Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mayo Clinic Rochester Survival Guide

Here is what I've learned, and what I hope that by posting I'll remember:
  1. Walmart has a FREE hotel shuttle. The Mayo's transportation center has the schedule, and I'm sure Wal-Mart does as well.
  2. The Kahler, Country Inn and Suites South, Best Western Soldier's Field, and several other hotels DO NOT have free hotel shuttles, no matter what the online booking services state. Call the hotel to verify.
  3. Airport Inn @ the KRST airport has an Airport AND a Mayo Shuttle. 
  4. Other hotels have shuttles that go to more than Mayo, they might go to the Mall or other Stores. When you book your reservation, ask the front desk. 
  5. Most hotels in the RST area have reduced rates for Mayo Clinic Patients. If your condition allows, you might want to stay further away from the Clinic, or you might want to stay in a hotel that is directly connected to the Clinic.
  6. MSP to RST transportation providers DO NOT GO to the Airport unless you SPECIFICALLY ask and PAY the additional charge.
  7. Shuttle Service is BEST when the roads are icy or snowy.
  8. Handicap Accessible Shuttle Service is available with certain Shuttles and Taxis, you MUST call first.
  9. Inside the Downtown Rochester Walking Subway/overhead connectors, there are many stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Check hours, they tend to be open when Mayo is open. Maps are available.
  10. Multiple airlines fly to RST, at this time they are American and Delta. MSP to RST is about a 90 minute drive. About a 15 minute flight plus taxi and waiting time.
  11. The taxi service for arriving flights at RST is dismal at best (1-2 hour waits plus). Pre-Arrange a taxi BEFORE arrival to keep wait times down. Do NOT accept the taxi service claiming the airport will arrange transportation, especially if handicapped. Use another provider if they refuse to have a waiting taxi. 
  12. Volunteers are available to push wheelchairs around your appointments. Let any staff member know you need assistance, especially when you first enter the facility. If you find the need for one during your day, simply ask. One will become available shortly. 
  13. Electric wheelchairs and scooters are available for rent from the Mayo Clinic Store. Rental rates are not covered by most insurance coverage and benefits. 
  14. If you derive great benefit from the scooter, ones are available for sale through Craigslist and other providers. Batteries are around $50-$100 each and available at Radio Shack and Batteries Plus. Download the breakdown instructions from the internet, laminate it and keep it in the chair's back pocket. Download the airline's scooter form or have them send you a copy, fill it out, laminate it, and keep it in the chair's back pocket. Know the unit's weight, and check in with the gate agent on arrival. They will note the weight and instructions, and your scooter will arrive in the same condition as you gave it to the airline. If not, then the airline must provide for rental and repair service.
  15. Mayo Clinic is a good answer and can resolve many if not most medical issues. However, if they can not find an answer, or it is very unsatisfactory, remember Mayo Clinic is conservative in their treatment options. While they have many cutting-edge research programs, they don't know everything, nor know everything at one location. You may need to go elsewhere to get a second, third, tenth, or even twentieth opinion. If opinions tend to match, then you're probably stuck with living with whatever issue you have.
  16. If Mayo Clinic did get you on the road to recovery, thank you notes are always appreciated. Fill out any surveys when they arrive.
  17. Mayo Clinic does have several financial assistance programs. If you need it, take the time to apply. You might be surprised. Mayo Clinic will also accept payments, even if they send your account to a collection agency. If you are in collections, Mayo might deny treatment for any new problems, but they usually don't deny treatment for current/Mayo known conditions. 
  18. Exercise, diet, sleep, stress, and environment have a significant impact on your health. If the docs recommend you eat proper like low fat/cholesterol/sugar/carbohydrate diet; perform moderate exercise for 150 minutes a week; get about 8 hours of sleep each night; take control of your finances by paying yourself 10% first; brush your teeth, take prescribed medications and supplements, and perform stress reduction methods such as meditation, journaling, yoga, or breathing, it's probably a great idea and seems to work for many folks. 
  19. The last won't fix a broken bone, cure cancer, reduce halitosis, nor improve flatulence in every case, but it will allow the medical fixes to have a better chance of working. Meet the docs halfway, and they'll appreciate your efforts.

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