Sometimes when life is throwing you more than you feel you can handle, you have to find a way to compartmentalize your worries and woes to keep from being overwhelmed on a daily basis. Some people need a sounding board to spill their woes to, seeking words of comfort or perhaps solution to their problems. Many others, like myself, tend to put all worries in their own special boxes and deal with them one at a time by lifting off the lid and confronting issues singularly without trying to take in the whole picture at once when it seems walls are crumbling from all directions. This is a method I try to use to prevent myself from being riddled with anxiety when all is not right in my world and prevent me from putting too much focus on the mountain of shit I’m dealing with; a method I use to cope without having to burden others.
I’m a person who carries a load internally and never wishes to dump her crap on others, wallow in self pity, show weakness, and always looks to seek my own resolution. But make no mistake, this year has certainly been trying. It seems that once I think I’ve got one dilemma solved the next one presents itself. Barely a moment of breath between worry. And the point I want to make about this, is that no matter how strong we think we are, there’s always that little weak point within us, just ticking like a time bomb, that can set off an emotional release at an unexpected moment from the simplest of gestures. This is about a scenario which took place today with a phone conversation I had with my pharmacist.
Before I share the conversation I will share with you that these past few months have been grueling for me with family issues, financial issues, and most importantly on the list of worry, my husband’s health. I don’t share my daily gruel with anyone except my one sister. We have both been tested this year in our resilience to health scares and difficult times, for her financially and with health concerns with her children, and for me with my own concerns, and my added concerns for my sister. And as many of you may already know, I almost lost my husband this year and it’s been quite a journey getting him back to health. Recently his progress has been regressing, so there have been more frequent doctor visits, many more questions, and we will now be experimenting with a new IV therapy to be given twice a month in hospital to my husband. As I am an investigative person, I’ve been doing my homework diligently to comprehend what this therapy will entail, and what to expect from it. As we just found out about this new therapy yesterday at the doctor’s and I’m awaiting the hospital to call to schedule the first visit, I took it upon myself to call my pharmacist who is more knowledgeable of medications than a doctor is. In past years my husband and I have moved several times, but we’ve never changed pharmacies because they know us, they know our illnesses and are familiar with our frequent changes in prescriptions, and because of our rapport, they go beyond the call of duty when we need a favor.
Today when I called the pharmacy, I was thrilled that one of my favorite pharmacist’s answered the phone because she is always so kind and helpful and takes the time to look up things for me and share her opinions on my questions regarding potential risks and conflictions with medications, checks if our plan covers certain meds, and sometimes finds an alternative method of charging the cost for meds to be paid through other avenues. After our conversation today, and after I once thanked Rosie for her time to explain things to me, this is what she said to me, almost word for word:
“Mrs. Gies, I just wanted to tell you that you are not only beautiful on the outside, but so beautiful in your heart. I am not just saying this because you are a customer. I know what you have been going through with your husband, yet you always come in here greeting everyone with a beautiful smile on your face. You always call to make sure the new drugs are appropriate for your husband, second guessing a doctor’s prescription, curious to learn about potential side effects and what precautions you can take to ensure best efficacy from medications. You are a wonderful caregiver and I wish there were many more like you who would have the same concern and compassion for their loved ones. I hope your family recognizes this about you.”
That was it! That was the moment I broke down. Everything in my heart that I’d worked so hard to conceal just poured out of me in a meltdown of tears. After somewhat composing myself, I thanked Rosie for her own kindness. My husband was beside me while I was on the phone. He leaned over and gave me a big hug with tears in his eyes, told me how much he loves me, apologized for being a burden, and once again thanked me for taking such good care of him. That didn’t help to alleviate my moment of tears.
After I once again regained my composure, I reminded him, he is no burden, he is my husband and I will do whatever it takes to keep him well. I am a force to be reckoned with. I apologized for my moment of weakness and told him that what the pharmacist had said had spawned my emotional spill out, and how deeply it had touched my heart that a pharmacist had complimented me in recognition for the things I do instinctively which I never thought of as praiseworthy, rather just being who I am. Rosie had clearly targeted a point of overflowing emotion I had buried deep within, with her heartfelt comments, reminding that we are judged by our actions when we think nobody is watching. It was truly touching for me to find that someone was.