Ellen and I spent the last week at the Mayo Clinic looking for some answers (found some, left with more questions to hopefully be answered by future tests). The Mayo Clinic is an amazing, overwhelming place. The following are my reflections based on conversations and observations.
Love – a couple who has been married for 56 years looking for a couple more years, pain free, together.
Comfort – a frail middle school girl cuddled up next to mother, hoping to absorb some of her mother’s strength.
Anguish – a mother who was told by her home doctors it was all in her middle school daughter’s head, with the Mayo doctors saying that they wish you had got her here sooner.
Kindness – a shuttle bus driver with really bad jokes that bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Caring – technicians that provide dignity while you are being subjected to potentially humiliating tests.
Generosity – volunteers playing the different pianos in the buildings because they believe music helps people heal. (Google “Mayo Clinic Piano Players”)
Relief – when you are told you don’t have the really scary condition you feared.
Fear – when you are told you don’t have the scary condition you feared but they still don’t understand what is going inside you.
Joy – having dinner with old friends whose young daughter’s brain tumor was successfully treated and is now a happily married young women.