"Let Your Breath Find You": Meet @tsc
Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.
JOHN: How did you find Mayo Clinic Connect? What motivates you to take part in the community?
@tsc: After I was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis (GCA), I searched for information about the diseases on the internet. I found a discussion from Mayo Clinic Connect, took a deeper look, and decided to join. It was fitting because Dr. Horton of the Mayo Clinic did groundbreaking work on Giant Cell Arteritis in the 1930s.
JOHN: What about Mayo Clinic Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@tsc: We, the members, share similar diseases, symptoms and circumstances that are often new to us and that we struggle through. At times, it can be overwhelming. Talking to friends is an option, but there's a limit to how much we can share with those in dissimilar circumstances. Members with experience offer a diverse range of insights, share their stories, and make suggestions. As a rule, they are respectful and helpful.
JOHN: What groups do you participate in?
@tsc: I mostly take part in Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR), Bones, Joints & Muscles, and Caregivers: Dementia groups.
JOHN: Tell us about a meaningful moment on Mayo Clinic Connect.
@tsc: I enjoy hearing the perspective of @larryh123 in the Caregivers: Dementia group. He lives with Lewy body dementia and explains what he experiences so well. He gives me the opportunity to understand things from his perspective.
I am struck by the strength of so many members who persevere, seek answers and wellness in the face of so much adversity.
JOHN: What surprised you the most about Mayo Clinic Connect?
@tsc: Members care and stay civil. The volunteer mentors are a welcome presence, always there to help.
JOHN: What energizes you? How do you find balance in your life?
@tsc: I recently felt great when I was able to clean the house and have a guest over for dinner. For balance, I do Sara Meeks' spinal decompression exercise every night. She is a physical therapist who specializes in osteoporosis. It consists of lying on a flat surface, knees bent, palms up and arms at a 45 degree angle. "Let your breath find you," no distractions. The recommended time is 5 to 15 minutes.
JOHN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@tsc: I enjoy preserving historical records. I volunteer in the archives of a local museum that tells the story of our island. The work of describing photos in a database is interesting because I get to step back in time and see what was going on here in the 1960s. I also did some textile restoration on a vintage Hawaiian quilt for a new permanent exhibit. The people who work at the museum are super.
JOHN: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?
@tsc: After my husband and I were married, my father said, "Be kind to each other." Think of the impact on society if more of us practiced kindness in everything from our day-to-day interactions with others to our activities and decisions on a larger scale.
JOHN: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
@tsc: Some good friends have always been there for me. A couple of years before PMR and GCA, I had open heart surgery. Friends drove me to and from the airport, shopped or took me shopping, and checked in regularly. In May, one of those same friends accompanied me on a flight to another island for my temporal artery biopsy, with less than one day's notice!
JOHN: Puppies or Kittens?
@tsc: I don't have a pet, but there is a neighborhood dog, Lucy, who lives under a house. The occupants take no responsibility for her and she depends upon the kindness of strangers for food. She is extremely wary. I've been feeding her on and off for a couple of years, depending upon her willingness to interact with me. The rescue organizations have tried to catch her many times, but she's just too fast.
Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the About Connect: Who, What & Why blog.
@tsc Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better! I really like your favorite quote and the world needs a lot more of it 🙂 I also can relate to your story about Lucy who depends on the kindness of strangers for food and that the rescue organizations have tried to catch her many times but she's just too fast. Reminds me of my own adventure capturing my neighbors kittens so that she could give them away to friends who wanted them. They were outdoor cats and the neighbor fed them but they woud run anytime she approached them. The kittens mother would always bring them over to my window for treats and I would feed them. I told the neighbor I could catch them and she gave me the go ahead. I coaxed them into my computer room and left a soft sided cat carrier with a warm towel on the floor of the carrier along with a bowl of food. Opened the window and 3 came in right away but the other one I had to coax close to the window and reach out and grab her. After about an hour they were all curled up in a ball snoozing in the back of the cat carrier so I zipped it up and carried it over to the neighbors house.
Temp was -15 when I got up this morning but it's up to -8 now so things are looking up! Have a great weekend!
@tsc thank you for sharing more about yourself. Although we don’t frequent the same groups, we seem to appreciate the same things about connect. I also share your appreciation for the little wild creatures who prefer to live on their own terms. We have a local wild cat that we did live trap for spaying. Then we turned her loose, everyone kind of looks out for her and we find her under our carport when it rains. So we made her a covered bed and she uses it.
