An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Friday, March 9, 2012

Miracles and Pain

Five years ago this week, God allowed a miracle into my life that I write about here.  May it give you hope for your journey.

About ten years before I went on that fateful trip to Jamaica, where I caught the virus that resulted in my having trigeminal neuralgia*, I attended an event where the keynote speaker was Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at John’s Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr.Carson, is consistently ranked among the top five neurosurgeons in the world.  As he spoke, Dr. Carson paid tribute to God as being the one who gave him the gift; I listened in awe as he shared about his life and his work.

The Good News:  Soon after I was diagnosed with TN, I was thrilled to learn that this outstanding surgeon and godly man, treated adult patients with my disorder! 

The Bad News:  My Insurance Wouldn't Cover Me to be Treated My Him

Still director of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Carson operated on this population because he founded a special technique for them, and also had empathy for their dramatic suffering.  Having already met with another neurosurgeon, I sought coverage to be treated by  Dr. Carson, but was soundly rejected.  I even enlisted the help of Johns Hopkins without any luck.  My pain was too severe to continue my appeal, however, so I went ahead with the first neurosurgeon with disastrous results; after surgery my pain worsened terribly.

We Decided to See Him No Matter the Cost, After My Failed Surgery $$$$$

After months of agony, I felt the tug to see Dr. Carson no matter what it would take.  I began to believe it was God’s will as Dr. Carson’s name would come to me often in prayer--a sure sign in my relationship with the Lord that I am to act.  Also, it seemed Dr. Carson was everywhere--on a TV program I happened to turn on; in a note from a friend; and mentioned in a support group meeting I attended. Warren and I decided to schedule a consult with him even though our insurance company continued to reject coverage and Johns Hopkins couldn't find anything to help us either, when we appealed to them again .  We decided that even though we could never afford to pay out-of-pocket for surgery, we could at least afford to ask Dr. Carson about his thoughts regarding my treatment options.  This alone would cost us about $1,000, considering his fee and our gas from Richmond to Baltimore and back.  

When we arrived at Johns Hopkins, we walked through the large revolving doors at the patient entrance, and found ourselves inside a huge foyer surrounded by dozens of people walking to and fro.  Families lined up to check-in with their ill members in tow, some in obvious states of serious illness.  All around us, different languages could be heard, and it struck me that this was where the very ill came for help.  I wished I could be one of them. When it was our turn to check in, the smiling woman behind the counter asked for my insurance card.  I handed it to her saying, “Here it is, however, I am seeing Dr. Carson as a self-pay patient.” 

In a twinkling, a miracle happened!

She appeared to be startled by my answer, giving me a quizzical look immediately replaced by one of compassion.  Then, she took my card, and stared down at it for a long while.  When she looked back up, a smile was tugging at the corners of her mouth as she said I may have just become your new best friend!”

Still smiling, she excused herself and disappeared into a back room to consult with her supervisor, while I grabbed onto Warren who had been standing behind me.  Could it be that God did, indeed, destine that I be treated here by Dr. Carson?  Did I dare hope this to be true?

When she returned, her face said it all! She found a small notation on the lower right side of our insurance card, one that several others before had over looked, that indicated I was, indeed, covered!

Warren and I huddled together, as I reached across the small opening in the window that separated us, and took hold of this woman’s hands to tell her through hiccups and tears that not only was she my new best friend, but an angel sent from God.  She, Warren and I laughed and cried as we celebrated God’s miracle right there surrounded by the hurting, weary, and beloved of God.

I have forgotten her name; I wish I had not done so.  She will always remain in my heart, though, and I will always thank God for: (1) giving me just enough faith to trust that He had willed me to see Dr. Carson despite the hurdles and giving my husband enough faith to agree with me and go;  (2) arranging it so that we would be called to her window instead of the three others around her; and (3) giving her compassion and knowledge to see what others had missed; and (4) loving me as only He does!

Sojourners, there is not one whom God has overlooked or cast aside.  
 He cares about my pain, as He cares about yours. 

In my journey with pain, I need to remember these specific times when I have seen God at work.  I turn away from him, or just lose focus because pain makes living hard. It helps to have the reminders.  I hope it helps you too.

