Friday, July 18, 2008

Sometimes We Are Surprised

Since I've had MS since 1977, and was diagnosed in 1978, I have been blessed by so many caring medical staff--nurses, doctors, physical therapists, and occupational therapists, to name a few. I've been so impressed by almost every one that I have a paragraph in my Acknowledgements section of my memoir Soar Unafraid: Learning to Trust No Matter What dedicated to them with thanks for who they are and what they do. It just means so much to me.

I have also been blessed to have private insurance throughout all the years of MS, something that I know many cannot claim. But there is no word of thanks in the Acknowledgement section of my book. Usually I encounter people who are rude or put out though they are supposedly doing their job of "customer service." I get off the phone wondering where the "service" was supposed to come in.

Today I was surprised.

I've been going round and round with our insurance regarding a payment they owe for April 2007 (!) for the Betaseron I inject for the MS. This was a new insurance plan as of last spring. On June 24 Iris told me it was "being expedited" since they had now received the medical records (which I had sent to them twice already, by the way.) These records not only showed that I had MS, but also the neurologist's prescription for the past several years (and I've been using it since 1994 when it was released by the FDA.)

On July 1 I was informed by Iris that the claim was in process. Today when Iris returned my call she said, "The claim has been denied by a nurse due to pre-existing conditons." I said, "How can that be when I have always had insurance and taken Betaseron since 1994, and they paid every other month thereafter in 2007 and 2008?!" She answered, "I don't know, but you can appeal."

As a recovering codependent--a person who has tried to please everyone--I try to be assertive without crossing the line into aggressive. But I was upset!

While I prayed to calm down and my husband said, "Let it go for now. We'll file the appeal" I took my afternoon rest. I've learned I need that time each day in order to rejuvinate my body and mind. Minutes later the phone rang.

"Hi, is this Jo? This is Iris. I began looking through your claims paid by us and you're right. There is no explanation for this. I am going to walk to that department right now and tell them so. If I can't get an answer for you today I will call you on Monday."

!!!! Need I say I was surprised? I responded, "Iris, thank you. You are a blessing. I so appreciate you showing concern."

How often do you find people who go the extra mile in business for you? Yesterday we had an installer out and he was from a foreign country where he had been a civil engineer. He said here in the US he has to get a four year degree to do the same thing and he can't make ends meet with his three children. Ray felt such empathy for the man and was kind, conversational, and showed genuine concern.

But after he left Ray found many sloppy things the installer could have done correctly. His laziness or bitterness showed throughout the job he had done. And, he cut a cord of Ray's and never told him about it when he could have just apologized.

I was just comparing Iris and this installer. Iris--whether she knows it or not--is doing as Jesus said, "If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles" (Matthew 5:41). I'm praying Iris feels the blessing I gave to her for going the extra mile for me. There are so few in this me-first world that really exemplify that. May she sense a smile from God.

Hoping you too are having moments of being surprised by others!

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