As 2017 is closing, I found myself feeling very afraid for the new year. I had just found out last week that the sky was not, in fact, the limit when it came to how much the car insurance would be paying of my medical bills. Apparently there is a PIP (Personal Injury Protection) limit with your insurance company. So I had to call up my insurance adjuster and get a good idea where we were at with that. Sounded like we had enough left. He wasn’t worried. However, the next day, I found out that the PT office stopped billing my insurance two months ago. I’m guessing because five bills were not paid that were submitted, but I had already talked to the insurance adjuster the week before about that. All he needed was some chart notes to process those. He was going to call and let them know.
They, on the other hand, decided I was past my PIP limit. And instead of finding out what my insurance was or if I needed to switch to another physical therapists office because they don’t take my insurance, they chose to do nothing. They didn’t alert the people in the office who work with me every time I go in, they didn’t call me and ask me what my next step would be, they didn’t call the insurance adjuster and see what the problem was. Nothing. So, now, two months worth of bills have not been processed and that amount that is left of my PIP is now looking like it may not be enough. And my little butt is still not healed, to make it worse. Technically, it’s my SI joint causing the pain, but when it starts acting up, it feels like it’s my butt that is hurting. (This area is the small triangular joint between the sacrum and the ilium bones of the pelvis. Or the sacroiliac joint.)
So I was feeling afraid. Afraid there’s not enough left in the ‘pot’ to cover the expenses left. And angry. Angry that the people in the billing office didn’t care enough to see the red flags and check to see what the next plan of action was. Which would have alerted me sooner that the car insurance will not be covering the bills until I am all better, but I need to switch over to my health insurance. I also found out that the chiropractors office, while taking my insurance, doesn’t take my plan. So I am switching to a plan they do take so I can continue seeing them in the new year – but is it in time to shuffle the last few weeks of bills over to getting paid by my health insurance rather than the car insurance so they physical therapists office can hurry up and get their bills in and paid before the last piece of the pie is gone, so to speak? I don’t know.
But, after a couple of days of being afraid I’d end up in debt in the new year, and with my SI joint pain still not fixed. I decided I was not going to start the new year afraid. I felt very strongly about it. And to back up my feeling that God does not want me walking into a new year in fear, at church the other day, the guest pastor was ending his sermon asking people to take a moment to think about what their fears are for the new year. I have 3 big ones. That I won’t get healed from this SI joint pain, that the rest of the money left from the PIP won’t be enough to cover my expenses for the last two months, and my mom’s cancer. The pastor reiterated what I was already feeling. God does not want us to be afraid. Let go and let God. (That’s harder than it sounds, most times.)
I haven’t talked about my mom’s cancer for a while, but it’s still on the table. And at my mom’s last cat scan, they saw two tiny spots – about the size of the end of a pencil eraser that had doubled since the last cat scan. Small, but growing. Not good. She is still on a trial program with OHSU. We still don’t know for sure if she’s on a placebo or the trial drug, but something is beating back the cancer so we assume she’s on the trial drug. We’ve been told that ultimately, even this new drug can’t beat her type of cancer, just buy her time. We know all this. We also know that somehow, out of all the people on this same trial program right now, her doctor said she was doing the best.
If I look back to last year, I remember starting the year feeling like the word ‘grace’ was my word for the year. I felt it was my word for my mother and her cancer. I posted this article ‘What’s grace got to do with it?’ Now, a year later, I’m going to answer that question. Last October, my mom was given 14 -16 months to live. Maybe a year and a half to two years at most because she was in good health when the cancer hit. It has been over 14 months since that diagnosis and my mom is still here. No, we don’t know what the future holds for her because this disease called cancer is a nasty one. But what we do know looking back at this past year is that all along the way God placed her in the right places and the right times with the right doctors to get her on this trial program with OHSU that is currently saving her life. So, what’s grace got to do with it, indeed? In this case, everything!
So if I am feeling very strongly that I am not supposed to start this new year in fear, then I proclaim right now: I Will Not Be Afraid! No, that’s not a ‘word’ for the year. Nor is it a resolution. It’s a statement. There is no rule saying you have to make resolutions or pick one word to define your year. Do what feels right for you. Making this feels right for me. I may even need reminded of that if bad stuff starts happening later this year. But for today, January 1st, 2018, I will not be afraid.
Looking back at the past year, I am thankful that my mom is still here, by the grace of God. I hope that you will continue to lift her up in prayer as we journey through another year with her cancer. If you feel like throwing in any prayers for me and my journey of healing or that God will somehow do the loaves and fishes trick with my PIP insurance to cover all the remaining bills, I’ll take those prayers as well.
Happy New Year to all! And remember, each day is a new day. His mercies are new every morning, not just every year.