Sharing the Burden of Pain: Meet @sandytoes14

May 11, 2018 | John, Volunteer Mentor | @johnbishop | Comments (17)

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.

Jen-Mentor

JOHN:  Jen, what brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect and motivates you to take part in the community?

@sandytoes14: I enjoy doing research. I also believe in being educated in illnesses and conditions that I have, so I subscribed to Mayo Clinic's newsletter. One day I noticed a blurb about Connect and wanted to find other people like myself who have a desire to give and receive support on their health problems. What I found was a warm, welcoming community where I felt comfortable sharing things that I couldn't share with family and friends who didn't understand what I was going through.

JOHN: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?

@sandytoes14: Connect is a place where I feel safe to share how I feel about my health conditions without being judged.

JOHN: What groups do you participate in?

@sandytoes14: 
I mostly participate in Chronic Pain and Bones, Joints & Muscles. Sometimes you will catch me in Sleep Health. That’s based upon how much sleep I actually get in a night. The less sleep, the less sense I make!

JOHN: Who has been a special connection for you on Connect?

@sandytoes14: 
That’s an easy one to answer: my fellow volunteer mentor teammates and moderators. @hopeful33250 always has a kind word, @johnbishop helps at a moment’s notice, @JustinMcClanahan is the one who checks in “just because” and @colleenyoung is much like the beautiful little hummingbirds I love to watch at my feeders. She is everywhere at once bringing joy and knowledge.

I also am very involved with those who have fibromyalgia on Connect, and I enjoy sharing ideas with other members about distracting oneself from chronic pain.

JOHN: What surprised you the most about Connect?

@sandytoes14: 
The Connect community itself surprised me: the members reaching out to find out about their own health concerns and sharing what they have learned with others, and the support and strength they give each other to be better advocates for themselves.

JOHN: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?

@sandytoes14: 
Phone calls from my kids make me feel refocused. There is something about unexpected video chats from my daughter in Germany and a quick “I love you Mom —  I’m on my lunch break” call from my son that get to me.

JOHN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.

@sandytoes14: 
Sitting near the ocean, with my husband, listening to the laugh of the gulls as the waves lap up on the shoreline is a favorite. I generally have a light-read book in my bag and my perpetual cup of coffee Dunkin Donuts’ is preferred in my hand.

JOHN: What food can you simply not resist?

@sandytoes14: Chocolate

JOHN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?  

@sandytoes14: Sandra Bullock: Beauty and Brains

JOHN: What do you love about where you live or vacation?

@sandytoes14: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. My husband and I lived on Ford Island for nearly five years for his last assignment in the U.S. Navy. Every day was like a vacation.

JOHN: Puppies or kittens?

@sandytoes14: Puppies

See more Member Spotlights.

Hi Jen @sandytoes14, Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better! I love the mental picture I get when I see your username @sandytoes14 ☺ Also – Go Navy!

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@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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@sandytoes14 Jen

What a great interview – it is just a delight to get to know you better. If you did not already have such a great name (sandytoes) I would recommend, "sunandfun."

Teresa

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@johnbishop

Hi Jen @sandytoes14, Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better! I love the mental picture I get when I see your username @sandytoes14 ☺ Also – Go Navy!

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Thank you John for a great interview. Military sticks together !

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@windwalker

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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@windwalker Terri, Being a Navy Brat you know that distance knows no boundries when it comes to friendships! We will have to work something out to meet. Maybe we can get @travelgirl Jackie to meet too as she lives a short distance from me. Wouldn't it be great if we had our Mentor/Moderator gathering in sunny Florida at Jacksonville Mayo? Too bad HQ is Rochester.

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@windwalker

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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I'd vote for that unfortunately comma I don't get a vote ☺

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@windwalker

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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@windwalker

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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@sandytoes14 Jen, meeting up in Jacksonville is no trouble for me, I go down there frequently. In fact, I will be there June 6 for my annual breathing tests at Mayo.

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In my experience, once you are involved in ongoing medical problems (even not life-threatening ones) you are never the same, and a permanent darkness comes over you.

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@jshdma

In my experience, once you are involved in ongoing medical problems (even not life-threatening ones) you are never the same, and a permanent darkness comes over you.

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@jshdma You are right in one respect. When I was at my sickest, which lasted for years; I was in that same head space. I got my Living Trust set up, started giving away treasured items to the people that I wanted to have them, and downsizing my home's contents. I was so sure I wasn't going to last but maybe two more yrs tops. But, after successful treatment at Mayo, I began to feel better; and then better yet. Then, my mind cpuld meet my body halfway. I could fathom the posibility of getting well. I set my mind's course to not accept illness. Am I still ill? Yes, I have a serious progressive disease. The other shoe could drop and I could nose dive into a critical state. That is not my 'belief'. I live this belief and feel great physically. (of course taking precautions with health) I have found joy again. I hope that you will too, and lift that permanent darkness. Hugs! -Terri

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@jshdma

In my experience, once you are involved in ongoing medical problems (even not life-threatening ones) you are never the same, and a permanent darkness comes over you.

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Thanks for your thoughts. You seem to have a lot of inner strength.

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@jshdma

In my experience, once you are involved in ongoing medical problems (even not life-threatening ones) you are never the same, and a permanent darkness comes over you.

Jump to this post

@jshdma

I suppose for many of us, we have come to realize the inner strength is not something that comes naturally, it must be acquired. It comes with determination not to give in to a negative mind set.

Teresa

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