January 1 brings many different things for many different people. Maybe it marks a new beginning for some of you, exciting new ventures or projected goals with great intentions. And for some, it may bring just a continuation of the same, nothing much changes but the date.
For me, it started with viral bronchitis, double pink eye and my first visit to Urgent Care! I left there with four medications and my first inhaler ever. Way to start the new year, huh?!? I wish I could say that was the worst of it. No, it continues from there. But before we unpack it all, let's do a short review.
Eight Years Ago
As some of you may know, I have had a chronic health condition for the last eight years that began due to a failed knee replacement at that time. The surgeon did a phenomenal job, but my body developed a collagen disorder in response to the traumatic surgery. This has caused some significant issues in my life. I walk on two forearm crutches, and my body creates an abnormal amount of scar tissue in various parts of my body which results in a lot of inflammation, high levels of pain, fluctuating body temperatures and edema among many other things. In order to control all these symptoms, I have to take a whole regimen of medications every six hours to control my symptoms. It has been an eight year process of trying to find the right medications, in the right combination to work well with my body chemistry. Definitely not an easy task.
For all of these years I have seen many doctors who find my case absolutely fascinating but are not able to offer any helpful advice or suggestions. They simply see an unusual presenting problem and the “med student” inside of them comes out. They get excited about the mystery of it all, but that is not what I am looking for. I am looking for answers. So each time my heart rises thinking, “Maybe this doctor will know, or at least offer another piece to the puzzle,” but no, unfortunately it is a dead end many times. Just another inquisitive doctor.
Two Weeks Ago
I did have an exciting thing happen in this long difficult journey about two weeks ago. As a matter of fact, it was the last two weeks of December. My wonderful Pain Management doctor, Maryann Macci, reported that she was excited to try a new medicine with me. I was willing to try it, with a guarded heart I might add. The last three years have been a trial of at least 15-20 new medications with high hopes that it would be the answer but after three days it would not be effective. So back to square one of what to try next. That process alone was very difficult. Getting myself geared up to have a medicine finally be the one that could get my body under control, only to find it either caused migraines, a rash or had no effect at all was very hard. So, just like the doctor process, I have had to walk very guarded with new medications as to not have my heart fall so many times.
With that said, she told me what the new medication was and how to take it. I then called the pharmacy and since it was a specialty drug, they had to order it in. I got excited when the email came through that my Rite Aid script was filled and ready to be picked up. I went to get it and it was free! I had spent so much money on medications throughout the year, I actually had a credit so all my meds were free for November and December. Praise God!! I read the instructions and took the medication. By the second day I noticed a huge difference in a good way. My body had stopped hurting so bad, TKR leg wasn’t constantly swollen and my body temperature didn’t vacillate so much! It was amazing! I actually felt like I got my life back. I was so very thankful to God! This was such a breakthrough for me after so many people praying for me for so long. Finally a medicine that was controlling this disorder. The search for answers was over and finally, finally, finally I found the right combination.
I was due for my Pain Management visit, and I could not wait to see her. I exclaimed, “We found it, Maryann!! I danced, the best I can with one leg, around her office as she laughed and was so happy for me. It was a Praise God party!! She went ahead and refilled all of my meds and I left, so thankful that the search was over. I no sooner get to my car and called my pharmacist to see when I could pick everything up and he said, “The copay is $450.00”. I was stunned. My insurance did a reset on January 1st, so my $2000.00 deductible was back into the mix now. I asked for him to repeat it to make sure I had heard correctly. And then I replied, “I can’t take it.” I was utterly devastated. I left the doctor’s office in tears, got to my office and wept. And wept….. I made phone calls to my doctor and the insurance company throughout the day to get answers. All day, and subsequent days to follow, I had many conversations and tears with God, always remembering He is a good Father, a loving Father and a merciful Father. But, I also was very angry, confused and scared. I told Him I couldn’t understand why He would allow such a thing to happen- allowed me to experience a new way of life for two weeks and then allow it to be taken away. I didn’t understand. What was it all about?
So, as I was doing a few chores around the house this past weekend, I felt led to send out an email to my prayer warrior team. Whenever major things are happening in my life, there are times the Holy Spirit will lead me to gather my thoughts and notify my prayer team to have them pray for a specific thing. This was one of those times. I needed a breakthrough. I needed a quick breakthrough at that as I only had one day of medication left. I typed it out, explaining the situation and hit send. The very next morning, I received a text from a beautiful couple who knew of my situation and it stated that they WANTED TO PAY FOR A ONE-TIME REFILL FOR MY MEDICATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD BROUGHT THE BREAKTHROUGH! Yes, it’s one month’s worth, but it gives me the month to see how else God wants to move more mountains and perform more miracles.
I am so incredibly humbled by this act of kindness. I am so incredibly thankful to God. He is a good Father, a loving, merciful Father. He is a compassionate Father. He sees me, He sees YOU! He knows YOU!
So that’s how my first week of 2019 unfolded. My hope for you would be that you’d find this true story interesting, encouraging and even challenging. But most of all, my hope would be that you would hear an invitation. An invitation to talk to God yourself about those areas of your life that need a breakthrough, a miraculous change. The Bible says this about Jesus in the book of Isaiah:
Isaiah 61:1-3 1The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Once again, He is a good Father, a loving Father, merciful Father. He is a compassionate Father. He sees YOU! He knows YOU! He hears YOU! He LOVES YOU!!
Be blessed friends and thanks for reading,