“What have I done?”

A few weeks ago a colleague warned me that in the first year of owning and running a new pharmacy I would conclude that I had made a huge mistake.

Yup….that happened well before turning the sign to “open”!

The two weeks leading up to my opening day were chaos.  I’ve never slept so minimally, had my “to do”list grow so fast, nor seen my children so little.  As I heard repeatedly, “Mom, are you coming home late again today?” I figured I had made a mistake.  I am a clinician; I love the “care” part of health care, and here I was, steeped in putting a business together. Spending hours on end away from my family, and even when with them my mind was racing with all the things I needed to handle.

So when I walked into my brand new pharmacy on day one and flipped the sign to open, I wondered whether I had jumped into something I would resent, or at the very least not enjoy.

Then came patients through my door.  Just a few at first, and a few more each day, and I found myself in a place of privilege.  As I provided health care, I heard their stories.  Stories about caring for terminally ill spouses, stories of how difficult it is to live with chronic pain, journeys through chemo and disappointment with the system.  Even stories of past jobs and places they had visited in their life time.  As I immunized many against the flu I also shared a lot of my own story.  How I came to be in this new pharmacy, growing up in Saskatchewan, how I had started a pharmacy in Chemainus when I was very young.

It struck me once again that the connection made and the care given are what brings me joy.  Having my own pharmacy means I can structure and set up to practice the way I want.  I have control over how I care for the people who walk through my door.  There is no one to tell me I must meet a certain quota or promote sketchy treatments or unproven products.  In the end, it is worth all the headaches that I am sure will come.  So it is to the people who came through my door this week that I am grateful to, for reminding me what it’s all about.

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6 comments on ““What have I done?”

  1. Tammie Sarauer says:

    So happy for you Carlene!! Those connections are what makes it all worth while.

    • coleksyn says:

      Thanks Tammie! I’m enjoying it more now that I am actually connecting with people and making a difference. (as opposed to putting together furniture, figuring out computer hardware, knee deep in dry wall dust!) Noah still asks when he is coming back to your class 🙂

  2. Edna says:

    CONGRATULATIONS ! You took the leap Carlene. How else can we fulfill our dreams but through sacrifices and hard work? You are such a smart and caring person I am sure your rewards will be great. It will all make your back up crew at home more responseable.

    • coleksyn says:

      Thanks Edna. It’s true that fulfilling any dream takes hard work and sacrifice. It can be easy to forget in the midst of it! The back up crew has been pretty great despite the after school craziness of hockey, piano and homework without me around.

  3. connie kurtenbach says:

    Darling Carlene!
    It all sounds so good. I can identify with you and all the work, when I was made a Department head in Edmonton at a new senior high school. There was no department of music or anything. We built it from our dreams, hopes and prayers,not to mention long hours. but the excitement is great too! I wish you well and so keep your blog.
    love, connie.

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