Enter Nuvigil. Nuvigil is a drug commonly prescribed for sleep apnea however there is a growing body of evidence that supports its use for depression. Almost in desperation, Lance’s doctor prescribed Nuvigil and almost overnight he was a new man. The changes were as dramatic as a teenage girl and much more long lasting. We had our miracle drug.
Because Nuvigil is not FDA approved for depression, our insurance would not pay for it. Because a one month supply of Nuvigil costs $500.00, we needed a miracle to buy our miracle drug. No problem. I believe in miracles.
I fasted before beginning my get-the-insurance-to-pay-for-Nuvigil quest. The fast went really well and I felt confident that our petition would be granted.
My first step was to ask the doctor to send a letter to the insurance company, requesting an exception, which he did and they denied. The next step was to write the insurance company a letter myself, asking them to revisit and repeal their initial decision. It has been said that I am a better-than-half-decent writer and I wrote to the best of my ability. The finished product was well written, well-reasoned, and would be, I hoped, well received. I was completely confident that the powers that be would read my letter and reverse their decision. How could they possibly turn me down?
But that was okay. I sighed and went on to the next step in the appeal process, still completely confident that the insurance would end up paying for Lance’s prescription and hopeful that they would even back pay for the prescriptions we had already filled to that point.
The final step in the process was an appeal to outside auditors, to medical experts who are appointed by the state and are not affiliated with our insurance company. I fine-tuned the letter, added research articles from peer-reviewed journal s that validated the use of Nuvigil for people challenged by depression, and mailed the packet, knowing that in about two months I would receive a positive ruling.
I did not.
Hum. Hum. Hum.
Was my fast not recognized? Were my prayers not answered?
If they were not answered, then, like Garth Brooks, I thank God for unanswered prayers.
Subtly, almost unnoticeably, Lance continued to improve. And improve and improve. He began taking just a half dose of Nuvigil daily. And then no dose. None. He stopped taking the miracle drug but the miracles did not stop happening. The depression demons did not return; his functionality did not diminish. Today we have all the benefits of taking Nuvigil with none of the costs (or the side effects).
I asked God for help getting the insurance company to pay for the drug. God took the need for the drug away.
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers