Crystal M writes from North Carolina:
I saw the invitation to share your story in the newsletter and thought that I would share mine with you. I am a Family Nurse Practitioner in hospitalist medicine, working in an approximate 150 bed facility in North Carolina. At the age of 23 I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, this was around three years after my father had been diagnosed with this genetic condition. I had no symptoms at the time, continuing to work as a cardiac ICU nurse and eventually graduate as a nurse practitioner.
Things began to change around late 2007 when I was 32 years old. I could no longer participate in much physical activity and over the next year things progressed to the point that I could no longer climb stairs and work was becoming increasingly difficult. It seemed that no one in my local area was comfortable treating my condition and several referrals were made with no treatment resulting in any measurable improvement.
I made the decision on my own to travel to Minnesota and it was by far the best decision I have ever made. When I arrived in the HCM clinic I finally began to understand what was happening to me and receive clear guidance. One week later I underwent surgery in St. Marys Hospital, which was a life-changing experience. Before this I was nearing the point of being unable to work, and eight weeks after surgery I returned to seeing patients full time.
I have been in healthcare for years and it is difficult for me to imagine that there is care out there anywhere that surpasses Mayo Clinic. My experience changed my life and I think about this every day in my interactions with others who are suffering. Thank you does not even begin to express my gratitude for what the clinic gave me- my life back.
If you would like to share your Mayo Clinic story, you may do so in the comments on this post, or see this page for more options.