Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trigeminal Neuralgia - A Trip to the Mayo Clinic

Yesterday I headed down to Rochester, MN to head to the world-renown Mayo Clinic to get an evaluation on the Trigeminal Neuralgia with one of their great neurologists. I met with the same doctor that worked with us all of the while with dad's Pick's disease. He's an incredibly learned, personable, and kind man, and I was lucky to get in to see him.

He concurs with the diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia, and recommended an increase in my dosage of Carbamazepine. I have been having pains of late, especially in highly stressful situations. I was in a pretty tough meeting on Monday, and it really let me have it, so getting this advice is probably good timing. I still have quite a bit of runway with the dosage of my meds, so this makes me feel good. Had I been closer to the end, I think I'd opt to just take the pain.

He also reviewed my MRI from August, and pointed out a mass in my left sinus (he called it a polyp). It could be a ton of things, but given its location, it is worthy of a lot more analysis. He sent the MRI off to their folks for their interpretation, and I expect to hear back on next steps shortly. Also, we have teed up an appointment with a neural surgeon in the event that this thing ever gets bad enough to require surgery sometime in the future. I pray we'll not get to that point, but it is nice to have things in place should it become a necessity.

Overall, it was a positive visit, and I'm happy to be in such great hands.

Mayo itself is absolutely incredible. The facility, people, and experience are so atypical from the standard trip to the hospital that it is almost impossible to reconcile. It compares to the most classy and luxurious experience one can have - flying first class, staying at the Four Seasons, buying a Lexus, and eating at Manny's all rolled into one. The facility itself is a beautiful marvel. It keeps its art deco theme throughout, but is entirely modern. Floors are marble, artwork is everywhere, and even little things like the restrooms or examination rooms are so substantially nicer than anything you've ever seen that you just wonder at them.

Here are just a couple of photos to give you the tone:

While I wish no one ill, seeing Mayo first hand is something that one needs to do sometime. It is a beautiful jewel, and I am so lucky to have it right here in my back yard. It is easy to see why people come from all over the world to go here.

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