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My mother is at the Mayo clinic this week. A year ago, she had a bad reaction to her cholesterol medication, which hurt her muscles (this is called rhabdomyolysis). The usual treatments have not worked; local muscle specialists haven’t been helpful either.

So she went to the Mayo clinic.

The Mayo Clinic is the medical profession’s version of the Emerald City. Seeing the doctors at Mayo has similar emotions to We’re Off to See the Wizard. Patients hope to get answers, and to get things fixed. Those without improvement -and have the funds – go to Marvelous land of Mayo in Minnesota.

On the positive, patients bound for Mayo have excitement and great hope, where often there was none. Not once have I heard someone come back and say their examination was a disappointment. Just going there seems to get some things better – a not uncommon phenomena in medicine by the way.

On the negative, they often come back without much change. When I press patients for what new thing they learned or what new treatment they are getting, they often draw a blank. So I have some doubts about ‘going to Mayo’. Like The Wizard they seem to pull no real objects out of the sack most of the time.

My mother’s two physician children (my brother is a ‘real doctor’) advised her to arrive prepared. She has all her labs/tests/medications for review, put together the family history etc. I asked her to get clear explanations and answers. So she is ready as anyone I suppose. I hope it helps her, or at least gives her some comfort.

“To cure sometimes, to help often, to comfort always”

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