The Power of Three

I recently shared that I feared I was nearing a breaking point.  This week was full of challenges including a Friday the 13th.  Months of battling with AFLAC, problems at the store and Scott being readmitted to the hospital, seemingly failing rather than improving.   Just seeing a friend’s post on Facebook about having dinner with her family at a restaurant was enough to bring me to tears.  What I wouldn’t give to have a dinner out with the family right now.  You don’t appreciate the simple things until you go a year without them.  This week left me ready to walk-away from money due us from AFLAC, sell the store and look for a job.  Being the boss and owner of a business is over-rated; most times it feels like it’s all problems and very little to no pay.  Going back to work would eliminate the need to continue fighting for the AFLAC benefits, not to mention eliminate that $1300/month bill for our health insurance.  It seemed like it was time to give that some serious thought.    

After being gone a few days, I had to get the mail and Lucky the chicken met me at the roadside.  It’s always good to feel missed, even if it is by a chicken.  Feel good sign number one.  It was getting late when I realized that I never looked at the mail.  Of course, as if the week hadn’t been bad enough, there was an envelope from AFLAC.  Might as well see what they have to say; get it over with.  As expected, it was another denial letter.  This one indicated that on a particular claim, they found no evidence that a stem cell transplant had been performed so therefore the claim was being denied.  I’m not sure why they paid for him to be in the hospital for 39 days yet thought that nothing had transpired during that time?  Really?  Was my counting off?  Was this bad news number one already?  Afterall, being welcomed home by a hungry chicken was probably a stretch to count as something positive happening in my life. 

I couldn’t help it; I decided to really punish myself and log into our AFLAC account.  If the 110-page hospital bill with the page with the charge for over $54k highlighted along with additional supporting materials wasn’t clear enough; what was?  My blood pressure was climbing.  So, I logged on and what to my wondering eyes should appear but an explanation of benefits.   WHAT?? Despite the letter of denial, a significant sum of money was deposited into our account – on Friday the 13th no less.  A huge relief, but not enough for me to take back all the nasty things I said about them.  It should have happened months ago and without all the stress that probably took years off my life.  Back to thinking positive; event number two. 

After weeks of having everyone tell me that I needed to take care of myself, I decided to go to the doctor last Monday and have my finger looked at.  I had injured it the week of Thanksgiving.  Long story short, don’t use your fingers as an ice scraper unless you want to tear a tendon and wear a finger splint for two months. 

Anyway, while there, I had gotten a fourth COVID vaccine; for Scott’s sake.  Since then, I had been feeling crappy both physically and mentally.  Exhausted, like I had a cold brewing.  I decided that maybe it was time to take one of those free COVID tests I had in the closet just to make sure I wasn’t one of the super spreaders.  Living at the hospital no less.   They are really good at testing patients but not caregivers.  Thankfully, it was negative.  I think I started feeling better immediately.  Good news; number three.  Probably the most I could hope for.    

Saturday morning; still fuzzy from last night’s Nyquil, I begrudgingly drug myself out of bed to go make food for this week’s lunch specials.  Strapped with a long list of must dos before I headed back to Ann Arbor, I hopped in the Dawg mobile and headed to town.  After hearing all the issues that they were dealing with while I was in Ann Arbor for a mere four days, I was only more convinced that it was time to throw my hands up in the air and succumb to defeat.  Easily bad things one through three if not one to six – a double whammy.  What seemed like a crazy dream six years ago was feeling like a back-breaking mountain of problems.  Starting with a dramatic failed attempt in a business partnership ending in a buyout, moving into years of COVID that led to an inability to find workers along with a never-ending list of equipment break downs.  Without my “free” maintenance man by my side, even the smallest problems seem insurmountable.   I began to think about exit options and planned to talk to Scott about my admission of defeat as soon as I got back to the hospital. 

The van I purchased for catering in 2022

Enter our financial advisor.  A pint-size cheery ball of fire.  She was there to grab some lunch and report that the soup from Wednesday was amazing.   Now that she had finally tried our food, she was already making plans to eat with us once a week.  Just the encouragement I needed.  That got me thinking about ideas to make sure local business owners knew about what we had to offer. 

Next thing I know, I got a random text from another business owner.  He shared plans he had in the works that would allow us to partner on some things on a larger level; exciting for both him and I.  There was no rhyme or reason as to why he chose to share what he did, when he did, but boy did I need to hear it.  Feeling hopeful, I finished my food prep, did my banking and payroll for Monday, grabbed the mail and was out the door.  Headed back home to print, pack and proceed.

In the pile of mail was a letter from the Liquor Control Commission.  Now that couldn’t be good; could it?  I had no choice, pull up my big girl pants and rip it open.  Much to my pleasant surprise, it was a letter of congratulations.  As we had suspected, we had been the target of a sting in November.  The letter indicated that my staff had acted appropriately and had refused sale of alcohol to a minor.  The third sign that now was not the time to give up hope.

Today the doctor indicated that after all the blood testing; they are thinking that the blood sample was contaminated and that he might not have ever had a blood infection.  He said that oddly enough, it was a good thing that it had happened because it brought him here and they were able to catch the GVH of the gut really early so that it can be easily treated with steroids.  That and the C-Diff was a very mild case as well.   Hum.    

Scott enjoying the pool in Costa Rica in 2021

I realize that you may or may not believe in a higher power.  If you’re not a number person, you’ve probably not given much thought to the rule of threes.  Just when I could easily stop believing; when I didn’t think I can take any more, then something happened to change my perspective.  I do believe that life/God won’t hand you more than you can handle; but boy, it gets close sometimes.  It’s easy to find fault in my rule of threes but it’s looking at things in small bites that makes it easier for me to keep plowing forward.  With all the challenges that life today presents, it’s really important to find something that works for you and stick with it.   Whether it’s prayer, yoga or counting your fortunes and mis-fortunes; use it to get you through the rough patches.  For me, counting helps me take notice of the small things and helps remind me that bad #@#%^ won’t last forever.  Take a que from one of the best bands ever – and Don’t Stop Believing.      

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