Have you ever doubted that one person can make a difference in someone’s day? If you have, read on.
It had been a tough month: my sister in law died, I had an irregular EKG which required me to have a nuclear stress test, my white cell count was too low and required a visit to the oncologist and I had just completed three weeks of daily intravenous antibiotic therapy for a chronic breast infection. I was tired of doctor visits, needles, tests, probable diagnosis, and possible prognoses. I just wanted some time out to rest, lick my wounds and get my energy back!
But on the suggestion that the use of a compression garment might possibly defray infection re occurrences; with prescription in hand, I made an appointment with a lymphedema clinic for a fitting.
There I met a nurse who once I explained my medical history and reason for attending, ran to get the office manager. I think I overwhelmed her. The manager said I would need other therapies along with a compression garment. I told her the doctor only prescribed the garment. She waved my statement away saying “Never Mind”. Her prescription not only included a chest compression garment but one for the mild swelling in my ankle due to my coronary artery bypass done 6 years ago. I should never have shared that with her. I would need to wear the two compression garments 24/7 along with receiving massage therapy. I told her that the limited swelling in my ankle did not present a problem for me and that I would wear the compression bra at night. She appeared mortified and proceeded to tell me I would eventually have more problems if I did not do ALL the therapies. I explained what my doctor had ordered and we went round and round for some time about what I needed. Phew!
Now I was the one who was overwhelmed. Sharing my feelings of frustration, and a strong sense that I was about to cry and wanted to run away, the manager, without a further word, simply left the examining room!
Seeing the despair on my face, the nurse suggested she examine me and take some measurements. Then she and I could worked together to determine what my choices were. She basically talked me off the ledge, folks. I wasn’t ready for more things to address and do. I needed some simplicity in a time that had become oh, so very complicated. In all fairness, while the manager left me feeling inadequate and kicked to the curb, the nurse talked with me about my options: new foundation garments that would properly support me during the day, a nighttime compression garment for sleeping and – a new provider.
For the provider, I turned to Bras and Things in Delray Beach, FL, a lingerie shop that specialized in mastectomy and post-surgical fittings. There I was met one of the owners who listened to my tale of woe and said “Let’s examine you and see exactly how we can help”.
Merri shared her family history of breast cancer and one of her assistants talked about her experience with compression garments. Merri listened, asked questions, advised and used her extensive knowledge to encourage me rather than bully me. Taking stock and then searching her stock, she patiently helped me get fitted for what I needed. Not an easy task with the culprits I sport. She made me see that I was not a lost cause, but a woman with a cause who could be helped. Most importantly, she did not overwhelm me. Merri showed me how I could take small emotional steps and still do what was best for my physical care. My problems were made manageable by her kindness, her knowledge and her delivery.
One person had and can make a huge difference. Thank you Merri, Dora and Bras & Things. You do make a difference.
So friends, don’t let anyone color your world grey. They bring their troubled skies with them but they don’t have to cloud our world. The clouds will blow on by and with God’s grace in tow you will see blue skies again.
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ”. Philippians 1:27