Miracle Drugs

English: This is a picture of a Walgreens pres...

Walgreens prescription bottle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Medical coverage may be optional for some but for me, because of a sleeping disorder, living a normal, functioning life becomes quite a challenge without the aid of several prescription drugs. Two of the three I take daily however, are ridiculously expensive (one is now up to $6,700 a month!!!) without health insurance to cover the bulk of the cost. In the Fall of 2006, I had a lapse in coverage between when I was no longer eligible under my dad’s health insurance plan provided by his job and when I became eligible working at Starbucks. Here’s the story of how, in spite of my worrying and gross lack in faith, my heavenly Father provided for this practical need:

In the Spring of 2006 I graduated from Multnomah University. I moved home to California and was living with my dad in Rohnert Park. Up until then, I had been a full-time student keeping me eligible to be on my dad’s health insurance plan. In August of ’06 I turned 24, the age cutoff for dependents on my dad’s insurance plan through his work. My coverage extended through the end of the month of August and just prior, I had my prescriptions filled to get me through most of September. Three weeks into September I started back at Starbucks (I had worked for Starbucks previously in the Fall of 2002). Starbucks offers full medical, dental and vision coverage to all “partners” working a minimum 20 hours a week. These benefits are available to employees after a 90-day probationary period. My hire date was the 19th of September so I had most of three months to get through before my coverage through work would begin.

When I was first diagnosed I was put on a prescription drug that was effective in helping me to be more wakeful but also made me really high-strung and jittery among other negative side-effects. I wasn’t on that drug for more than a few months before I switched to something even more effective with few-to-no side-effects. The thing about the first drug is it is really cheap; even without any insurance it is quite affordable. Shortly before I was to run out at the end of September, I called my sleep doctor. I spoke with Patty, the P.A. at the office. I told her my predicament and offered the one faithless solution I could think of which was to switch to the cheaper drug for three months until I had insurance again. I really didn’t want to take the other drug but sorely lacked the vision and creativity of my all-powerful and loving Father. Patty responded:

“Which drug do you need? Provigil? Why don’t you come on down to the office? I think some samples just arrived earlier this week. I’ll see what I can do.”

When I arrived, I was thinking maybe she could give me a few days worth or a week or two at most but to my surprise and delight I left with a whole month’s supply!

“Awesome, Lord! Thank you!” But where was my faith four weeks later? I was back on the phone, this time with the doctor repeating the same faithless resignation to switch to the cheaper drug until my health insurance coverage started. His response?

“You know what? We just received more samples of Provigil. Swing by the office and I’ll give you what I’ve got. Maybe it will be enough to tie you over.”

And it was.

C.S. Lewis in his book, “Miracles,” defines a “miracle” as: “an interruption with nature that can only be explained by appealing to supernatural power.” Dr. Koivisto, a professor of mine from college, “expanded Lewis’ definition to ‘an interruption with nature *or the natural course of affairs* that can only be explained by appealing to supernatural power.’ He called Lewis’ definition a Class A miracle while, ‘a natural course of affairs that can only be explained by…’ as a Class B miracle. Examples of this latter type would be like the plagues in Egypt (normally happen, but the timing, intensity, and sequenciation can only be explained by appealing to supernatural intervention). Or, like the coin in the fish’s mouth in Matthew (Jesus said it would be the first fish caught, and the exact coin needed).”

It is not uncommon for doctor’s offices to receive samples from prescription drug manufacturers. What makes this a miracle is the samples my doctor received were, of the many drugs on the market today, the one drug I needed most. How else can I explain the timing of when they arrived, the quantity sent and the fact the manufacturer sent a second large shipment of samples of the same drug, to the same office, only a month later?

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