We are headed back to Rochester, Minn., today. I will be having a few scans and follow up visits at the Mayo Clinic. As you may recall, I had surgery in September to remove and replace one of my pacemaker/ICD leads. The surgery went really well and this week I’ll just be having some tests to make sure everything is working properly with my device. I’ll also be having a CT scan of my lung. Several years ago, doctors at Mayo removed a solitary fibrous tumor from my left lung and each year I have a routine scan to make sure it hasn’t come back. We are hopeful it has not.

surgery at saint mary's

We are so grateful for the exceptional care we’ve received at Mayo Clinic and appreciate the way they work closely with my local specialists, as well.

Our return to the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program

When we scheduled these appointments, we realized that they would be taking place about a year after our first visit to the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program. We had such an incredible experience there last year at this time and decided to enroll in the program again. Because of COVID, the HLP is only accepting a few guests at a time so we’ll pretty much have the place to ourselves. The photo below is from a foam roller class we took there last year.

yoga at Mayo Clinic

Our daughter will be joining us

The best news of all is that our daughter, Meghan, will be joining us there. After a lot of thought, prayer, and research, we have found ways spend a little time together (from a distance and masked) this holiday season. Meghan lives alone and works as a cardiac ICU nurse in Oklahoma. She has had very limited contact with family and friends this year in an effort to protect herself and slow the spread of coronavirus. So, we’ve had to do a lot of planning and organizing to find ways to have this experience together-ish and still lower all of our risks of illness.

nurse meghan

A few of the ways to reduce our risk of getting or spreading illness

  • First, we will all be tested for coronavirus when we arrive in Rochester and we are expecting results the next day.
  • We will also be staying in separate bedrooms at the Homewood Suites in Rochester. We stayed at this hotel in September and found it to be exceptionally clean and sanitized. All of the suites there have a small kitchen and dining/living room area so we can cook in our room or easily order takeout and eat there.
  • Of course, we’ll take our own cleaning supplies, as well, including Clorox wipes, Lysol, hand soap, etc. We’ve always been in the habit of sanitizing high-touch surfaces in hotels and this trip will be no different. We’ll also use side doors and stairwells at our hotel to reduce our exposure to others.
  • We will be taking two UV, HEPA air purifiers with us that we’ll run in our hotel rooms to help purify the air. These have really helped both of us with allergens in hotels, as well. Here’s a link to the AIR PURIFIERS we have.


  • We will also continue to wear our K-N95 masks indoors and when distancing isn’t possible. The Healthy Living Program, like all of Mayo Clinic, requires masks on all guests and staff and they have worked hard to create a low-risk environment there.


Planning our meals in Rochester

As for meals, the Healthy Living Program will provide some of our meals while we’re there. We’re also packing some food for this trip so we can make breakfast in our room (oatmeal, berries, fruit, etc.). It will also be great to have a stovetop and microwave in our hotel room to cook a bit. We will do a grocery pickup when we get to Rochester for some additional fresh produce and stuff for salads with dinner.

 

bleu duck kitchen cornish hen

There are many incredible restaurants in Rochester, so we’ll order takeout most nights for dinner and eat at our hotel. We can’t wait to have meals from some of our favorite places like Bleu Duck Kitchen (pictured above), Victoria’s, Nupa and Hyderabad Indian Grill.

This trip back to Rochester is an essential part of our healthcare journey and we’ll be writing more about it after the first of the year. Right now, I’d better go finish packing so we can hit the road.

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