Learning from the master

A few days ago I enjoyed one of the nicest conversations I’ve had in a long time. An experienced patient advocate called to offer some helpful tips. When someone you respect notices your work and offers to help make it better, you know they care. She took time out of her busy schedule to let me know that my work mattered. If the call had ended there, it would have made my day. Though we’ve never met face-to-face, we managed to fill an hour as though we were old friends. If we both didn’t have so much to do, it might have gone on longer. To gradually transition from admirer to friend is priceless. I appreciate that level of trust and the confidence she has in me. It would be enough to thank her privately and she will probably be embarrassed that I mention it publicly. Yet you deserve to hear the story because it’s not just about us.

legacy2There aren’t enough words to describe the influence she’s had on my life. Without her words, I would still be popping Excedrin every day in the belief that “nothing could be done” to help my migraines. The day I found her website and ordered her book transformed the way I think about migraine, health care, and my own self-worth as a patient. That day I knew I was not alone. I knew I wasn’t crazy. Her words inspired me to try again, and again, and again. Without her, this version of “me” would not exist.

She would stop me right there and insist I take credit for my part. She would remind me that I made the choice to search the internet, order and read her book, and take the hundreds of steps that have brought me to this place. Technically, she’s right. But something or someone had to light that spark. It was her destiny to be that spark.

Never underestimate the power you have over the lives of others. Everything you do, say, and write – it all matters. When you are feeling alone; when you wonder if anyone cares; please remember that someone does notice. You may never find out how you touched a life. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I received a precious gift. Now it’s up to me to pass it on.

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