It’s that time of year when Kelsey, my special needs daughter, needs a new walker.

Normally, she goes through walkers every 12 months. The walker that Kelsey uses is called a Kaye Walker. It is a reverse walker. The Kaye Walker is different from most of the walkers on the market because the walker comes behind you. While holding onto the reverse walker’s handlebars, with both hands, the walker’s opening is in the front. The horizontal bars are in the back. The walker follows you, rolling behind you as you walk.

Does that make sense?

When Kelsey was 8, and still couldn’t walk, no walker seemed to work for her. We knew, if we didn’t find a walker soon, she would land in a wheelchair, permanently.

The ortho doc wrote a prescription for a reverse walker. The reverse walker was a miracle for Kelsey and our family. The walker enabled Kelsey to stand taller and straighter.

This was an exciting time. Kelsey was not only able to stand, but with the walker she could walk!

For those who don’t know, Kelsey has had cerebral palsy since birth.

According to the CDC, cerebral palsy “is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood.

Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles.”

Most people with CP have problems with movement and posture. Anyway, Kelsey has used reverse walkers for over 30 years.

But this year, 2017-18, the insurance won’t approve Kelsey’s $400 walker, because, they’ve determined it to be “cosmetic.”

However, they will approve an $8,000 wheelchair.

Does this make sense? I can’t get started on insurance companies. The premiums have hit an all time high, with less and less coverage.

I’m starting to hyperventilate. My blood pressure is rising. My heart rate has increased.

May I end with a song? Please substitute the following lyrics, to the tune, “Old McDonald had a farm.”

Insurance ain’t not nice, at all,

Please don’t charge me more.

The policies cost way too much,

Please don’t charge me more.

With a co-pay here, and a co-pay there,

Here a co, there a pay, everywhere a co-pay

Insurance ain’t not nice, at all,

Please don’t charge me more.

Deductibles have hit the roof

Please don’t charge me more.

Go see your doc, and there’s your proof

Please don’t charge me more.

Deduct some here, deduct some there,

Cover less, cover less, everywhere, they cover less

Insurance ain’t not nice, at all,

Please don’t charge me more.

Out of pocket’s hit sky high

Please don’t charge me more.

Our agent is a real nice guy,

Please don’t charge me more.

Drain a pocket, need more pockets.

Here a pocket, there a pocket, everywhere, an out of pocket.

Insurance ain’t not nice, at all,

Please don’t charge me more.

It’s just a walker, that’s all she needs.

Please don’t charge me more.

I wrote an appeal, I tried to plead.

Please don’t charge me more.

“Here’s a chair, there’s a cane

Take this crutch,” this is insane

Insurance just not nice, at all,

Please don’t charge me more.

-- Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.