Day Four - Thursday, March 17
8:00 a.m.: It's another early appointment, but instead of tests, today I get some answers. So after a quick breakfast at the hotel, the first one I've been able to eat with Robert in three days, we are back in the car heading down Shea Blvd., bathed in the early morning sunlight. On the drive over we talk about the progress the road construction crew has been making over the past four days resurfacing this busy street.
With the same efficiency that was the hallmark of my first appointment on Monday, the check-in process is a breeze and the wait time minimal. We find ourselves once again sitting on the couch in the examination room for just a few minutes before Dr. Goodman walks in and joins us.
As Dr. Goodman begins to speak I focus all my attention on him and try to absorb each and every word he says. A few minutes in, I suddenly realize that I should be taking notes. I glanced over at Robert and see him typing away on the keyboard of his Blackberry smartphone. Sure enough, he seems to have read my mind and has been taking notes for me.
In that moment, my gratitude towards him grew exponentially.
Based on my recollections and his detailed notes, here's a summary of Dr. Goodman's preliminary findings:
- Based on the autonomic testing, my diagnosis is orthostatic intolerance (also called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS.)
- He changed the beta-blocker that I have been taking to another one in a different class. He feels this alternate beta-blocker will better address my symptoms of tachycardia and blood pressure fluctuations.
As Robert and I headed out of the examination room and back to the waiting room, I once again asked him, "So what do you think?" This led to a long conversation that began in the waiting room and continued as we went down the elevator, to and from the pharmacy and back to our car. In the process, Robert and I reviewed all the information Dr. Goodman provided me as well as his treatment recommendations.
We both felt that this trip to the Mayo Clinic Arizona was well worth our time, as it provided new information about and new treatment options for my dysautonomia. We both felt reassured that being connected to a real expert in this area meant that I would be getting better care for this condition. We decided it would be worth our time and effort to come back every year to see Dr. Goodman.
After this appointment, we headed back to the hotel to rest and have lunch. Then headed out in search of some some cactus candy to bring back home with us.
3:30 p.m.: We returned back to the cardiology clinic to drop off the Holter monitor that I have been wearing for the past 24 hours. The technician had shown me how to remove the electrodes on my own, so all I had to do was place the device in the bag she gave me and hand it to the receptionist at check-in. We then headed to the pharmacy to pick up my two prescriptions and discuss with them how to go about transferring these prescriptions to my local pharmacy.
With the completion of these two tasks, my time at the Mayo Clinic Arizona came to an end. But in terms of my dysautonomia-related medical care, this is just the beginning. Over the next few months I will learn how this experience will affect the quality of my life with dysautonomia and my other chronic illnesses. And, of course, I will be sharing those results here with you.
- My Mayo Clinic Adventure - Day One (ohmyachesandpains.info)
- My Mayo Clinic Adventure - Autonomic Testing on Day 2 (ohmyachesandpains.info)
- My Mayo Clinic Adventure - A Very Busy Day 3 (ohmyachesandpains.info)