We have to get Beaudin a COVID test for his procedures at CHOP. The procedures can happen, positive or not, but if he is positive they have to provide a negative pressure room which is in a different part of the hospital. Normally, we go to Walgreens the day before our flight. But today when I went to book the appointment there it said the test which is normally free, would be $134 and not covered by insurance.
So, I called insurance.
Last week, when I called about something else, some call center woman in India told me that I wasn’t listed on the account and to “commence the discussion of the patients account,” I would need to submit the patient’s signature on a release form.
“He is 10. He isn’t even legally able to go to the hospital without me. You can’t be serious.”
“Ma’am, thank you for your generosity of understanding that this is the procedure for continuation.”
I have spoken to insurance about Beaudin’s account many, many times. I know that I am verified on his account, but no matter what I said, or how I explained it, she held the line.
“You are not listed ma’am. I have nothing official linking you to this patient.”
I hung up the phone and immediately started to cry. Nothing official linking me to the patient?
Could I show the call center woman in India the ache inside my bones? The constant, dull worry that something is going to happen? That IgG is going to cause a reaction, that his appetite isn’t going to return, that the insurance isn’t going to go through, that the spinal fluid is going to show the cells.
Can the aching worry that this shit show has traumatized into the deepest parts of me show the call center woman in India that I am verified to speak on the account because the patient is my baby?
I’ve gotten better about crying on the phone with insurance people. Or hospital schedulers. Or even dental office front desk ladies who ask questions that seem innocent, but trigger me in the most embarrassing of ways.
I’ve gotten better about crying in public. Not because crying in public is a problem because honestly cry wherever you want, but there is something about not knowing what, where and for how long you are going to sob that makes engaging in normal life, well, complicated.
Now-a-days I can control when and where I cry, mostly. But some situations surprise me. It turns out when the call center woman in India tells me that I can’t be found in the paper trail, the ache drips in hot tears down my face.
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