Breaking Down the Walls with One Random Act of Kindness

kindness plato

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.

#Healthcare – ‘Lost in the Shuffle’

lost shuffle

 

Tuesday April 19th arrived. I was beyond anger with no word yet from the hospital as I waited for them to schedule the paracenteses to drain the fluid from my husband. This requisition with the added note of ‘ASAP’ was sent out last Wednesday.

 

In spite of my fury, I put on my best optimistic looking face and took hub to the naturopath’s for his next I.V. therapy treatment. Just as we finished treatment and getting ready to leave, my cell phone rang. I grabbed it in anticipation, and was elated to see the call displaying the hospital number.

 

Here’s how that call went:

 

Receptionist:  “Hello Mrs. Gies, this is xxxxxx Hospital calling from the imaging department. I’m calling to schedule your husband’s ultra sound for one week this coming Friday.”

Me:  “Excuse me? You must be mistaken. First of all, he’s not having an ultra sound, he’s already had that. He’s been waiting a week for an ASAP request for a paracenteses. And please, don’t even tell me he has to wait another 10 days!”

Receptionist:  “Oh my, this requisition must have come to the wrong department.”

Me:  “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!”

Receptionist:  “I’m so sorry. Let me get this req over to radiology and I’ll call you back.”

Me:  “Thank you! May I ask if there is a number I can have for that department in case I ever run into this problem again or miss your call?”

Receptionist:  “Sure Mrs Gies, here it is . . .”

Me:  “Thank you sooooo much.”

 

Getting that phone number was like striking gold. Previously, Dr. Eric and I were searching around the hospital website to try and find a contact number for the radiology department so we could try and find out what the delay was. But there was no number listed. Understandably, hospital departments don’t want people calling there randomly.

As hub and I were walking to the car, my phone rang again within minutes. I fumbled in my purse to get my phone as my hands were full of bags of new remedies and paperwork. Before I could retrieve it, my phone stopped ringing and went to voice mail.

 

I was so angry I missed THE call. I threw everything on the ground and screamed out loud, “Shit, shit, shit”. And then I proceeded to fish out the piece of paper with the number the receptionist had minutes before just given me. I dialed it and prayed to God that someone would pick up, no voice mail.

 

I was grateful when a woman answered upon the first ring. After her greeting, informing that I’ve reached the radiology department, I told her who I was and that I was sure she had just called me. She confirmed that she had. She then asked me if I could have my husband there the next day at noon. I could have kissed her.

Ironically, we had another appointment with Dr. B at his office the same day as the procedure, in the afternoon, 5 minutes away from the hospital, so that worked out well.

 

 Wednesday April 20th, I took hub for the draining, and Dr. B had authorized that they could drain up to 6 liters of fluid max. He and I both knew there had to be closer to 10 liters of fluid in my husband’s abdomen, but there’s a limit to how much can be drained at one time.

I once again managed to finagle my way into the procedure room so I could be with my husband and listen to the goings on. But I became a bit disappointed when all the radiologist could extract was 4 liters (8 pounds). I’ve heard a few horror stories about some patients whom the doctors couldn’t get any fluids out of, so I was glad for what did come out, although still concerned about the remaining fluid.

 

After the procedure, we dashed over to Dr. B’s office. Hub was sore and exhausted, but feeling some of the pressure off his breathing. Dr. B ordered more blood work to be taken in a few days to test the various levels in his body after the fluid removal. I voiced my concern to him about the mix up with the requisition, and asked him how we were to proceed if and when my husband needed this procedure done again, without long delays waiting. Dr. B told me to monitor hub’s weight. He said he hopes he doesn’t gain it back, but cautioned me that hub may have to have more procedures, but time will tell. Dr. B said if I feel we need another draining done before our next visit, just let his secretary know and he’d push through the requisition himself at the hospital. He also said that if my husband turns out to be that patient who will occasionally need a drainage, he would authorize it so we could then call the hospital direct and make an appointment with them.

 

I’m hanging onto that radiology department’s phone number with dear life!

 

It’s now Thursday April 21st, The Queen’s birthday, my beautiful niece’s birthday, and my husband’s weight hasn’t gone up since the draining yesterday. I am grateful for good days. Tomorrow he goes for an unpleasant test (cystoscopy), booked over a month ago by his urologist. I asked my hub if he wanted to postpone it until he feels stronger, but he wants to get it over with, so I just hope everything goes smoothly and he can rest comfortably on the weekend without any medical drama or added fluid retention. This could possibly be the first weekend since our return from Arizona that he may feel well.

 

This post is a follow up to last week’s https://dgkayewriter.wordpress.com/waiting-kill-healthcare/

 

I’d like to once again thank you all for your wonderful kindness and support through this difficult time. You all know I’m a great believer in positivity, angels, and the law of attraction, so I know all of your good wishes and prayers are being heard because I can certainly feel them.