Sharing Mayo Clinic

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Hoyt Finnamore (@hoytfinnamore) posted · Fri, Nov 21 4:50pm · View  

Learning a New Way to Live, With Pain

Carl White enjoys time with his family now that he's learned to manage his chronic pain. Look at Carl White today and you see a busy, content family man. A husband and father of two, Carl recently completed his bachelor's degree and now is pursuing a master's in social work. When he's not in school or studying, you'll likely find him either at his job as a health unit coordinator at Mayo Clinic Hopsital, Saint Marys Campus, in Rochester, Minnesota, or spending time with his family.

At first glance, Carl may seem like any typical, hardworking dad. Rewind a few years, though, and you'll understand just how far Carl has come and the enormous struggles he has had to overcome.

Back in 2009, Carl was consumed with chronic pain — the result of two serious accidents. He attempted to cope by taking steady doses of strong pain medication, along with a significant amount of alcohol. But it provided little relief.

"I was in constant pain. I couldn't think. I couldn't function. My family was falling apart. I didn't know what to do," Carl says. "Time seemed to go so slowly while waiting for a magic bullet, a new medical breakthrough that would take all the pain away. I believed that all I needed was to have the right surgery or find the right pill, and I would be cured."

 "I was in constant pain. I couldn't think. I couldn't function. My family was falling apart. I didn't know what to do."

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Angry and discouraged after several years of dealing with the pain, he was not receptive when a doctor at Mayo Clinic referred him to Mayo's Pain Rehabilitation Center.  [...]

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kathy (@kathykma) responded:

Very nice Carl. I enjoyed reading this. You are still a superman in my eyes. Your heart is bigger than anyone I know and I am happy to have you as a co-worker and feel honored to be able to call you my friend.You should be proud of yourself. You’ve come along way.

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Hoyt Finnamore (@hoytfinnamore) posted · Mon, Nov 17 4:24pm · View  

Josh Russell Faces His Toughest Battle

Joshua Russell and his fiancé, Ashley, take a break during a horse ride. Josh Russell spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. But he says his toughest battle took place years after he left the military.

In early 2011, Josh noticed a bump in his stomach around his navel. He thought the bump was a hernia, and his doctor initially agreed. Josh was scheduled for surgery, but pre-op blood work revealed surprising news. Russell’s “hernia” was actually a tumor. He had testicular cancer.

“I was in shock,” says the Benton, Wisconsin, resident. But he didn’t have time to dwell on that. “I got the news on a Friday and started chemotherapy on Monday.”

Four months of treatment did little to slow the cancer. In fact, it was spreading.

“I had tumors from my groin to the lower part of my throat,” says Josh, whose prognosis looked grim. “After I finished chemo, they gave me six months to live. They wanted me to go home and start hospice.”

But that wasn’t a prognosis that Josh, then just 30 years old, or his family were willing to accept.  [...]

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Margaret Shepard (@margieshepard) posted · Fri, Nov 14 4:07pm · View  

Minimally invasive surgery for rectal cancer offers renewed hope

Monica Hansen and her son.

Her team of caregivers at Mayo Clinic gave Monica Hansen the information she needed to make a thoughtful decision about the cancer treatment approach that would be best for her.

When Monica Hansen of Minneapolis came to Mayo Clinic in March 2008, she needed answers, and she needed them quickly.

A 30-year-old first-time parent, Monica gave birth to a son in September 2007. As many women do, Monica suffered from hemorrhoids throughout her pregnancy. Except in Monica's situation, they didn't go away once her son was born. Following tests, consultations and one surgery with local physicians, Monica was stunned to find out she didn't have hemorrhoids at all. She had rectal cancer. The treatment options suggested to her seemed bleak, so Monica turned to Mayo Clinic for another opinion.

"When you have cancer, you want to know as soon as possible what's happening," Monica says. "Mayo was great. I was there for a few days and got all the tests I needed. I didn't have to wait weeks to get test results or schedule more exams. Then they told me what was going on and helped me make an informed decision." [...]

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iggeez (@iggeez1416) posted · Fri, Nov 7 9:49am · View  

Mystery Solved – Diagnosis Moves Patient from Frustration to Peace of Mind and a Plan

Karen Gibson at Mayo Clinic with her husband. I want to share my story to possibly help another person and to hopefully help others who are still facing their own health unknowns.

I struggled for years with extreme fatigue, major skin problems, muscle weakness, escalating eye issues, and a host of other unexplained symptoms. I moved to Georgia with more and more symptoms. I developed relationships with new doctors and developed new symptoms – seizures and heart-related syncope. I went to see a neurologist, who began to run tests. In the meantime, I had regular quarterly blood panels by my regular physician, who upon reporting to me by phone noted no irregularities. I was told time and time again to stop chasing a diagnosis. My family continued to watch my decline.

After running numerous tests, my neurologist could only ascertain that I may have had some mini-strokes. My neurologist referred me to a major university hospital. After two visits, and being practically laughed out of the place, I began to have serious doubts about my symptoms and began to believe the many specialists and psychologists who told me it was emotional response.  [...]

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Lolagirl1224 (@lolagirl1224) responded:

Karen, Thank you for writing your story. I have had lupus for many years, however 6 weeks ago I started have many of the same muscle problems you did. I've literally gone from a sick person who'd learned how to live a semi normal life to a disabled person who can't walk, talk correctly, work my normal job, driving is difficult and shopping... well let's just say that doesn't happen anymore. Someone saw this article [...]

Edited: 10/27/2014 @ 11:23pm

Posted Mon, Oct 27 at 11:21pm CST · View

iggeez (@iggeez1416) responded:

Hi Lola, I am so sorry it took me so long to answer your post. I have been in and out of the hospital many times over the past 3 months and I am getting ready for surgery. I know it is so completely frustrating when you want your body to move and it doesn't want to. A member of my family has Fibromyalgia and it is a very debilitating disease. I hope the therapy [...]

Posted Fri, Nov 7 at 9:49am CST · View
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