OT: Mary and Mayo

St. Mary's hospital in Rochester, MN is very, very impressive. We
were there from Monday evening until Friday midday. Not a planned
event, shit happens. We were in Roch Monday evening for an overnight
visit to make a Tue AM appointment easy, planned to return Tue and be
home before sundown or even rush hour.
Had a very nice dinner in downtown Rochester Monday evening, returned
to motel. An early bedtime pit stop for Mary with a bit of
assistance from me showed unequivocal evidence of an internal bleed.
Damn, that wasn't on the agenda! We called a number at Mayo we
had, both knowing that the next stop would be the ER at St. Mary's.
And so it was.
I'd no more than stopped the car at the ER entrance, wind chill about
-25 that night, when a woman came out the door with a wheelchair and
transferred Mary from car to wheelchair like she'd done it before more
than once. By the time I'd parked and returned, not more than 10
minutes in the arctic chill, Mary was thru triage and in a room
being hooked up with half a dozen people busy around her. BP was so
low they couldn't find a vein to start a transfusion. Mar was weak,
but completely lucid. Our E.R. banter seems to engage the E.R.
teams. We know a bit about serious but we respect and trust the
professionals who are doing their best and we understand that bad
shit happens to good people some days. Gloom will not deflect the
grim reaper, gritty cheerful attitude sometimes does for a while.
Fast forward thru ER, ICU and meds floor to discharge midday today.
Very, very impressive.
Mayo is a non-profit or not-for-profit institution. I don't know what
the difference is between those terms, but there is a marked
difference between whatever those are and for-profit operations like
Allina. We think Allina delivers pretty good care, but definitely
not to the Mayo level of compassion and commitment to quality of life.
The difference is in how the people are allowed to be motivated. Mayo
is non-union, non-profit, not government subsidized other than by
medicare. Their diverse staff is fairly compensated and recognized
for making a difference. They walk the extra mile every day because
that's what they want to do, and the org allows, encourages, rewards
and even expects and requires that behavior and attitude. The
current class in the Mayo medical school has 42 students. One of
Mary's doctors was Kelsy, a 4th year resident as a brand-new MD. They
connected like magnets. Kelsy aspires to be an ER doc at Regions in
St. Paul or Hennepin County in Mnpls. Those are both very gritty
venues. She'll be quietly brilliant wherever she goes. She's
engaged, has a very nice ring. Well duh, her fiance is connected to
J. B. Hudson somehow some way. Kelsy doesn't come from money, just
from motivation. Mayo requires docs to wear suits. She had to
borrow a suit from a friend. On her next tour she'll be able to wear
scrubs. She can still wear her nice ring, of course.
I think they liked our attitude too.
One of the things they did at St. Mary's in Rochester was to wrap
Mary's calves, ankles and feet with Ace bandages to combat edema as
Mary's body aspires to become a watermelon from the transfusions and
IV's to keep her BP up to functionally alive and able to walk tens of
feet with a walker appliance. I watched carefully as Roxy the
compassionate nurse did that. We learned in conversation that Roxy
has been up and down a couple of rockpiles we know a little about, so
we were sorta sympatico.
The Ace bandages came kinda undone this evening at the rehab facility
after travel, several transfers and a couple of bathroom stops, so I
redid them. Later a nurse came in to have a look at Mary. She noted
the wrappings, asked Mary if she might like them off for the night,
noting that this is usual practice. Mary said OK, then mentioned
that the wraps were done by her hubby. The nurse did a doubletake,
said "really?". Wull, ya. She looked at me with almost disbelief
and said, "you did it perfectly!"
Aw shucks, grin grin.
That felt good. I did try to observe, learn and get it right.
Reply to
Don Foreman
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You're a good hubby Don, Mary's lucky! Remember, there are a finite number of stars in the Universe.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Sure glad you got her to help in time. Have they found the leak yet?
Reply to
Don, I hope Mary is on the mend. You were in the right place if you have to get seriously sick. Keep us updated on her progress.
I've had a loved one in both Allina and Mayo facilities and draw the exact same conclusion. We are truly blessed to have world class health care so close to us.
Now, if you want to see bad, try the ER in a (unnamed) hospital in central Florida. First the room is flooded with low life types using it as a doctor's office. Then you got your gunshot victims arriving. The help is over worked underpaid and don't give a shit. (My dad called me, I flew from MN to FL, mom was still in the ER) Florida is a nice place to visit but don't get sick there.
