Are you sure you scheduled the flight for the right day? Better go check that confirmation email again. For the eightieth time. Can I check a car seat? Did I request a peanut-free flight? Is an epiPen going to hold us up in security? Did the medical records ever show up? SHIT! They didn’t. Well, that’d be because I am so technologically advanced that I don’t know how to work a dang fax machine. Why can’t I just scan and email these things? There should totally be an app for that. Call the Ronald McDonald house, just to see. Okay, so both Denver area houses are completely full right now. Better book a hotel just in case. Not a great hotel, but a decent hotel. Someplace I’ll feel safe staying alone with a four year old, someplace clean with a fridge and microwave so I can feed him, someplace I can cancel if a spot opens at the RMD house, someplace that won’t eat up our entire travel budget. Maybe that hotel…but this one’s a better deal…but why is it so cheap? Is it because it’s horrible? Read some reviews…OHMUHGAWD stop reading reviews.
[If I’ve learned nothing else in this process, I’ve learned that the majority of people who leave reviews for hotels are doing so because they are PISSED about something. For the love of all that’s holy, please let that NOT be the only thing I learn in this process.]
What else am I doing? I’m making lists of what to pack in our checked luggage, what to carry on, what I might be able to mail out there, what I’ll need to buy when I get there. I’m making lists of allergy-friendly restaurants, phone numbers I might need, fun places to take Davis on the weekend, places to pin on Google maps. Yeah. I’m going kind of crazy with the lists. But if I don’t, I will surely forget something important. Of course, I’m pretty sure I will forget something regardless and all I can really do is hope it’s not something too important.
I’ve been going around and around with people at the insurance company and the hospital, trying to figure out exactly what questions to ask and then how to interpret the answers I get. I’m not even going to get into trying to tell you how exhausting that is.
Does any of this sound stressful? It absolutely is. But you know what? I am SO THANKFUL for this stress. I am SO INCREDIBLY GLAD to be deciding what hotel to stay in. I’m THRILLED to be able to inform my insurance company that I WILL be taking my son to Denver and my only question at this point is how much are they going to pay for. I’m GRATEFUL that I have these choices to make. I would not have been able to make them a month ago.
Davis quietly informed me last week that he was embarrassed people were helping him. I told him, quite honestly, that I understood exactly what he meant. I know the feeling of being afraid to ask for help, ashamed that you need it, unsure that you really deserve it. That is why I asked FOR him. That is why others have stepped up and asked FOR me. So, from Davis and from me, thank you again to everyone who has helped get us to the point where I can choose what hotel to book. Thank you to everyone who has pushed me to ask for help or asked for help on my behalf.
And just in case you’re concerned that I haven’t learned anything else, let me include another list.
Things I've Learned So Far:
- People have an amazing capacity for goodness, even on the internet
- I am, in fact, a grown up. Even if I forget sometimes
- You can check a carseat, EpiPens are not considered a flight risk, and Southwest is the BEST airline to fly with (in my experience so far)
- The paper must be facing UP when faxing or all they’re going to get is a blank page
- Our system of medical records sharing could really use an upgrade
- It may require a lot of extra effort, but it really does pay to compare hotel prices and amenities
- The Pied Piper Eatery in Nashville has the most amazing Buffalo chicken in the world
- My son may give the impression of being happily oblivious, but there is a lot of thinking and stewing going on behind those goofy giggles. It’s worth pushing a bit to get it out of him.
- People WANT to help if they can, but they won’t ever know you need it if you don’t ask