One step forward
Friday January 09th 2009, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Crohn's flare,Politics

Let me try again to finish this, I’ve been working at it in bits and pieces.  I can sit up for short times…

Dr. R’s nurse called this morning, and her voice was dancing: she told us to call Caremark at this number.

We did. Blue Cross had finally authorized the Humira.  But: Caremark had not.  They were running it past their risk assessment team. And they were still trying to decide what the billing would be, what the co-payment would be.

I was stunned. Were they afraid of the liability of selling me a dangerous drug? It IS dangerous, I know that–I read the experimental results and side effects re its near-cousin Remicade before I started that five years ago: it could cause MS.  Lupus. (Beatcha.)  But you do what you’ve got to do.

Richard assured me all pharmacies run all meds through a computerized thing so that one med won’t cause damage alongside another. Okay, but that doesn’t take hours.

Several hours later, they were still working on it.   I told the woman if there were anywhere we could drive to within 200 miles of the San Francisco Bay Area to pick it up, we would, that this was a life or death situation.  We knew it wasn’t something a pharmacy would have lying around on the shelf, but if they could somehow get it to one of their Caremark-affiliated pharmacies if it was a problem getting to us, then okay?… Whatever it takes!

She sounded very sympathetic.  She said they were waiting for “authorization from the doctor.” I called my nurse back, who exclaimed, “They *WHAT?*” And vowed to immediately take care of THAT problem for me!

And from there on out, all we could get through to was the voicemail of the lady at Caremark. The receptionist even tried her supervisor for me.  Forget it. It is after 7:00 pm Central time, the time they close up for the day and I assume the weekend.  They bailed on me.  There is no Humira.

And yet… It could well be that tomorrow morning it will be there at our doorstep; I just don’t know.  They wouldn’t tell me.

But in spite of all that mess, I have to add one other thing: yesterday, given how awful I was doing, I asked Richard and he called our friend Eric and in the evening, Eric came over and the two of them gave me a blessing, Mormon style.  A way of saying we have done what we can; we put it entirely now in the hands of God in our moment of need.

And in that blessing with their hands on my head, Richard felt impressed to say out loud something we both already knew: that family was praying for me, friends were praying for me, people I didn’t know were praying for me.  And as he said that

Okay stop a moment and collect myself here

As he said that, I got a sense of the tiniest glimpse of the love of God, at His joy that His children were looking out for one another and caring for one another, and that all those prayers and love and Thinking Good Thoughts, thinking beyond themselves to a fellow human in need, mattered.  And made a difference.

I knew then that I would make it to when this Humira comes, whenever that might turn out to be.

I want you to know I do feel your prayers.  I had a sense of each individual one said for me while I was being given that blessing.  It was powerful.  I can’t begin to describe…  You do much good, every single one of you.  And I am profoundly grateful.

And a little stronger today for it.

46 Comments so far
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Alison, it feels strange saying this in a comment box. But right now, other than in your inbox, or I find your number somewhere and call you, this is it, to tell you:

I love you with all my heart, my dear friend.

I’ve been trying to will people to give you the Humira, NOW!! Many people are praying, and doing their darndest. It is mindboggling to me that you should be the “victim” of a phone system, or office hours, or a slow computer. A week and a half of bleeding is so incredibly much time…

But I do not want to sit here and wring my hands, when it is no use to do so. Whatever happens, happens, and I trust you completely to take the lead, which you are, I can tell by asking for the blessing.

You are an amazing woman, and that does not begin to cover it, I feel very very blessed to know you.

I do hope we will see each other again in this lifetime. I don’t mean that in a selfish way…only because I think we might still learn a lot from you…

Sending much much love to you, and your family, and everyone who cares for you.

Comment by karin 01.09.09 @ 7:09 pm

God bless you and keep you in his care!

Comment by Leslie 01.09.09 @ 7:18 pm

We all love you – and pray for you, each in our own way – you’re special


Comment by Mary Seabrook 01.09.09 @ 7:22 pm

*germ-free hugs* & love. Wishing you as much goodness as I know how. <3

Comment by Amy 01.09.09 @ 7:36 pm

I have been thinking about you all day wondering if all went well, hoping all went well. I have also been checking for an update all day to make sure all is going well.

Still send thoughts and hugs

Comment by Qutecowgirl 01.09.09 @ 8:24 pm

I am so relieved to read this, I’ve been checking my email obsessively to see if you’d stopped by. See you on the other side of the Humira, and please, take care!

Comment by Michelle 01.09.09 @ 8:24 pm

So, what? They go home to their Friday dinner while you fight not to die? I hope it sits very badly in their stomachs (I was going to say I hope they choke on it, but decided to lead with kindness, as you always do).

Thank you for posting. I’m here, thinking of you, pulling for you. Wish I could do more.

