Monday, May 20, 2013

52 People Project - Alicia Shiever

The Coram girls!
This is part 4 of my 52 People Project where I reflect on individuals who I have had the honor to walk side by side with on the journey called life.

In 2011, I met Alicia Shiever when she came into town to "ride along" with me. She was the new hire for Coram in the Oklahoma City market and I was actually pretty excited to have a new teammate. Little did I know how much I would end up loving her.

Medical sales suits me well. I love relationship building and love the concept of "under-promising and over-delivering". It feeds something deep in my soul knowing that I am helping patients get home where they long to be after a hospitalization. The downfall to sales is that it can be a lonely job. Most days are spent travelling from one account to the next trying to be at the right place at the right time to get a referral.

On the loneliest of days with Coram, one of my very favorite things is when my phone vibrates in my pocket and I see Alicia's name on my screen. She almost always has a story to tell or something to complain about that leaves me in laughter. She not only helps me strategize and problem solve, but she also lends me her ear and offers advice when I need a friend. Although in the past 2 years we have only been together in person 6 or 7 times, through text and phone conversations, she has become one of my closest friends.

A picture to prove it 
She is hands down one of the funniest people I have ever known. She isn't afraid to talk to anyone. A few years ago we were at national conference and coincidentally there was a national baby doll convention going on at the same hotel. Let me break this down so you understand. There were hundred of grown women walking around with very real looking dolls in strollers as if they were real infants. They would feed them, burp them and change their diapers. It was a bit creepy, sort of comical and a little sad at the same time. We tried to be kind and not stare. Alicia, however ended up talking with the ladies and when asked if she wanted to hold one of the dolls, she said "sure!" Alicia is the only person I know who could have done this and made the "mom" feel so proud.

Before and After
Alicia is also an inspiration to me. Less than 9 months ago she hired a trainer and started her journey to healthy living. I have watched in amazement as she has shrunk by over 30 lbs. She went from pulling over in the middle of the day for french fries to a lifestyle focused around healthy eating and activity. What compels me the most is that she is honest with me about her struggles and she makes me feel like I can do whatever I put my mind to. I am so proud of her.

A picture of the hospital after the storm
Today Alicia sent me a text at 2:47 stating that she was in Moore in the path of the larger-than-a-mile-wide tornado. She had stopped by Moore Medical Hospital this afternoon on her rounds and had stayed when a "Code Black" was issued. When I was finally able to get to a television, I ached. Through tearful eyes, I watched the storm engulf Moore and leave devastation in its path. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I heard that she was OK. Just a few moments ago, this was her Facebook post:

"Just letting everyone know that I'm ok. I was in Moore Medical Hospital when it was hit with a straight blow. We had enough notice to move all patients to the cafeteria where myself and all other patients and staff were. We all got on the floor. We clung to complete strangers. We could hear it coming and tearing the roof off overhead. By far the scariest day of my life. So thankful for prayers. For protection."

I frankly don't know what I would do if something happened to my sweet friend.

Just under a month ago, I resigned from my position at Coram to pursue another job in sales with a local long term care facility (LTAC). In the past month, I have learned a lot about myself and my purpose which I will unravel and put in words at another time. But one thing I do know is that home is where my family is and Coram is my family! In about a week, I return home to my position at Coram and I couldn't be more happy.

Alicia, I can't wait to be co-workers again! It is such an honor to walk this part of my journey with you. Your heart of compassion and determination blows me away. I am glad you are safe! I still don't know how I got so lucky to have you as a friend! Love you!!!

Until next time,

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