Back in March when it started to look like there might be a shortage of the medication I take for my lupus my doctor wrote me a 90-day scrip. Typically, he just fills for 30 days because this isn’t a harmless medicine. Taking it requires lots of monitoring.
This is why two months later I was surprised when I got a text message from the pharmacy saying my refill was ready. I didn’t need more but by this time there was a shortage so I went to pick it up. When I got there, they told me it’d been a mistake because my insurance was denying it. I assumed this was because it was too soon to fill so I didn’t worry much about it.
Flash forward to this week when I actually need a refill, I got another denial. After a little investigation it was determined that my insurance company had, mid-pandemic, changed their formulary and would only pay for a very limited quantity. The cost to cash pay is so outrageous that I would have to spend more than my monthly premium to buy it. This is capitalism at its finest with opportunistic price gouging.
I got off the phone with the insurance company and melted down. It felt like a punch in the gut. When I put my head in my hands Luke who sits across from me at work said,
“What’s wrong mom?”
“I just can’t seem to catch a break.”
“You know it’s not just one thing. Yes, there’s one more new thing but since January I have had to deal with so much BS, I’m beyond exhausted. I feel utterly defeated.
His eyes grew wide and I could see they got a little glossy. “I’m sorry Mom.”
“Are you going to be okay?”
“I hope so.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well don’t give up. You gotta fight mom. Don’t let the system win.”
“I know bud.”
He said a few more encouraging things and I somehow managed to finish my work. When I got in my car to go home, I turned the stereo on and with the opening riff I knew Luke had gotten ahold of my phone. I heard the guitar first and then my latest fav phrase, “Kick-It”. It was the Beastie Boys, “Fight for Your Right”—my 2020 anthem.
My heart filled with gratitude for the boy. He knows the struggle has been more than real and he knows humor is what helps the most because there’s been nothing funny about what I’ve had to deal with —COVID 19, dog attack, lupus flare and all that comes with that. I’ve been forced to navigate through a system where customer service is an oxymoron. I’m not suggesting I’ve had bad caregivers I’m saying they work in a broken system so delivering great care is really hard. When the hospital that owns my doctor’s, practice violates my privacy by sending confidential information to the wrong Karen Davis—and subsequently my credit gets hacked I think I’ve earned the right to say WTF. The irony is, they never send the bill to the wrong place.
I’m not being melodramatic here. This has been my life in 2020 and the mental battle has been as hard as the physical battle. More than once I have told my family that if it weren’t for my Mom needing me to be healthy, I would just let whatever happens happen.
Of course, this isn’t true. That’s just the fatigue talking. I don’t want to give up. I just need a lot of help hanging onto my fighting spirit. This is why Luke nailed it with his funny gesture. Right now, I don’t need prayer for healing as much as I need the Holy Spirit to keep me in the fight. I know God is going to heal me, my greater need is mercy for the journey.
The beautiful thing about this I’ve learned is that He always answers this prayer. God is all about tender mercies. Yesterday it came in the form of peaches from my friend Jill delivered in the sweltering heat. Other days it’s taken the form of lemonade or a funny text message. Some days it’s been a note or a phone call from Roy D. Mercer. Pennies still work and a well-timed Bible verse sent my way is like manna from heaven. Snuggles from Buddy are priceless too!
This is how God keeps me in the race but it requires people to do His work. God isn’t going to sprout a peach tree in my backyard. He’s also not going to call me because He doesn’t tele-market. However, He does speak and He will use any available voice.
I share this not to solicit your call. I share it because odds are you have someone in your circle who needs their song played for them. They need to be reminded that during some seasons of your life you have to fight for your right to party. It’s not just handed to you on a silver platter like a glass of champagne. It’s messy, time consuming, and sometimes super frustrating—but every life serves a purpose and that purpose is not fulfilled until God calls you home.
So, get busy. For every friend you have that might need your brand of kindness send it their way. If you don’t think encouragement is your gift or you’re the person who needs to be encouraged do it anyway. We get what we give. It’s just that simple. No race is ever won by the runner alone.