Comment by Lene 01.09.09 @ 8:33 pm

My daughter said to tell you she sends her good wishes. I want you to be ok. My whole family was escited when I told them you had posted and they wanted to know how you are doing. You have no idea how many people you have touched, and are touching,during this ordeal.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 01.09.09 @ 8:35 pm

Saying it again; love and love and LOVE your way.

Lucy’s doing better, so you will be too. I just know it. 🙂

We’re not done with you just yet, my lovely lady.

Comment by Kristine 01.09.09 @ 8:35 pm

You are such a neat, brave person. I’m amazed at how you can find love and blessings in the midst of your suffering. It makes us see how we have no room to complain about our petty aggravations. Hang in there my dear.



Comment by Bev 01.09.09 @ 8:53 pm

While I might be frustrated and impatient about all the roadblocks, I am confident because I have no doubt that God is in charge.

Love and hugs to make your wait easier.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 01.09.09 @ 9:31 pm

There is nothing I can say that hasn’t been said a dozen times already. One more person who may never have met you but has enjoyed what you write and has knitted your patterns. The world is a better place having you in it. You have my love and my prayers.

Comment by Kit 01.09.09 @ 9:33 pm

Been checking to see your progress here… Charles and I are praying, and you will make it on prayer and the Grace of God til that med shows up on your doorstep. Thank God for your army of prayer warriors! You have so many better days and years ahead to look forward to. Be strong, dear friend!

Comment by Bonnie 01.09.09 @ 9:42 pm

Still doing what I can at this end. You keep doing your part, and God, although unseen, is most certainly doing His!

Comment by Ruth 01.10.09 @ 12:24 am

I woke up last night around 1:30am and couldn’t get right back to sleep and rather than carry on with the book I was reading decided to start Sister Wendy on Prayer. Turns out Sister Wendy gets up at 1:30am to fit in the majority of her seven hours of contemplative prayer! “The silent hours of the night are broken by no sounds apart from the occasional owl hoot.” It was a peaceful time to pray.

It doesn’t sound to me like “Care”mark is in the business of health care provision, rather more like health care obstruction. Hope you can remain peaceful and calm while their Circumlocution Office gets its act together!

Comment by LynnM 01.10.09 @ 1:49 am

You are feeling prayers, Alison! Take care, my internet friend.

Comment by Carol 01.10.09 @ 5:35 am

I’m glad you feel our prayers.

I am so angry about Caremark. I am absolutely disgusted…

Comment by Amanda 01.10.09 @ 6:14 am

Oh Alyson, I continue to pray for you. There is nothing more powerful than the power of prayer. Keep telling yourself everything will work out. It will and you will be back to very good health soon. Hugs Bonnie

Comment by Bonnie 01.10.09 @ 6:40 am

Holding you so very close, AngelHeart.

Comment by marianne 01.10.09 @ 6:44 am

I am so happy you are feeling a little stronger today. We will all continue to pray and send good thoughts your way.

Comment by sonya 01.10.09 @ 7:39 am

Alison, you are in my prayers, too. I’ll add your name to the prayer list at my church. I belive that God can work miracles and that one is in store for you.


Comment by lyn sims 01.10.09 @ 8:20 am

Been wondering why we haven’t been getting your wonderful stories lately on KnitTalk… Sorry that this is why. I’ll definitely be praying for you.

Comment by Ruth in So. MD 01.10.09 @ 8:46 am

Blessings, love, and prayers to you. And big hugs, of course! I got tears in my eyes when you wrote of feeling the love of God through the prayers of all your friends. I know exactly how that feels — I felt it while my husband was in his last days, and so many of our family, friends, and even strangers were praying for us. Stay strong, my dear.

Comment by Pegi 01.10.09 @ 9:08 am

I’m seeing that bag on your porch! Praying for it to be there!

Comment by Sheila E 01.10.09 @ 9:32 am

Thinking of you. I’m working on a friends and family sort of blanket that includes all my hand-me-down yarn. When I knit on it, I think of everyone in my life and how we’re all connected. Even the people I’ve never met in person.

Comment by Joelle 01.10.09 @ 9:36 am

It looks like humility is working for you, but if it stops you could try what has worked for me with my chronic health issues:

Put your right hand in the air. Make a fist.
Make like an anarchist. Refuse and resist!

I don’t know if you have noticed this, but the oldest of the old tend to be very prickly characters. Best of luck.

Comment by Valerie 01.10.09 @ 9:46 am

A friend of mine, who is Native American, had a drum circle last night. We put you in the circle. I saw you dancing, long gray hair flowing, all night long.

Comment by Linda W 01.10.09 @ 9:54 am

Thank you so much for continuing to find the strength to write and let us know how you’re doing and what is happening. There are a lot of us out here who really need to know. We love you, and we are all sending you our very best thoughts, prayers and hugs!

