Leaning Away from Anger and Toward Gratitude

Photo Credit: Trent Briggs, Orvieto, Italy
Photo Credit: Trent Briggs, Orvieto, Italy

By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea

When disasters occur, we often are encouraged to look for the helpers. Those who help sandbag when flood waters rise or pick up the fallen walls of homes after a tornado. But do we notice or acknowledge those who help for the little things?

Last week, my (Nadine’s) son left for Italy to study for a semester. To prepare him for this experience, he needed money, medicine and physical therapy for his body to be prepared to run his first marathon while there. I mention these 3 things, even though the preparations were a much longer list because all of them went wrong. I mean went wrong to a ridiculous level. The words “oh, come ON!” were said more often than they should have been given the tasks.

The biggest struggle was being caught in a loop trying to get him 3 months of medication. We’d call the insurance company, they would approve it, call the doctor, they would approve it and then the pharmacy said they would not fill the prescription. We were told it was against federal law. We were told that he had reached his limit on the medications that could be filled.  On and on it went with reasons why he could not get his meds. Meanwhile, time is running out and there is no possibility of shipping the medication once he gets there, due to significant delays getting it to clear customs.

It seemed like after our third round of the insurance, doctor, pharmacy loop that we would not be able to make this happen. That was until Colleen from CVS Pharmacy took hold of the situation. She was the only reasonable person who figured that, when you really think about it, this should not be that big of a deal. She called the insurance company, called the government, and researched it until she got the right answer. She figured out the whole mess. I was so relieved to have at least one person take this on and do what needed to be done to make it happen.

I decided that instead of feeling angry for the wasted weeks and toward all of the people who got it wrong, I would focus on the one who got it right. I wanted her to know how truly grateful I was for taking the initiative and helping us. I wrote two thank you notes to deliver when I picked up the medication, one for Colleen and one for her manager. That shift away from feeling anger and toward feeling grateful does not always come naturally, but it does feel so much better for the mind and soul.