I have had assistance in unexpected places the past few weeks. In addition to friends, family, doctors and awesomely supportive survivors there have been two unusual standouts – my insurance and Nordstrom’s.
First, Aetna. We grumble greatly about health care in America – in truth it is more of a “sick care” system that we all must endure when we are unhealthy, already in the weeds. I have experienced what life would be like with a preventative element – a caring, supportive system that would see you through your goals and assist you when you did touch your toe into the medical arena.
Aetna has provided me with a case manager – a former oncology nurse who calls me each week to check on my progress, assist me with any questions I might have, tell me where I should ask more questions, and let me know how to navigate these uncharted waters. I know to them in some ways I am a sudden aberration in their data – spiking high costs of chemo and procedures. But their response has been compassionate, helpful, and effective. And for that, I thank Aetna.
It was my case manager, Mary Anne, who first brought Nordtrom’s to my attention. Clearly, growing up in San Francisco, I need no introduction. In fact, my girl scout troop did inventory to make extra money. I participated in a fashion show for Brass Plum … and my first prom dress was from the same department. I well remember “my store” as well as the flagship downtown with the circular escalators.
I learned during motherhood of their first commitment to service above and beyond – they measure your children’s feet exactly, assist in special sizing, and of course have the fabulous return policy ( no questions asked, whenever). When I made my first voyage to a store with Henry in tow I learned of their commitment to nursing mothers – a complete room with comfortable chairs and a special changing station.
Imagine my surprise when Aetna tells me that Nordstrom’s is where I need to shop now – in my time of need, transition, and uncertainty. Mr. Nordstrom’s Mom had breast cancer you see, and ever after has remained vigilant in providing a smooth, supportive environment for supporting survivors. They have special staff members who have been trained in prosthesis and orthodics. They measure you individually for the compression garment post operation, and then will specially fit you for your prosthesis – two little chicken patties that come in a variety of sizes, perkiness, and function.
There are special ones for swimming I learned (you don’t want them to float up and ride on the water) and there are some especially designed for hot weather that have bumps on the side that face skin to allow air movement.
Nordstrom’s will also sew pockets into any garment that you buy there for your ladies to hang out. No charge. The ladies and the garment were covered by insurance.
The assistant was so caring, the fitting was so enjoyable and fun that I went and bought some sassy shoes – red is the hot color and I know have ankle boots. The women in shoes thought I had a purposeful Pat Benatar haircut which is quite stylish. I’m not sold but I did buy the shoes.
Is it weird that I look forward to my follow up visit? There might be some serious shopping.