Reply to
Karl Townsend
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Reply to
Denis G.
Don, All the best to your wife, scary stuff. One of our sons has some chronic medical issues so we have regular interactions with docs and hospitals. Our experience is the same, the difference between great care and so-so care can be pretty startling. Hope she gets through this soon.
Your remark:
"...we understand that bad shit happens to good people some days. Gloom will not deflect the grim reaper, gritty cheerful attitude sometimes does for a while."
is a Don Foreman Classic. I'm going to clip that one for future reference. So very true. My view exactly, though I don't think I could have put it so succinctly.
Al A.
Reply to
All Mayo Clinic physicians receive a fixed salary. Their
income is not related to the number of physical examinations,
surgeries or laboratory tests performed. Being free of
financial incentives allows Mayo Clinic physicians to spend
the time they deem needed to provide quality patient care.
We are a not-for-profit, charitable public trust. As such, our
patients never have to question if a test is being ordered with
anything other than their best interest in mind.
Physician leadership
Mayo Clinic is a private group practice governed by
physician-led committees. While most other healthcare
centers turn the management of their practices over to
professional administrators, we stand by the philosophy that
physician leadership keeps us grounded in the reason we are
here - to provide the best care to every patient every day.
Mayo Clinic physicians undertake rotating committee
assignments where they partner with administrators to
develop strategies and resolve problems because it is they
who understand the practice best.
In other words, Mayo is the exact opposite if market based, fee for service treatment. They have kicked private "industry" out.
Reply to
John R. Carroll
And God bless them - one and all!
Reply to
Many years ago, I heard that "nonprofit" means you're not allowed to make a profit, and "not for profit" means it's OK to earn some money.
This is kind of loose, so I googled it, and here's one of the answers, which is still kinda confusing, but might help with the distinction:
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Glad to hear that Mary is doing OK - I'm a Minnesotan, and really rather proud of the medical people in Rochester. My Grandpa on my Dad's side was a doctor in Austin during the depression; people who didn't have any money would pay his fees with chickens and stuff. He helped with some rich guy's wife's childbirth, and the guy gave him a house.
All my Best! Rich
Reply to
Rich Grise
You're both in my prayers, Don. :)
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
Good luck Don. My father in law died two weeks ago from lung cancer. We took him home for his last few weeks. He was a good guy.
Reply to
They're not sure, but either medication stopped it or it stopped by itself.
Reply to
Don Foreman
There's a Mayo clinic in Jacksonville.
Reply to
Don Foreman
As a matter of fact, the docs at hospital *** suggested hospice care. We moved mom to Jacksonville Mayo. She soon recovered as the Docs there immediately saw was having a severe reaction to the strong antibiotic being administered. Mom has been doing great for a couple years now.
Reply to
Karl Townsend
I'm sure he was, his son turned out well.
Reply to
Yep, my wife's brother is pretty cool. :)
Reply to
Oops, read that before morning coffee. Still, good parents tend to raise good children.
Reply to
We had a guy at work turn into an old man overnight from a reaction to antibotics. After months off he is supposed to be coming back to work again. Until his experience, I never realized that antibotics could be dangerous.
Reply to
Lung cancer got my BIL, SIL and MIL. Mary has never smoked so she may dodge that particular bullet.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Yes. That lesson is that physicians are better than administrators, bureaucrats or politicians at running a hospital or clinic that provides best-quality care.
We have good insurance. We, not the government, made that happen. It does cost money. We wanted quality health care in our dotage so we provided for it in our retirement financial plan. We pay for it with our money, not yours, and not by creating debt for our descendants and yours.
Some Minnesota insurers don't cover treatment at Mayo. I'm glad ours does. I'm glad we were able to make that choice rather than have a politician or bureaucrat presume to make our choices.
The local hospitals are OK for well-understood medical matters. Mayo is one of a few medical centers in the United States studying the diagnosis and treatment of amyloidosis, a relatively rare blood disease. The Amyloidosis Foundation estimates that approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with this disease each year in North America. Mayo Clinic is a major treatment center for these patients, caring for more than 1,000 amyloidosis patients annually. Effective management of this disease requires a multidisciplinary team approach involving cardiology, gastroenterology, hemotology, oncology, and others.
Reply to
Don Foreman

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