“The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success.”-- Genesis 24:40
What is it about this woman that makes me cry every time every time I speak with her?
Nurse Jennifer called me again this week. She’s the nurse from my insurance company who has been checking up on me ever since I got out of the hospital last month.
She made the first call the day after I had been discharged from Lutheran Medical Center.
I was in such a fragile emotional state at the time that I started blubbering uncontrollably as she gave me all this great advice about making my apartment safe should I decide to have surgery.
Later I thought Jennifer was calling solely as a company employee, making sure that I wasn’t needlessly racking up medical bills.
However, I have since come to believe that this lovely woman has genuine goodness in her heart that has nothing to do with profit or loss.
Each of our chats starts off the same way. Jennifer recites some legal boilerplate spiel about the call possibly being recorded for instructional purposes and how the company values my privacy.
But then the tone of Jennifer’s voice immediately shifts from robotic to empathetic and she’s ready to hear my story and offer me advice and comfort.
I decided to call her the other week when I returned to work after getting a colonoscopy. It seemed that nothing whatsoever was working for me. I felt trapped, angry, and isolated, and I needed to talk to someone immediately—or sooner.
I could’ve reached out to a number of people but something made me call this total stranger who is just a voice on the telephone. But it’s a very special voice to me. So I dialed her number and promptly freaked out all over the phone.
Voice of Reason
“I want to quit my job!” I wailed. “I can’t take it anymore!”
Jennifer listened to me while I ranted and whined and then gently advised that this was probably not a good time to make such weighty decisions since I was so agitated and confused.
“I’ve been there,” she said with incredible sincerity. “I know what it’s like.”
Hearing her talk so gently and so sensibly helped calm me down. We agreed that if things really got so bad at work that if I couldn’t take it, then, yes, I should probably think about bailing.
She promised to call me in a week and, yes, I got all teary-eyed. Lord, I’m such a mutant…
Jennifer was as good as her word and she called me a few days ago. I was feeling much better by then, both emotionally and physically, and I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to do.
I told her I was getting second and third opinions on my condition and she said that was a good idea. And then we agreed that it was time to close the file on my case.
My company is switching to a new insurance carrier on the first of the year, much to my regret, so it is unlikely that Jennifer and I will speak again. I thanked her profusely for all her help and wished her and her family the best for the holidays.
“If you need to call me,” she said before she rang off, “please feel free.”
“I will,” I said, my voice cracking, “take care.”
And once again I started to cry.