I’m just getting ready to spend a little mom time with the boys this morning when the phone rings. I answered as soon as I see that 603 area code. It’s Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital.
“Hello?” I try to keep the shake out of my voice. I’m trying to remember what tests we’ve had run for Thing1 recently. But it’s not about any test, at least not any that Thing1 has taken recently.
“Hi, this is Susan,“ I don’t need her to tell me whose office she’s from. We’ve been in contact constantly over the last few weeks. She’s calling to make sure the medication approval went through on the pharmacy end and that we have received and given the first dose. It’s a checkup on the insurance company’s and the pharmacy’s test of following through.
Susan and her colleagues have been warriors for my son for the last month, tirelessly shuttling information back-and-forth between the doctors and the insurance company, re-submitting claims as often as they have to in order for him to get the drug and the dosage he needs. As I talk with her, she talks about strategies they use, and I realize this woman who went to nursing school to learn the intricacies of the human body and how to take care of it does this dozens of times each day for the rest of the pediatric patients that visit their practice.
We talk more. She asks about Thing1’s college plans. She makes a note to make sure the student disability services at his school has documentation for his disorder to make sure that he can stay healthy and on track with his future. She is so casual about the mountain of kindnesses, and I can tell she sees it as just another extension of taking care of her patients.
But I’ve come to see the nurses’ devotions to their patients’ financial ability to get the needed treatment, the efforts to keep a life limited disease from being the new normal, as nothing less than heroic.