Monday, July 03, 2006

And we're off!

Tomorrow morning, WCB, Jay, Marcia Brady, and I will pile into the car and leave for Minnesota. Wish us luck.

I've been getting a lot of questions about the visit to Mayo: Everything from "What kinds of tests are you going to have?" (Just blood and urine tests) to, "When will you get your results?" (Only a few hours after the blood is drawn) and even, "Will you need to spend the night in the hospital?" (Noooooo! Not at all!) I thought I'd try to explain how a Mayo visit works.

After I called to make this appointment, I received a schedule in the mail telling me where I need to be and at what time. This visit, I only need to drop off my 24-hour-urine jug, which was mailed to me in advance, and have my blood drawn at 9 a.m. We're going to be staying at a hotel that's connected to the clinic by an underground tunnel, so it will be easy for me to go right to my morning blood test and back to the hotel. The underground-tunnel feature doesn't seem all that exciting in July, but when we visited in January, we were very grateful that we didn't have to go outside. Minnesota winters make me cranky, even when I'm wearing my giagantic silver down-filled coat that makes me look like the Tin Man on sterioids. Other hotels in Rochester offer free shuttle-bus service from the door of the hotel to the clinic. It's like Disney World with needles.

Then we wait around until 3 p.m., when I have an appointment to talk with my doctor, Dr. Hayman, who will already have all of my results and will be ready to go over them with us. Last time we were there, she pulled everything up on her computer screen, and we went over all of the numbers.

The first times I went to Mayo, I needed quite a few more tests, including x-rays, an EKG, a bone-marrow biopsy, and a bone-density scan. Again, I received a printout telling me where to go and a map of the clinic. The clinic is enormous and has numerous buildings, but it's pretty easy to get around by following maps and signs. The schedule has a barcode on it; when you check in for each appointment, the desk worker scans in your code and instantly knows who you are and what you need to have done. Of course, they always double check that it's really you by asking you to give your birthday or spell your name. I rarely needed to wait around and usually went quickly from one appointment to the next.

That's it in a nutshell. More questions? Post them here! We're hoping that our hotels will have good Internet access, so I'll try to write from the road. If I can't, I'll be back here next week. Happy Fourth!


DavidE said...

Karen - regarding this part: "Other hotels in Rochester offer free shuttle-bus service from the door of the hotel to the clinic. It's like Disney World with needles."

When we went to MD Anderson alst year we experienced the was like a ride to purgatory. Everyone in lobby and on the shuttle was going to the same place, the drive must have felt like The Grim Reaper (side note, when WCB gets older, don't let her watch "The Amazing Advetures of Billy and Mandy", a very twisted show on Cartoon Network, 'Grim' is their sidekick). Back to the driver; a bus driver would not be a great job in my mind, but the shuttle driver that carries people to the cancer hospital, DEPRESSING!

On the other hand....warm up that credit card and head to the Mall of America!! Oh, the madness....

amanda said...

No worries, Karen, thanks for visiting the new place. I hope that things are looking up for you.