So much of life is waiting for situations to resolve, one way or the other. I received a notification from my insurance company a couple of weeks ago. They requested a medical record review to determine the “medical necessity” of some scans I have scheduled at the Mayo Clinic as part of my diagnostic work-up for Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD).

When insurance companies ask for a record review for the kind of procedures I do as a clinical psychologist, the review can take a very long time. When I received my letter, I thought, “Okay, this trip to Mayo may not happen in July, or perhaps ever.”

The Mayo Clinic won’t see me unless I am able to do all of the things they do to assess SCAD. Plane tickets and hotels have been reserved. My schedule is open for the week of hypothetical travel. As a self-employed person, that means I have no income coming in that week.  I’ve invested emotionally, physically, and financially in this trip.

I tried not to think about this too much and I was about 60% successful. My daughter is transferring to Western Washington University in the fall. This is good news but it presents logistical and emotional challenges. She missed the deadline for student housing and needs an apartment. I saw an opening in my schedule to take her for a few days to Bellingham, WA, near the Canadian border, to look for apartments. I talked to John first. He thought it was a good idea. My kid thought it was a good idea, too. I then cancelled three days of work and spent many hours lining up apartment visits.

Meanwhile, all of us were freaking out about the girl moving out, in our own individual ways. The girl freaked out about living on her own. So did hubby. To make a long story short, I was the only one ready to make the trip to Bellingham. I was mad, to say the least. But I wasn’t mad for long. I had a chat with John and told him that apartment hunting was a one-parent job, not a two-parent job, and that I didn’t need to be the parent in charge. He was happy to take over. Then I hit the road and decided to make the three days a personal retreat, something I wanted to do this summer, anyway, and had to cancel due to the stupid heart attacks. I had a great time and came back home refreshed.

Meanwhile, I was waiting on word from either my insurance or the Mayo Clinic. As it is, I used frequent flier miles to book two separate return tickets home. The first ticket is the “evaluation goes as planned” ticket. The second one is later, in case I need two days of extra scans and appointments. The Mayo Clinic suggested that I plan accordingly, so I did. I am hoping to return earlier not just to save money on hotels. The girls’ university orientation/registration/apartment hunting trip is happening on Monday, 7/24. I want to be there.

This is logistical complexity that stresses me out more than a bit. It gives me great empathy for the many folks for whom the logistics of healthcare dominate their lives. They have to live the rest of their lives on the edges, assuming that they don’t sleep through that part. Being sick is exhausting. Getting better from being sick is also exhausting.

I am a woman of some means and a hugely supportive network of friends and family. This experience makes me think about the rest of our country. What the hell, America? People are worth something. Healthy people are worth something, even if one is being selfish and crass. Oh yeah, this whole Trump being president thing is also a chronic stress for me. Imagine if I were an immigrant? Or any other marginalized person?

The good news is that I got my follow-up letter from my insurance two days ago. My scans have been pre-authorized. Some unqualified insurance employee has deemed that the Mayo Clinic can do their job and that I can benefit from their expertise. This is a positive outcome to a negative process. For now, I will focus on my trip to Rochester, MN.

Peace to you, dear friends.