Comment by AmyS 01.10.09 @ 10:57 am

I think about you every day, and hope for your getting well. I have a baby girl here on my lap who is looking forward to knowing you in the years to come. *hug*

Comment by Meg 01.10.09 @ 11:05 am

Alison, I wish there were something I could do to help you besides pray for you. Have you tried calling your senator to maybe express things for you? Continued prayers and a great big hug!!!

Comment by Joansie 01.10.09 @ 11:11 am

I am putting Alison day on my calender, as reminder to “alison” someone that day (give a thoughtful gift to someone that isn’t expecting one). December 13 is your birthday, isn’t it? That would be a good day.
Our prayers are with you.

Comment by slimsdotter 01.10.09 @ 11:18 am

I just got another spam email from Online Canadian Pharmacy. I bet they sell Humira at the lowest price along the viagra and cialis. I don’t think you’d need your you know what enlarged, though.

Comment by Michelle 01.10.09 @ 11:41 am

I know about those blessings. I have received my share of them, and for me the best part of them is not the healing [though I am always thankful for that] but the *comfort*. Your wonderful b-i-l asked me to pray for you, last Sunday, and I am looking forward to talking w/him tomorrow and telling him that you *know* we all are. Much, much love from the Lone Star State.

Comment by Lynn 01.10.09 @ 11:43 am

Hi Alison,
Just a note to let you know I’m thinking of you and praying for you today…and sending you HOPE to hold onto….I’ve found Hope to be a pretty powerful ally in the rough times…and I hope when you wake up Monday morning, the lady who went home without giving you an answer, is standing on your doorstep – to hand deliver your Humira to you – along with a nice, hot mug of hot chocolate and some freshly baked sticky buns!
You’re in my thoughts and prayers…

Comment by Abby 01.10.09 @ 1:02 pm

It seems that everyone is praying for you and God is watching over you. I am sending even further blessings. I would also like to say that the American medical system is criminal! We all complain about our respective medical systems but yours is criminal when the dollar and bureaucracy come before the welfare of people. I am praying that someone tries to change things for all of you!

Comment by Vicki 01.10.09 @ 4:37 pm

Bypass the insurance company–get the med any way you can! Just have Dr. R. order it if he has to. Play with the insurance company later–they’ll crumble and pay.

And may God rest His hands on you and keep you strong. We are ALL praying for you. (no response required…just conserve your strength) *hug*

Comment by Karen 01.10.09 @ 4:39 pm

Love you, darling, and hoping you’re well.

Comment by Kristine 01.10.09 @ 6:00 pm

Still sending prayers. With each stitch I knit tonight and each snowflake from the glorious sky, I will pray for you. Just for you, my friend.

Comment by marcy 01.10.09 @ 6:46 pm

I just sat down to get caught up on my blogs, and I’m so sorry to see this. I will light a candle for you tomorrown and pray tonight for your “healing of soul and body” (as we pray in our church–feeling that it’s the entire package). May the Humira come through, may the pain and suffering cease, and may you continue to feel the joy and presence of God.

Comment by Carina 01.10.09 @ 6:51 pm

Blessings to you, and to the *DEAR* souls bogging down the Humira. Pray for our enemies, right? (No, they’re not really enemies, but dang!!!!)

Comment by Channon 01.11.09 @ 7:08 am

I just returned from taking my mother from San Diego to northern Virginia to a new alzheimer’s residence (with my dear sister’s help) to find out that you have been so ill. My prayers have been answered about my mother being able to be closer to where my brother lives – I will add you to my list.

Comment by Melanie Zahara 01.11.09 @ 10:57 am

Wishing you strength and health from Oklahoma. You are so loved!


Comment by Chris Murphy 01.11.09 @ 12:29 pm

My priest said she was going to keep you in her prayers (and you’re being put on our congregation’s prayer list). So a lot of weirdo Vermonter types are praying for you… 😀

Love from your favorite oldest daughter.

Comment by Sam Hyde 01.11.09 @ 5:45 pm

I was reading your blot. Someone on a knitting list sent it. I have Lupus and know what you are going through. I don’t take Humira, but just hate insurance companies and drug companies. Glad you got a blessing. For me they always work to lessen my pain. Sending prayers and gentle hugs your way.

Comment by Dorothy 01.11.09 @ 10:02 pm

Thought of you all weekend — especially as I was sitting in the Scharffenberger Cafe sipping my Chocolate Chai Latte. You hang in there. Love and prayers, Jocelyn

Comment by Jocelyn 01.12.09 @ 6:27 pm

Oh, Alison I’m so sorry I haven’t been here. My son has been sick. He was supposed to be having surgery today, but it’s been put off until next week. I just haven’t been able to keep up.

But, please know that I have not stopped thinking of you and wondering how you are. As always, I will pray.

Comment by Momo Fali 01.16.09 @ 9:00 pm

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