This was my view as I passed the windows looking out of the Mayo/Gonda buildings:
So, they have decided my pain is fibromyalgia, my joint discomfort and inflexibility is rheumatoid arthritis (even though extensive blood work disagrees – but apparently 20% of people test negative for it yet have it) and my incontinence issues are called pelvic floor dysfunction. So essentially, I am in for a life of chronic pain, and managing symptoms. The treatment plan was to decrease stress and rest more (ha!! I have two kids under 2.5 and both are still in diapers!!). They also told me to add water aerobics in a pool at least 84 degrees several times a week which I have just started doing. My favorite part though was two different doctors who in their recommendation of “self-care” encouraged my continued use of my essential oils, especially since there is no “magic pill” for any of these chronic diseases and both of these particular doctors are pretty against the theory of “over-medicating”. I so appreciated this attitude. They were very aware of my home situation, as a stay-at-home-mom and the inability I have to be drugged and comatose all day from side effects of various medications like I was this past summer. I loved that my doctors supported the medical decisions I was already making and that I could continue that at home without having to add so many prescriptions to my plate. I am planning to look into biofeedback as that has also been recommended by Mayo for management.
We stayed in the cutest house ever to give us all the comforts of home and not feel like we were cramped and uncomfortable in a hotel.
If you ever find yourself en route to Mayo Clinic, this place was da bomb!
This place: www.bounceworldmn.com was amazing. My son loved jumping and running around and being a kid. His heart was full of joy there.
Another super cool place we found to take the young-ins was PipSqueaks, part of the United Way program of Rochester.
We also took advantage of a major snow storm to get all bundled up and play outside in the snow, and even build a little snowman.
There was lots of emotions on this trip. For me, it was a lot of waiting, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear. It was hard to be away from my kids. It was awful being poked and prodded every day and doing different physical tests (for oxygen output, for heart stress, etc.) that my body felt like I had just survived three-a-days on a football team, and to come back “home” after each of the days was so hard. There were moments of joy and laughter, especially watching my son play in the snow, or my kids play and goof around at PipSqueaks or taking my daughter on her first ever plane ride! There were moments of celebration as we learned I did not have a deadly disease. There were moments of hard news as I learned I will be dealing with a diagnosis of chronic pain for the rest of my life. Yet, overall I am so glad we went to Mayo Clinic. I am grateful my family accompanied me on this leg of our journey (yes, this leg, this pain journey is over 2 years old!). I feel excited about life again, even with this diagnosis, that I can go forward and find a way to manage my symptoms and pain. And I am looking forward to how the Lord will use all of this to His good and glory.
If you have questions about anything relating to getting to/from Rochester, things to do in Rochester or navigating Mayo Clinic – I would love to answer them!!