Back to my usual routines....except, something feels different. I feel different. For the first time in my life I had a similar daily experience of someone who is terminally ill. I am not terminally...I could be I suppose but honestly that isn't the feeling that I'm getting. What I mean is for over a solid week, everything I basically said and did was related to my medical condition....
I had traveled out of state. I lived in a hotel, specifically set up for patients visiting the Clinic: short and long term. Oxygen delivered to rooms, Bell Hops that delivered medical equipment (and specimens) to the clinic for you at 6:30a so you wouldn't have to, check-in and check-out times scheduled around YOUR medical tests, that kind of thing.
Every person at the Kahler Grand Hotel that I dealt with was very understanding and helpful. I know I've sounded like an infomercial for The Mayo Clinic but seriously, I have not exaggerated their commitment to serving the public..it's awesome!
I have mentioned in earlier posts that i have learned a great deal on that trip and I really have. Like what it would be like to have to do that for a long period of time. All the appointments to coordinate, the constant testing and preparation that must be done before hand. Special diets, medications, fasting and super early wake up calls to "VOID" into a container then put it in a bag and deliver, "FRESH" to the lab.
Getting on standby list for earlier testing times and just feeling crappy a lot of the time. I thin....no I certainly HOPE that I am a more compassionate and understanding person because of this experience. I met, talked to, waited with and got to know several people who were really sick. Who have spent a major portion of their recent lives in waiting rooms, hospitals, pharmacies and labs.
And I learned that most people (Thank the Lord) aren't sick alone...nope, they have family members and friends who are there every step of the way. Just as I needed help and would not have been able to process all the appointments, tests prep and stuff without K-Sue's assistance and support.
The experience has reinforced my belief in people...they want to help, they give of themselves...probably long after they should stop and take care of themselves.
Just thinking of the dozens of musicians and singers who volunteer every week to play and perform in the lobby at The MAYO Clinic, giving their time and talents to brighten people's day.
And what a wonderful asset to our county The MAYO Clinic itself is. We are fortunate to have an institution like this serving people, at a reasonable or no cost of the world. It was created to give the "average Joe's and Joanne's" of the world access to world class care and facilities and from what I witnessed, it is continuing to fulfill that mission to this day.
Even though I'd like to think I was a compassionate guy to begin with...I still think this trip and experience has enlightened me and I'm better for it. Who knows...this may be just the beginning for in in the medical PIPELINE as it were. I realistically could have Cancer or some other Terminal Illness, I don't think so but I could. And because of my recent experience I am not nearly as frightened of that prospect as I once was. Because I just witnessed with my own eyes how it might be...