Change Your Thoughts: Pre-Surgery Gratitude

It is in our hands to shift our thoughts, feelings, energy and therefore, our actions.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with a coaching client who was in the middle of a medical issue. After her surgery and when she was recovered, I asked her if she would be willing to write about her experience. Following is the reflection I received from her. Thank you, Kathleen.

“In the past months I’ve had the opportunity to develop patience and understanding. I was in the medical system with an unclear and possibly serious diagnosis. As I attempted to get tests, results, and appointments, I was often frustrated with what seemed to be a lack of empathy and compassion by medical personnel (non-doctors). I sensed a complacency and apathy in staff. The date for my surgery was scheduled and I was beginning to get worn out by the process, and to enter into compliance and burnout.

As I was sharing this story with Carol Adamski, she gave some wisdom, “You can turn this around.” I was surprised, and asked,  “How”? She shared, “It’s easy. Start with gratitude. Let the staff know that what they do makes a difference.” What a concept!

With that in mind, I went looking for the perfect card, and found it. On the outside it simply said “Thank You” and on the inside, “What you do makes a difference”. To deliver with the card I gathered Hershey Hugs and Kisses and $1000 Grand Bars, and added personal note sharing, “You are the first team one sees on this journey, your job is extremely important and makes a huge difference in my life, in the life of others….some hugs and kisses to say you are worth a GRAND!”

I personally delivered the “thank you” to admissions and a few other departments on my way to the procedure. A good friend delivered them to my doctor’s office and post-op team. When I awoke in post-op, I was warmly greeted, and well cared for. Nurses came to my bedside with candy and the card, saying “thank you.”

The minute I started preparing the gifts of appreciation, my fear subsided. I felt open, connected, and at peace.

Yes, we have within us the ability to change the course of how we see, and how others see their role and the difference their job makes in the life’s of others….

Carol, I’m grateful for the gentle guidance and wisdom shared. Thank you, what you do makes a difference in my world and in the world!!!”



In facing a difficult and fearful situation, it’s not always easy to find our gratitude.

When we are able to, we change…our hearts open, good chemistry flows through our bodies, and we bring that into our connections with others. I, myself, have found that with practice, I can usually find something to be grateful for especially when I focus on the people in my life who support, encourage, love me and who are a part of my village.

May your day be filled with gratitude and good things. ~Carol


PS. If you want support in making gratitude a part of you everyday life,  Register for the Art of Appreciation On-Line Workshop. The above example is one of the reasons I designed the Art of Appreciation.