Friday, July 8, 2011
Looking Behind Me
I whittled away the day at Baltimore Washington Medical Center where my brother had a total hip replacement on Wednesday. Today my mother joined him there as an outpatient for a pulmonary function test. I spent a couple hours shuttling between the two of them, remembering two years ago when I wore a path down the hallways while my mother was a patient there after a lung re-section that excised a cancerous tumor. BWMC was my mother's second hospital that July. By the time she was admitted she could barely swallow; she had trouble keeping food down and was in constant pain.
Today I recognized the hallway where I once stood at the window looking out across the parking lot at the trees while I talked on the phone with some cubicle-ite at Aetna Insurance. I was begging for confirmation that my new insurance policy would be activated before I was dropped from my ex-husband's policy. I had already had my chiropractor and dermatologist provide the minutiae Aetna had requested. "You already know everything about me," I explained. "I've been covered by Aetna for the last twenty years. All I'm trying to do is change from my husband's Aetna policy to my own Aetna policy." The new policy department could not access the records department, they told me. The conversation didn't end successfully , but before I made it to the elevator to go back up to my mom, my phone rang again. It was my friend Suzanne.
I sobbed into the phone. "Go back to your mom," she said. Then she told me she'd call my ex- husband and ask him to keep me on his insurance policy for a few more weeks--which she did, and he agreed.
Now two summers later, I'm amazed and grateful that I still have my mother--and as I think back on the four years since my marriage ended, I'm so thankful for all the things that my friends have done to help me.