Hi Chris, @johnbishop also shared a story about rounding up some wildish kittens for adoption. Lucy is a damaged dog who indeed lives on her own terms. She is fearful, but free to come and go as she pleases. A "pet" dog lives at the house Lucy lives under. He is chained, has a small house to go into and no attention is paid to him whatsoever. What dog is better off, the neglected dog with a home or the stray who manages to survive by her wits? Lucy looks healthy. I worry she has heart worm, but also realize there's a limit to what I can do for her. There would be less abused and neglected animals if more people were kind. All the best, Teri
John, I am sending some warm wishes your way. Thanks for all your help!
@tsc Teri, I have also volunteered at a local history museum and even taught school programs for them, and I have 3 shelter cats who were all born in the wild and they love to hang out with me. They are inside only cats now. I do have an interest in history and as an artist, I like to paint scenes from days past and I can explore what it was like to live in another time period. I love to go to living history museums or re-enactments to learn and take pictures that I can use for painting references. I love horses, and historical images give me an opportunity to paint horses. I own 2 of them, an old rescued retired horse that I used to ride, and a young horse that I bought so I can continue trail riding. I enjoyed your interview and I'm glad you found friends here on Connect!
Thank you, @jenniferhunter for connecting. What groups do you participate in? Horses are beautiful animals and it's great that you can home three cats..This morning I walked past the house Lucy lives under and she came out to greet me, ate some food, let me pet her, then went back under the house. Does any period of history interest you in particular?
@tsc, @johnbishop, @jenniferhunter, @auntioakley, and all…I enjoyed your interview with John. Good questions, wonderful answers. You seem to follow the instruction from your father, re kindness. Amazing what that one thing encompasses and the magic it could create in our world.
I have a kitty story also, which you may have read. I find my heart breaks when I come across a stray or outside animal who needs attention. My kitty, Samantha adopted me first by popping her little head up in the bushes to watch me every time I was outside, from my car or walking or watering the yard. She was tiny and adorable. just popped up and stayed a few feet away all the time. But she was always there.
At the time I had a serious cat allergy, so I couldn't pick her up or bring her inside. It was killing me since I love cats and as a child always had a kitty.
Well, she had decided this was her new home, so soon I had 5 tiny kittens in a large vase on my patio! Poor thing, she was pregnant and had the litter inside the large decorative vase. I saw her little head peeking up from the vase, realized she had babies, and thus began our love affair. My fiance and I helped her with the kittens, No allergy anymore! As soon as the kittens were homed, I took her to the vet to be spade. Apparently, she had an affair with a big, handsome male, black with white tuxedo cat. I didn't realize she was pregnant, so the kittens are in heaven waiting for her. I am still working on the guilt I feel about that situation!
She's happy, loving, very appreciative, and attached to my hip. She is a wonderful company, talks to me and I understand much of what she says. She speaks her version of my language and understands me. What an adventure we've had these past years. I'm very thankful for her.
So, that's my kitty. John's black cat is beautiful and quite the character, too. I'm sad for Lucy and the chained dog. Not good.
it's good meeting you and may you be blessed with joy. elizabeth
Hi Teri. I hang out the most in the Spine group since I am a spine surgery patient or the Bones and Joints, but I do frequent a lot of different groups and do some of the more unusual questions. If you click on my profile icon, you can see the groups I have participated in (or check my Spotlight interview), and in my profile if you click the comments tab on the left, you can see my posts and click on them to go to them. I like to help people overcome fear and learn to advocate for themselves. I also love the Art for healing discussion and Music helps me because that is very much in line with what I was doing to overcome my fears of spine surgery a few years back.
I did a Spotlight interview and you can find it here. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/about-connect/newsfeed-post/meet-jenniferhunter-where-health-and-art-meet/
I love the history of the 1800's Western frontier so I enjoy painting scenes with covered wagons, stage coaches, Indians, pioneers, etc. I also occasionally paint my cats or flowers and pumpkins or even a tall ship. My 2 horses are both Tennessee Walkers. One is a rescued older horse that has now retired, and the other is a young horse I bought a year ago so I can trail ride again. I love animals too.
Thank you, Jennifer. I did enjoy reading your spotlight. As a child, I was obsessed with Wagon Train and often wished I had been born at that time. I used to write wagon train novels.
Sometimes our actions born of kindness don't have the consequences we intend. It's unfortunate, but part of growth, especially if moving forward, we remember what we learned. I think self forgiveness is good for our health. I wish you the best, Teri
Welcome @tsc! I’m glad to get to emeet you! You certainly sound like a wonderful person and a great addition to Mayo Connect. Maybe we’ll cross paths sometime— I’m in the autoimmune and caregivers groups. Glad you’re here. Becky