She went away and called me back 20 minutes later with an authorisation number for that private diagnostic, consultation and also advised that if any tests were required as a result of that consultation that they may also be able to pick up the cost of those, depending on what they were and how much they cost, but to let them know all the same. 

She said she read the letter and was so very, terribly sorry for what I had to go through.  I responded that the letter was only after my first loss.  Could she even begin to imagine what I felt like after it happened a second time?  I could hear on the line she was teary.  That is empathy, because sadly if my story doesn't make someone have that reaction I know they aren't getting it.

WOW, 10 months, 8 telephone calls and countless emails.  10 months of very persistent, tough-skin, resilient but calm (if not teary) conversations with Bupa.  I was determined to make myself be heard, not just for me but for any other poor silent Mum that turns to them, I want them to understand.

"Dear Bupa, 
If I you learn anything from this complaint for me please let it be that when a mother calls and her baby has been stillborn she is not looking for Bupa to be the miracle, she is looking for support and help.  

Silent Mums appreciate that they can no longer have everything, in fact we are coming to terms with living the rest of our lives knowing that something will always be missing, and a significant amount of the immediate future feeling like we have nothing at all to live for, so if we are calling we are looking for your charity.  

We won't know the words, we don't know what we need. We can't think, our heads are full of self-loathing words for our own failure and the word 'WHY?' shouting very loudly, it overpowers all ability for rational thought and coherent sentences.  

Listen to our story and please help us, don't tell us what you can't do.  Take a look at our cover and see what you can do.  This might be a little counselling or to cover the price of a private specialist consultation.  Whatever you can give us that might help us as we attempt to scrape the tattered strands of hopes and dreams back together is all we are looking for.  So please do whatever you can and never ever a simple 'no'"

Oh, and for all you other silent Mums out there also getting nowhere fast with exclusion 24 exception 2 of Bupa's policy the words they need are apparently 'payment reimbursement for a private, diagnostic consultation' with a Specialist.

Today is one year and three weeks since I lost my beautiful twin boys and three months since I lost my beloved Gabriele.  It will be a long, long time until I see any of them again, still coming to terms living with living without them.

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