God Steps In
Originally written: December 7, 2018
Edited: October 20, 2020
In 2018, within a matter of a few days, two really big miracles unfurled. One would’ve never happened without the first, but both are testaments to God’s love and intervention, just the same.
Let me tell you, I’ve had ample opportunity over the past forty-five years to trust God when I can’t see Him working in my life. However, it’s also been amazing to see Him orchestrate certain events in my favor, where I know He’s been involved. God’s timing is everything! But, before I continue, let me back up a hair and set the stage so you can appreciate the outcome with me.
On December 5, 2018, I called my foot and ankle specialist. The anti-inflammatory medication he had prescribed in November for my posterior tibial tendonitis didn’t seem to be working. Actually, the pain in my foot seemed to be intensifying, even though I’d been wearing a foot brace and taking medication regularly. Other patients occupied the doctor’s time at the moment of my call, so I waited for a callback. Around 3:30pm, I received that call. The nurse told me the doctor wanted me to get a STAT MRI, hoping to have results by my follow-up visit with him in two days. So, I got on the ball, immediately contacting the number she gave me.
When I called, Centralized Scheduling told me they couldn’t make an appointment without having the doctor’s orders. Since I didn’t have them, they suggested I go in person and pick up a hard copy. I asked how late scheduling would be taking calls and received the answer: 6pm. Hanging up, I headed straight over to the doctor’s office. When I got to there, the orders still hadn’t been signed. That’s why Centralized Scheduling hadn’t been able to access them through the mutual system used by the doctor’s office. The orders would be posted in the computer by 5:30pm. “Guaranteed,” the nurse promised. So, I headed home.
Around 5:40pm, I called Centralized Scheduling to see if they had received the orders for the STAT MRI, yet. A prerecorded message met my call. Their office had closed at five o’clock. WHAT????? How could this be?
In my frustration, I fumed in text to my sister that her husband (who works for the institution doing my imaging) should tell his employees “know your company’s business hours”—especially those answering the phones. Only God could’ve timed what happened next so perfectly—despite my childish attitude toward my dilemma in that moment.
My sister texted back. She had JUST gotten off the phone with Centralized Scheduling (around 5:30pm), dealing with her own issue. She knew for a fact they should still be accepting calls. Talk about timing! I called again, using a different number. This time I got a live person—the first “Thank you, God!” of the evening. The imaging center only had one slot available: Thursday, December 6, 2018, at 7:00pm. My response: “I’ll take it!” The second “Thank you, God!” of the evening.
When Thursday evening arrived, so did I—6:30pm sharp, just like I had been instructed for my 7:00pm MRI. Entering the main lobby, I went directly to the Guest Service desk. Long story short, my appointment couldn’t be found in their system; and they didn’t have a copy of the doctor’s orders, either. What complicated matters worse, all office personnel in the imaging department had already gone home for the day. “But they knew I was coming! It’s not like they’ve had days to mess this up. I just made the appointment last night,” I clarified.
After about fifteen minutes, the doctor’s orders somehow surfaced. The message given to me from the lady at Guest Services: “The tech is still here and is willing to do your MRI, but he has one other patient ahead of you, and you will have to wait about an hour to be seen.” I didn’t care about the wait—just as long as my foot specialist had the results by my appointment time at 9:45am the next day. “Thank you, God!” Happy dance number three took place place right then and there.
Number four followed promptly on its heels.
“The patient ahead of you had to cancel or is a no show. So, they’ll take you back now.” Right at my scheduled time, 7:00pm. No time for anxious thoughts, concerns about claustrophobia, or wondering how a person lies still for an extended period of time. Thank you, God! Instead of freaking out, I prayed for others and sang “Il Est Ne” and “God Is So Good” in my head while the machine chugged away. Somehow, the tech managed to get the images he needed without having to sedate me. Blessing after blessing became abundantly clear!
OK, now is where things get unreal. I showed up to my doctor appointment 9:45am on Friday, December 7, 2018, for results. They found them. The radiologist confirmed what my specialist had already suspected: posterior tibial tendonitis. However, a piece of bone had broken off in my foot. Floating near the tendon, fluid had built up around it. “The only way to remove the pain is to remove fragment.” Not words I wanted to hear.
This is where the next hurdle came into play. My insurance cap for 2018 had been met due to a surgery I’d had in June. That meant, if surgery on my foot didn’t happen before January 1, 2019, it’d cost me a pretty penny—280,000 more pennies, to be exact! We didn’t have that, but I couldn’t endlessly hobble along with a broken bone in my foot, either. To complicate matters, “that time of year” commandeered the doctor’s full schedule and added no operating room availability. He couldn’t squeeze me in, even if he wanted to.
That’s when my biggest “THANK YOU GOD!” moment happened. At 10:00am, while I sat in the doctor’s office, the doctor received a phone call canceling a surgery on December 13, 2018. Up until that moment, surgical appointments before the new year just didn’t exist. Not one. Even more miraculous, had my appointment been scheduled any other time during that Friday, the doctor probably would’ve given the slot to someone else–meaning, I wouldn’t have been at the right place at the right time to receive this gift. I love it when God steps in!