Next Time - "Why Didn't God Send me To Dr Carson in the First Place?" Miracles, Continued

Look for Him--If you seek Him, you will find Him--


*You can click the "About Me" tab for info. about trigeminal neuralgia and my journey


  1. This was beautifully written, Judi!

    Thank you for sharing your miracle! It is just like our Father to do such a thing. It was emotional reading...I could feel the excitment warming my soul as I read. But, now you make me W A I T for the rest of the story! LOL...I'll be patient...LOL.

    Your lines: "Sojourners, there is not one whom God has overlooked or cast aside. He cares about my pain, as He cares about yours." was as if God, Himself, was speaking it to us. Thank you!

    He cares about MY pain! Yes, You, do, LORD.

    I have a sign in my kitchen: "EXPECT A MIRACLE!" Hallelujah! I do.

  2. Keep expecting them! I tend to forget, thinking that only I can take care of my future! Forgive my waywardness, Lord!

  3. Judi-
    Although you might not recall the name of this precious woman who was there to help you at the exact time you needed it most, God does recall all of it and somehow I have a feeling you might get to see this woman again.

    Even after all these years of living with daily Chronic Pain, I too think that I can somehow manage it or keep it at bay-only to get the Tough reminder-I am so far out of the loop with this Pain--well its silly.

    I too have been through a horrible nightmare journey with Insurance-faceless people who know Nothing about me but seem to almost play God as they refuse much needed treatment for my Pain. Finally I looked past the battle and with the support of my precious husband, we did the "self-pay" for a procedure that burns all the nerves in my back and is the ONLY form of real relief for that. I would love to have it done to my leg also but there is one slight problem, I would not be able to walk. Guess I must carefully choose my battles.

    God bless you for this wonderful blog-it is filled with such deep honesty. Martha

  4. Thank you for reminding me that I might meet this wonderful woman again!! How wonderful that would be!

    My prayers with you in your journey!~ So much to be "on our knees" about!

  5. Forgive me, Judi. I have been silently treading in your most awed at (at least, for me) blog. Diane had directed me here as in Martha's. Today marks the day I convinced myself to leave a little impression. As I said to Martha and the other "circle of friends" members, I tread ever so softly and lightly on blogs of people I revere.

    Here is Martha's line in one of my posts (I was referring to my timidity in making myself known to you),

    "Judi is a tower of silent strength as she endures her Pain! I had a dear uncle who suffered with this same Pain for so many years and he too suffered in silence."

    And here I am, Judi, thanking God for Martha's little push up, making here shoulders as my leverage...finally I come, with some impressions on your blog.

    My greatest yet rewarding pain was at childbirth, and that one goes as fast as you behold the child in your arms, I have my share of nocturnal leg pain and a few spots that are weak around my knees and heels. So I have little knowledge of the kind of pain you go through and Martha's. One thing I can tell you is that, God led me to your blogs in the circle, because I too can gain strength in the depth of your Faith in Him. Other times, emotional pain could be greater than physical, if I may say, Please don't take this as undermining the pain you go through..... I have deeper understanding in all these, it is God's reality and your battle's won carrying His banner in your smile and awesome pure-hearted-humor amidst it all.

    Thank you for this reminder:

    "Sojourners, there is not one whom God has overlooked or cast aside.
    He cares about my pain, as He cares about yours."

    You are also speaking in layman's terms those confusing medical terms and descriptions.

    1. And the angel of a lady, was God's portion for you that glorious day, the day you were ushered into this great man-of-God Neurosurgeon Dr. Carson. A divine appointment and a miracle.

      Thanks be to God whose wisdom far greater than ours, beyond understanding, and whose mercy encompasses the east to the west and the depth of the oceans. And in whose hands we need to cast upon things that He alone can handle.

      Thank you, Judi for telling us of your miracles. I would soon catch up with the rest of the story.

      My warm wishes to you from the Philippines.

  6. Lolita-- You are a warm light of embrace and encouragement, friend. I sense God has done much work in the deep inner places of your heart, and how I thank Him for using you to encourage me, as well as Martha and Diane! Bless You!