Live from The Mayo Clinic, Day 2: Cancer Vixen Gets a "Skullshot" and a Nasal Endoscopy

Cancer Vixen Health Guide
  • It's Day 2. Live from The Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. Geraldo Rivera told me that Mayo is "its own unverse." I would describe it as THE center of the medical universe because of its exemplary treatment of patients and its futuristic medical advancements. (That is, once you discount the metal stirrups from the dark ages as previously witnessed in yesterday's post.) Come with me and I'lll show you why I found it to be so special, and a great model for other hospitals.

    Let's go down to the Subway Level...


    Mayo Clinic escalators

    which, as I've already told you, doesn't have a subway. It's the underground that connects the clinic buildings....

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    The non-subway subway level is like it's own city. It's has shops and stops to eat. You'll find...


    At the Chocolate Oasis. Plus... She's playing ragtime, serenading the Mayo-ees.



    Yesterday there was a string quartet complete with a harp.


    Here's the drill for appointments. You go to the building and the floor of you appointment. You show up at the desk and wait at this sign



    until it's your turn to register. This is a pretty civil way to keep your medical issues private from people like me.


    At each reception desk there is an Instant Hand Antiseptic with MOISTURIZERS, a box of Kleenex and a sign with the Mayo Clinic logo that says "Coughing? Sneezing? Respiratory infections may be easlily spread to others...please cover...when sneezing or coughing...wear a mask...clean your hands frequently and use a hand sanitizer...."


    Mayo Clinic hand sanitizer


    Other reception desks will have pamphlets like these entitled "Cover your Cough" and "Hand Hygiene: A Healthy Habit"

    along with aforementioned usual box of kleenexes, hand sanitizer and "Coughing? Sneezing" signage. I've even spotted face masks at the desk.


    At the desk I'm given a beeper. I sit in reception, waiting to see the doctor. About 10 minutes later, my beeper lights up like a Christmas tree and sounds off like a car alarm, and now a I see...


    This is Kristine R. She's a Clinical Assistant on the E.N.T. (Ear, nose and throat) floor. She's waiting for me at the reception desk to take me to the exam room. Her job is to "room a patient". A process most departments do here at Mayo. Her other job when she's not "rooming" is booking follow-up appointments.


    Caroll F. Poppen walks into the exam room.


    This is a Flexible fiberoptic Nasal Scope.



    Dr. Poppen did an endoscopy with it. The scope is 14 inches LONG, and about 8 inches went through each nasal passage to my larynx. Yum!!!!


    Poppen thinks this is "a pretty neat picture."



    I don't have the heart to tell him skulls are sooooooooo 2 seasons ago. He does have the heart to tell me, just as I thought, I have chronic sinusitis. Now, I know you're thinking: "Mareese -- you had worse!" And you're right. So why am I telling you this?


    When Poppen shows me the CT scan of my skull (see skullshot above) he shows me where the Chronic Sinusitis is. I've been complaining about this to my New York doctors, who pretty much ignored it FOR YEARS. He also tells me I've had a deviated septum. Poppen starts treatment immediately...


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    Here in lies the beauty of Mayo: everything is on computer so ALL THE Doctors can dialogue with each other and the Head Doctor will know what the Foot Doctor is doing and they all work together (ideally) because they are all on network.


    Speaking of beauty, when I tell my (s)mother over the phone about the Deviated Septum (which Poppen thinks he will, if the meds don't work, recommend surgery) she says a little too gleefully something she's said to me all my life: "Maybe you can get your nose done" and then adds "that is, WHEN you come back to New York!"


    Speaking of beauty.


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Published On: March 12, 2008