I had shared with a group of women that I'm quite fond of, about some struggles I was having. Struggles in writing and in life that were blocking my writing. Then I had a full day of doctor's visits to get through. I showed up for one Dr's appointment that apparently I was the only one who knew I HAD the appointment. But my doctor graciously offered to go ahead and see me, since I was there.
Then I went on to something I have looked forward to for 2 years....well technically 1 year, 7 months and 26 days....to walk into a store and once again purchase a pretty bra. You know the kind that makes you feel beautiful and feminine and not like a butchered piece of meat that often comes with a mastectomy. Some mastectomy companies are trying to put out prettier products, as unfortunately younger and younger women are in need of them. But when you are a bodacious woman AND you need breast prosthesis the selection narrows down to one or two pretty bras and then a whole host of very matronly, "grandma wore this" kind of bras. A lot of these shops are contained within pharmacies and that's how you are treated...like a condition. So it is time to deal with Glinda and Maxine (the names of the foobs....Maxine is the hot cranky one) and find them housing they will both like. In sorting through the providers for these items in network with my insurance company I noted once again that a shop in town claimed to carry a full line of mastectomy care products and they stated in the ad they would file the insurance for me. It was not housed in a pharmacy but was well known around the area for, shall we say "exotic lingerie?" It was exactly where you would go for honeymoon or anniversary type lingerie. Frankly I doubted they would carry MY sizes. But their ad claimed they could fit and order for anyone.
I walked in excited to see beautiful bras greet me in the doorway. I met with their mastectomy care specialist who was wonderful and before long she had me standing in front of a mirror, looking pretty and feminine and excited to be wearing a bra. Sadly it only lasted about 10 minutes.
The owner of the establishment turned out to be a cranky elderly woman who I was later told should have retired 25 years ago. She no longer actively RUNS the store, her children do. But she comes in daily to check up on the store and feel like she still has an active role in the running of it. She came into my cubicle to inform me how I must pay up front and the insurance will reimburse ME. Which is in violation of what the insurance company told me because I called to get every single detail on this. I explained to her that my products were covered 100% by my insurance with in network providers. I had confirmed that the store was a provider and was told I could get 4 bras and 2 prosthesis (you know cuz I have 2 sides). Cutting to the chase and not spending a lot of time on the details, she was angry and argued about my insurance. She argued with me about what my insurance covered because that's not the same as what medicare covers. Well I'm not ON medicare, and I knew exactly what my company did cover. She then called and argued WITH the insurance company in front of everyone. When she finished, she announced to me that I was not walking out with anything that I didn't pay for up front, she didn't care WHAT the insurance company had to say about that.
I didn't go there expecting to walk out with anything at that time, as I knew they would have to order the bras in my size as well as the prosthesis that I was requesting. I wanted a new prosthesis that was specially designed for those of us undergoing reconstruction and changing weekly.
I hurried out of there shaking from the confrontation and near tears. She had sucked all the joy and excitement of this event that I had waited 1 year, 7 months, and 26 days to experience. Of course my husband was furious when I picked him up. The man is like a bloodhound when I'm upset. He picks up a scent and will not let it go until I spill all my guts about why I was upset. He was ready to wheel around and confront the ole biddy himself until I talked him out of it. I was demoralized, humiliated, wounded and upset that things went so terribly wrong. But it felt wrong to unleash my husband's indignation and disapproval upon an elderly woman, regardless of how she treated or spoke to me.
Not long after, the manager of the store calls to tell me the owner had left and she wanted to apologize to me for the way I had treated. I was told the owner was an angry old woman who disliked insurances. She wanted to assure me that SHE would honor the contract between their store and the insurance company. She had already ordered my forms and she would be placing the orders for my bras and I WOULD be receiving them. She was really nice and promised that we would make this work. But still I came home dejected. It was not how I thought this day would go.
Then I logged onto the page when I had previously shared some struggles and there was a group of messages of encouragement from these dear ladies. Their kind words were a balm on my wounded spirit and I learned once again, the Biblical truth of Proverbs 15: 1 - 3
The owner of the store had torn apart my self esteem and shattered my confidence, but these dear friends rebuilt it with their gentle words. They encouraged and edified me. Their words had nothing to do with foobs, bras or prosthesis, but reading their words took my focus off the bad experience and redirected it. The words calmed me and was a comfort.
They knew nothing of my day, they didn't know I was going to come home upset, but their words were already waiting there on my computer. So it brought to mind, how many times we interact with people that we will never know how we impact their life. We often have no clue how our words comfort them, how our card encourages them or how we instill truth, courage and passion into their lives. I do not want to be a cranky storekeeper who gushes folly from the mouth. :) My daddy called it "diarrhea of the mouth"...yep not pretty thought at all but that was kind of how I felt...like I had been subjected to the diarrhea of the mouth. I want to be the kind of person who speaks words of gentle kindness, wisdom and patience.
How will YOUR mouth behave today? Will you use it to build someone up, or to tear them down?
Here's one of the bra's I chose and should receive...we will see. This is what I called the "pretty" bra. I asked for a sports bra, a pretty bra, a fun bra...and then I saw a photo of a new bra that doesn't come out until October....but it was black sprinkled with red rose petals print all around. My Rosey self couldn't help it, I had them preorder it for me. Of course I came home and googled the company of the bra and found them on Amazon....I did not know you could order underwear from Amazon! lol