Pole Position
Air Travel . . . These Days: When Plans Unravel

Medical Care . . . the Way It Should Be

As you read this post today, I'll be winging my way back home . . .
from a whirlwind medical adventure in Rochester, Minnesota . . .
at the . . . 


Some of you may already have had the great pleasure of visiting Mayo, so you'll know what I'm talking about when I say . . .

This is medical care . . . the way it should be!

I first visited Mayo in the fall of 2008 . . . when I was in the midst of a tricky lymphoma diagnosis. Locally, I had been getting the medical runaround for months, jumping through hoop after hoop and finding no answers, getting nowhere. . . but once I finally got to Mayo, I had a diagnosis and treatment plan after just a few (sure, rather grueling, but still) days.

So. Fast forward to 2021. I've reached a phase with my rheumatoid arthritis where I'm  . . . let's just say not getting what I need locally . . . so I decided to head to the Mayo Clinic for answers and a plan once again.

Let me just interrupt myself to say that it's not all rainbows and moonbeams when you decide to go to Mayo. In fact, if you don't live within easy driving distance of the campus, it's just gonna be a hassle . . .pure and simple. You can't just call up and get an appointment, either. There is a Process. And it takes time and requires a referral from a local doctor. You have to be approved. And you have to jump through a lot of hoops along the way. There are travel hassles and timing hassles and logistical hassles. (Trust me. I've had them all in the last 3 days.)

But, friends. When you walk into this building . . . 


every one of those hassles is Totally. Worth. It.

Because Mayo Clinic care is completely patient focused. Everyone is friendly. Everyone is efficient. They answer questions. They ask questions. And they cater their care to what YOU need. Thoughtfully. And quickly.

IMG_7097 2

This wall mural really does say it all. The Mayo philosophy. (It took me a long time before I could snap this photo . . . because it appears in a very busy hallway- part of the underground "subway" system of interconnected, underground tunnels connecting the many buildings on the Mayo campus - and hordes of people walk by all the time.)

Once you arrive at Mayo, they put together an "itinerary" for your days, filled with appointments, scans, x-rays, tests . . . anything you might need. And ususally . . . all those tests happen back to back to back, all in one day. The results come in . . . . and you get another itinerary. Maybe appointments with different doctors. Maybe surgery. Maybe staging. Who knows! But whatever you need . . . they do it. And you don't wait long for results or treatments or answers either. 

You know what else? The Mayo Clinic buildings, themselves, are beautiful. And that's a real treat when you're sick or hurting and scrambled and searching. There are comfortable places to sit and wait. Big windows to take in the views. Real art on display. Soothing music. A calm atmosphere. And plenty of helpful "concierges" to help you figure out where you are and how to get to your next destination.


Seriously. (Say it with me. . . ) Medical care the way it should be!

When I made my appointment for this week (months ago now), I was unsure how long I'd need to stay. They recommended 4 days, and that's what I planned for. As it turns out, they were able to cram everything I needed into one (very long) day -- and I'm already on my way home again, with a virtual doctor appointment to follow later this week to review my results and put together a plan. 

So that's where I've been.
The whole Mayo thing is really . . . quite an amazing experience. And I'm happy to have hassled my way through it!

(And if you ever need answers for a tricky medical issue, or if you feel like you're getting nowhere fast locally . . . please remember that the Mayo Clinic is an option. It might seem like all kinds of hassle. But when you're desperate for answers or a next step, it's worth it!)


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Mayo Clinic is always spoken of as The Best Place, and I'm glad to hear it's true and that you've hopefully benefited from their expertise and efficiency for a second time. And all that beautiful Chihuly glass doesn't hurt!


I am so glad that this place exists... and so sad that it is not the "norm" for medical care. Yay that you have a plan going forward and an even bigger yay for distance physician visits, thanks to the wonders of technology!


Years ago I read Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic and thought is sounded like an amazing place. I have two friends who received care and answers and they confirmed - it was amazing for them too. I hope this trip will bring some new answers for you.


Fingers crossed that you get some answers & a plan!!


It does my heart good to read this for many reasons. I'm glad you are getting the medical care you deserve, the care we ALL deserve. And I'm also just glad to know this place exists. Safe travels home!


So thankful a place like the Mayo Clinic exists! Glad you could go and get some answers. Grateful that you will shortly have a plan. Safe travels home Kym!


This sounds like the way it should be everywhere -- people and their health should be the top priority, not profits! I am glad that you were able to get through everything quickly; I'm guessing with COVID they want to get people in and out as expeditiously as possible. I hope you're able to get some results and treatment that make things better very soon!


I felt like that when I went to Dana-Farber with a friend. Extraordinary care with the patient as the #1 priority and the "team" concept was amazing. Here's hoping your meeting this week is full of good news for your treatment plan. Welcome home!


A friend of mine was diagnosed with brain cancer several years ago and according to her local doctor, it looked pretty grim. She took herself to Mayo and that was four years ago. They absolutely saved her life.


I'm glad for you and hope you get a plan that is just right for you! This type of health care should be the standard and available to everyone! Hope you have safe travels back home!


How wonderful you were able to get to Mayo and experience such great care. I'll hold a good thought that you soon have a good plan for the future and safe travels home.


I’m so glad Mayo was there for you. Wishing you the very best. Welcome home.


There seems to be a general trend in medical environments to add beauty to the experience, at least in my experience. Beauty is important! Maybe Mayo led the way. So glad you had a good experience!


Funding from generous wealthy philanthropists helps. I think of so many small struggling hospitals. If I I ever win the lottery…. My strong sympathies re your horrible flying experience. My friend just had 2 days lopped off her 5-day visit due to airline difficulties. We really had to hussle. Your First Class ticket has given me ideas... Hope you get the help you need, Kym!


It's so nice to hear you're getting the care you need! And, that any of us given the circumstance (as well as all the hoops) can have the same care! Fingers crossed they can give you proper care plan for your diagnosis.


Thank you for sharing the insider scoop - I've heard so much about it, and hope I never have reason to visit ... except vicariously! Are those Chihuly sculptures? very very cool!


I hope for you the very best outcome, and quickly. Thanks so much for sharing your story.


I lived in southern MN until I was 14. The Mayo Clinic was less than 100 miles away. When locals needed hospitalization, many simply went to a hospital in Mankato, 30 mil.es away. My mother, however, thought those folks to be simplistic. When she needed serious medical care, she went to Mayo.

Digression: A grandson (great-grandson?) of the Mayos is psychologist https://www.scrmc.org/our-providers/charles-w-mayo-ii-md/ in our local hospital here and his cousin is a physical therapist at that hospital. Her father used to live around here, but I suspect he is passed.

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