Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the eye doctor

My worst healthcare fear came true this weekend. 

Jason woke up on Sunday morning with extreme eye pain in his right eye-the eye that has not yet had a cornea transplant.  His pain was so severe that even the slightest daylight reaching his eye would make him beg me to take him to the hospital.  

I was nervous for 2 reasons. 

1.  Jason never feels pain.  He has an incredibly high tolerance for pain.  When Jason says something is hurting I never mess around.  That morning I asked him what his pain level was on a scale of 1-10.  His reply was 50.  That is scary coming from him. 

2.  Our insurance doesn't start until August 1.  Yes, that's right, 6 days before our insurance coverage began Jason was in need of immediate medical attention.  I didn't know if I should go to the emergency room and somehow handle the bill or wait 6 more days to see the doctor and hope that his pain would subside by then.  

At that instant I did what everyone does.  I googled.  I said a teeny tiny prayer in my heart; you know the ones that you throw up with the best of intentions but don't really stop what you are doing to ask more humbly and sincerely? 

I searched for opthalmologists in northern Arizona, not really knowing why or how it would help us at that particular moment.  I was drawn to the third hit for some reason.  I visited the website and filled out the "please contact us" form.  Again, I don't know why I did this.  I wrote a brief message stating that my husband is a keratoconus patient suffering from acute eye pain.  I ended the message by asking if he had any experience in treating keratoconus or cornea transplants.  

Before I tell you what happened next, may I remind you that I wrote this message on a Sunday morning before 8am, obviously not business hours.  Minutes later I received a call from someone at the doctor's office wanting to know more about Jason's pain and condition.  I could not believe it.   

She said that we needed to notify the opthalmologist of his current state.  Within another few minutes Jason was speaking to the opthalmologist directly!  He spoke with Jason and pinpointed the cause of his eye pain.  He told Jason he would call in a prescription right then so that Jason could get the proper medicine right away.  

I was amazed.  I have been so very nervous about health insurance, Jason's eyes, co-pays, prescriptions, and everything else known as the headache of American healthcare.  During this fiasco we kept thinking how we could have gone to any doctor or hospital in New Zealand and Jason would have gotten the eye care he needed right then and there, no questions asked.  

So, why am I telling this experience?  Because once again we seem to just squeak by with exactly what we need at that point in time. There is no doubt in my mind that the doctor felt impressed to help Jason over the phone, even if he wasn't his patient.  The nice lady who happened to come across my little comment on the website felt as if it was serious enough to contact the doctor.  And the Google search.  Really, how do all these little things add up to exactly what we need?  

Once again I am grateful that our decisions are guided by Heavenly Father.  

And for the record, Jason has a doctor's appointment on August 1, the first day our insurance coverage begins.  Welcome to America. 



Janae said...

Larissa, thanks for sharing. It's stories like this that really build my testimony. And I needed it.

Jeff and Whitney said...

Thank goodness for those tender mercies! SO glad everything worked out. Also, I am so excited for you to start teaching again and to hear your stories!

McKenna said...

That really is an amazing story. You always have the best balance of humor, life stories, and gospel on your blog. I just love you! hope things work out well for Jason and his eyes!

Anonymous said...

Im happy we only had to pay $23.00 for the ordeal. To me thats the best blessing of all!!!