Friday, April 29, 2011

Bryam Healthcare Response.

As promised in a previous post, I am posting the response I received from Bryam Healthcare regarding a recent order to replenish a supply of catheter kits for our daughter Anna. You will probably agree that a good word to describe their response is L A M E! They responded via email, of course - they took the easy way out:

Good Morning, I received your e-mail in reference to issue with order on catheters and backorder.

I researched Anna’s Account and I apologize that you were not notified of the backorder. Byram’s Policy is to inform the customer either at the time the order is placed or if does not show at the time the order is processed then receiving a call or
e-mail from the representitative to inform of backorder.

I have notated your daughters account for you and your wife to be notified at once if a backorder occurs in the future so this does not happen again.

We appreciate your business and value you as a customer and hope this incident does not reflect your option of using another provider.

Any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at

1-800-234-1779 Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5pm standard time.

Thank you,

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spitting Image.

As the father of all girls, I obviously will not be consulted by our children on as many things as Sarah will. Sure, the girls may get an interest in a sport which I may be able to coach them on – the proper way to throw a softball or how to do a lay-up in basketball, for example. I will not be the “go to guy” for most tasks, however.

Sure, I can put the girls’ hair in ponytails. When Anna says “Daddy, I want a barrette in my hair”, I can handle that. The ponytail may come undone or the barrette may need to be adjusted, but I can get those jobs done. If the girls’ hair needs to be washed, sure I can do that. I am however, fully aware that as Allie, Anna and Emily move into adolescence, they will be going to mommy about all things girlie.

Keeping this in mind, I try to be a dad whenever the opportunity presents itself, even if it is just teaching my girls how to spit! That is correct; my role as mentor the last week or so has been teaching my girls the correct way to spit! Well, technically it is rinsing, but telling them that I am teaching them how to spit after brushing their teeth just sounds like so much more fun!

The decision to start conducting spitting clinics was made after the girls’ recent visit with the dentist. Because swallowing fluoride toothpaste could cause them to have an upset stomach, they need to get used to rinsing and spitting before we move them to fluoride toothpaste (they have been brushing with Orajel non-fluoride training toothpaste). So…last Saturday as the girls and I were getting prepared to do some errands, they asked what we needed at the store. I said “we need little cups so you guys can start learning how to spit after you brush”. That was all they needed to hear! At the grocery store, I pulled some Dixie brand bathroom cups off the shelf and Emily said “are these so we can spit, Daddy?” Yes, Emily.

That night, and every night since, they get all excited about standing in front of the bathroom mirror (on a stool, of course) to practice “spitting” with me. This is a job for Daddy, not Mommy. As Sarah told the girls last night “…no, I don’t know how to spit, daddy has to show you…” They get so proud of themselves too. After they spit, they go directly to Sarah and say “Mommy, I did it, I spit!”

The little pleasures of being a father take me a long way. Who would have thought spitting could be such a joyous thing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear Byram Healthcare.

Both Sarah and I are pissed off right now - See Sarah's post about the issue we are having with Byram, the company which supplies us with catherization kits for Anna. I thought I would share the email I sent to them. I'll be sure to post a follow-up. Although, based on our experience, I wouldn't doubt it if I do not receive a response. Here is the edited version of my email to Byram:

Good afternoon,

My name is Richard _______. My wife Sarah and I are the parents of Anna ______. Anna has spina bifida, and along with other needs, she needs to be catherized 5 - 6 times per day to prevent infection.

This email is to communicate our frustration and anger with the customer service (or lack thereof) we received with our most recent order of catherization kits.

As I have done for well over two years now, I went to Byram's online "Reorder Supplies" page and placed the same quantity order of Apogee Cath Kits that I have been ordering all along. I placed the order on Thursday April 14 or Friday April 15. From experience with prior orders, I expected the order to arrive in two to three buiness days. Monday April 18 came - no cath kits were delivered. Tuesday - nothing. Wednesday nothing. We had a family emergency Tuesday morning so my attention was diverted to my family. I called your customer service line on Thursday April 21 (around 8:00 pm?) to get a status of the order. This is the point at which Byram failed.

The representative informed me that the cath kits were on backorder and would not be delivered until at least Wednesday, April 27! Really!? And why hadn't we received a phone call or email telling us that? Byram distributes medical supplies to individuals like my daughter, who need them. After explaining that this was unacceptable and we only had enough kits to get us through the weekend, the representative basically told me "my supervisor is gone for the day - we will see if we can find some to send out to you tomorrow - sorry".

I called Byram the next day (Friday, April 22) and was told a "sample suppply" of 30 kits was mailed. On Monday, after contacting Anna's doctor to see if he had any kits, I called Byram again. This time I spoke with "E", who was very helpful. However, he pointed out to me two issues:

(1) the samples were not expected to arrive until Wednesday, April 27, which was too late and
(2) the backorder of Apogee kits would not be ready until May 27!!!

"E" was helpful in that he found a replacement kit made by another company - these kits were available and he agreed to replace the backordered Apogee kits with kits from Coloplast.

I write this email on Tuesday April 26 having not yet received any catherization kits from Byram and having only enough kits to catherize my daughter Anna today. If I had not been able to get a few kits from Anna's doctor, we would not be able to catherize Anna today.

What irks me the most about our situation is that it should not have happened.

I think we at least deserve answers to the following questions:

1.Why were we not informed of the backorder immediately?
2.Why didn't Byram offer the alternative kits when the Apogee kits were on backorder?
3.And finally, knowing we were out of kits, why wasn't the supply of 30 kits sent to us overnight or next day delivery?

We can be reached via this email address or home phone. Your attention to this email will factor into our decision(s) with regards to obtaining catherization kits in the future.

Rich _____

Monday, April 25, 2011


Some days are just good days, regardless of what is going on in life. Some days it doesn’t matter how tired I am, how stressed I am or how long my “to do” list is. This Easter was one of those days. I knew I had things to do for my classes, and sleep to catch up on, yard work to do, and running and….on and on and on…but I just let those things slide for a day.

The fun started for Sarah and me Saturday night when we played Easter Bunny and hid eggs around the house for the girls. I think we were as excited about seeing the girls hunt for the treasures as they were about the Easter Bunny’s arrival!

It had been a tiring week for everyone, especially Sarah. Her mom got real sick and ended up in the hospital Tuesday morning so both Sarah & I could have been justified in being miserable on Sunday. But we were not (a little cranky, but not miserable lumps). The end result was a simple but gratifying day which included the treasure hunt and visiting with both my family and Sarah’s family. The best part about our Easter however, was that we spent it with our three beautiful daughters.

Sarah did a mini photo shoot before we left the house so I took the opportunity to grab some video of my cuties. Anna is in blue, Allie is in the white dress and Emily wanted to be Tangled for the day so she wore the princess outfit:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birthday Hugs

Happy Birthday to the cutest and most lovable four year olds I know! Today, April 12, 2011 Sarah & I celebrate the birth of our beautiful daughters Alicenne Hope, Anna Abigail and Emily Blessing.

Happy Birthday!

Their party started last Saturday when we picked up their cake and had a little celebration at one of those “bouncy’ places. Here are a few clips from that day: