When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a veterinarian and help animals. I learned in veterinarian school you had to put animals to “sleep,” I could not bring myself to do this, so out went being a vet. Then I decided next I wanted to be a psychologist. When it came time to start college, I had psychology as my major and theater as a minor. While in college, I usually had two to three jobs to pay for schooling and living expenses. I worked as a technician in a pharmacy and absolutely enjoyed the pharmacist I worked with; it was a mother and son team. The difference the pharmacists made in people’s life amazed me. I decided to apply to pharmacy school. I completed my bachelor degree and at the time of graduation did not have the funds to complete my doctorate, so opted to apply for a residency. I was lucky and completed my residency in Huntington WV. I packed my bags and left New Jersey, expecting to return in a year after completing residency. During residency, the opportunity to complete a nontraditional doctorate presented itself. I applied and was accepted at University of Kentucky. This gave me the opportunity to extend my stay in West Virginia.
My pharmacy career has been amazing. I have held many roles over the years, as a director, resident director, clinical manager, and owed my own consulting company. I have been involved in national and state associations, have served as president of our state association for many years. I have organized educational programs and assisted in writing legislation to enhance the pharmacist’s role and expand our opportunities in patient care. I have written several publications. At one point, I left, clinical practice and was a founding faculty at a new pharmacy school. I Worked at the pharmacy school for four years, and truly enjoyed the students but missed the patient interactions. I returned to clinical practice, an area I have loved for many years. The personal reward of helping a patient or a family member with a patient is amazing and there is nothing like it.
I spent many years building my career, reputation and helping move the profession of pharmacy forward. Then, my life changed. My mom moved down to West Virginia in October 2005, then six months later my grandmother moved in with me, was very blessed to have her as part of my daily life. Prior to these changes, I easily worked 10-12 hours a day, but my changing home life and family responsibility took precedence. Then, in October 2007 met my husband and could not have been happier. He helped in the care of my grandmother and for a while my whole family was close by. The following year, my grandmother fell and broke her hip and, during the recovery process had a stroke, so she had to move to a care facility because she required 24- hour care. My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, while my husband and I had our first miscarriage. I spent every day working, and at lunch time would go to the hospice house to spend time with mom. We would rotate between the hospice house and the nursing home. My mom was my best friend, we talked multiple times a day, expected her to live like all the other women in our family into her 90’s. That wasn’t the case. 16 weeks from day of diagnosis to day of passing. The time we shared during her illness she continued her life lessons to me. She wore a reggae hat from the hospital to hospice. She took pictures with her medical team and stayed positive. As time progressed, she would make profound statements “you really cannot take it with you”, “value your family”, “ always thought I would have more time to do the things I wanted to do”, “live everyday like its your last, because you never know”. Mom passed in April 2009. In the mist of mom’s illness my husband and I were undergoing fertility treatments to attempt to become pregnant, not the best timing but my age was not on our side. Grandma became ill in June 2009 and was admitted to the hospital. As we were admitting her the fertility specialist called and told us we were pregnant. We were so high risk and had already had one miscarriage we wanted to wait to tell we were out of the woods to tell anyone. During Grandma’s trip to the hospital she had another major stroke, we told her we were expecting but will never know if she heard, I like to believe she did.
We had a beautiful baby girl in March of 2010. I was able to take some time off from the hospital when she was born. Life was still crazy moving full force in the pharmacy world, being a wife and mother and I was 41 years old. Missing my mother tremendously and gaining a whole new respect for her as a mother for raising us. Though I am pretty sure she got her wish of wishing me a child just like myself. I felt like I was trying to juggle everything and be everything for everyone else and honestly not doing it well.
I was starting to realize the part of my job I truly loved was working with people and helping people. The medical profession has changed and more of my time was pulled away from direct patient care into other areas. I was missing time with the patients who I wanted to assistance. I kept reminding myself of things mom and I talked about, and conversations about making a difference in this world. Jillian our daughter was growing up quickly and I was still doing 10-12 hours a day at the hospital. But many things seemed to be missing and feeling completely overwhelmed. I wanted more time with my daughter and family, I wanted a change in my career but had no idea what it was going to be. All I knew was I really liked helping people. At the age of 49 it was time to start researching and looking at opportunities.
I thought about going back and completing my psychology degree, its kind of excited me, but just wasn’t feeling it 100%. I then started researching coaching. This amazing profession of helping others help themselves and find their journey through life. I researched programs and schools and found this program iPEC that was very highly rated and taught core energy coaching. How was I going to manage this with a full-time pharmacy job, family and working with pharmacy school, and delegate for national association and be able to afford it. My husband and I sat down and discussed everything, and he knew how much I wanted a change. We worked out finances, so I could go part time at the hospital, the pharmacy department was great and allowed me to be a part-time clinical specialist. My daughter was thrilled cause mom was home more and could be a bigger part of her activities and life. I have moved into more of a mentor role in the profession of pharmacy and spend time assisting and guiding pharmacists in continuing to move the profession forward.
Now I am focused on my coaching business and enjoying every second of it. I am marking this as my new journey in life. Helping women who are 35+ who are juggling a busy life to not lose themselves in the process and create a healthy balance. I find myself smiling tremendously more these days, excited about helping others. I look forward to working with my clients, writing my blog, spending quality time with my family and continuing to explore this wonderful life and cherish each day.