Not all heroes wear capes.
The past 24 hours have brought me incredible lessons on the importance of boundaries and how focusing on what matters and leveraging community make an incredible difference.
I was in the middle of meetings when the panicking text messages came through. You see, my mom almost died in this past week and was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. Whew – good news, right?! Not so fast…
They prescribed a nebulizer solution required for her to breathe that no pharmacy in her area carries (she lives 2.5 hours north of the Twin Cities metro area); trust me, she called them all. WHAT?! Her next dose was supposed to be at 7:30 p.m. She knew the inhalers she had wouldn’t suffice; she’d be suffering and, if she made it through, would be back in the hospital.
She needed help trying to find this medicine in the metro area and someone to drive it up to her. I looked at my calendar – blocked full the rest of the afternoon with important meetings that would be a PAIN to reschedule.
This is my MOM!
So in-between some of the meetings I started calling Walgreens; their inventory system doesn’t accurately show availability. Enter Google and individual phone calls to their locations trying to find someone that carries this medicine and has it in stock.
More panicked text messages and phone calls. The pharmacy near her holding the prescription closes at 5 p.m. So if we find a pharmacy who has it in stock, it had to be before 5 p.m. in the event the prescription needed to be faxed over.
I sign onto my 4 p.m. coaching session. I was vulnerable and said I couldn’t mentally provide the support he needed and that I was dealing with a crisis with my mom. I was clear, didn’t over-apologize and set a firm boundary for where my time and attention were going to be. He was gracious and understanding.
Phone calls to more locations with no luck. My mom was resigning that she’d try to make it through with her rescue inhalers; we were beginning to give up calling any more pharmacies. Then, we found our hope. One location not far from our house had it in-stock and would be ready in 30 minutes. I communicated the good news. Then I took on the evening full of kid-duty activities while my AMAZING husband, Dave, made the 2.5-hour drive to bring her the medicine.
He arrived at 7:54 p.m. – 24 minutes after her next dose was scheduled. She was already struggling and had used her rescue inhalers several times during those 24 minutes with little success. After a 5-minute nebulizer treatment, she could breathe… and so could my dad, Dave and the rest of us waiting anxiously for updates. Once she was settled, he turned around and made the drive home – a 5-hour round trip just to deliver medicine.
This team effort of heroes saved my mom’s life last night. Take that in for a moment. A flaw in our healthcare system could’ve been the end of her story. But when we reach out for help, set boundaries, and rally our resourcefulness, amazing things can happen. Each pharmacist I talked to responded with empathy and tried to help us find a location that had the medicine. And my husband did the heavy lifting with being the delivery person.
It got me thinking…
- How often are we hesitant or afraid to ask for help?
- How often do we think people won’t understand or will be upset, so we don’t advocate for our needs?
- How often are we not in a good space but push through anyway?
- How often do we resign to crappy circumstances and assume we can’t make a difference?
Not all heroes wear capes. Simple, focused acts of service can make a powerful difference.
What can you do today to show up as a leader and make a positive impact around you?
Stay brave. Stay human. Stay safe. And never dull your sparkle!