@harriethodgson1 Wow! I'm so glad you opened this discussion as I've wanted to talk about how important art is for healing and I loved seeing all the art at Mayo. It's kind of like an art museum with some doctor's offices and labs attached and lots more art in the hospitals. I realized that within my own personal experience, I had a lot of resources to help me as a patient. I took my own advice and I used art and music as my therapy to help get past my fears and embrace the surgical treatment that I needed. I am an artist and I was loosing the ability to hold my arms up and control them, and I had worked so hard in my life to achieve that ability. I had long held fears about going through painful tests and surgery, and I was faced with a choice. If my fear made my choices for me, I would have become disabled in a lot of ways, and I would not be able to continue to paint at the level I expected of myself. I also have a biology degree and had worked in research before changing careers to fine art, so I understood medical research that I read, and I understood why I needed spine surgery. When I came to Mayo, I brought one of my own paintings with me to comfort me and give me a place to mentally escape if necessary. I hung it on the wall and looked at it during the nerve tests. I brought it with me when I met my neurosurgeon because I wanted him to understand why getting his help was so important to me. I had already been turned down by 5 surgeons before Mayo because my case was a bit unusual. I brought my camera and asked my surgeon if I could do sketches of him. I told him I needed to like him and this was my way to connect through my art. He liked my art and gladly posed for my camera. I sent him images of my drawings of him. Another painting accompanied me on my surgery day. It was of a trail I had hiked along a creek in Rocky Mountain National Park and I knew it intimately because I had been there and had painted it. Not only did I learn to defeat my biggest fear, but I came through with flying colors. During my recovery, what I wanted to do the most was to paint a portrait of my surgeon, and at one of my follow up appointments, he posed for my camera again and he had a lot of fun doing that. When I came back at my one year follow up, I had a watercolor portrait of him that I painted as a gift. I had to do some rehab to get back my stamina for the physicality of painting. During all of this, music helped me reduce stress and lower my blood pressure. I was measuring it before and after listening to music with deep breathing, and I could drop it significantly. Music also gave my mind a place to go when I was worried. The night before surgery, I was doing my best to loose myself in that painting and the music in my headphones, and in the morning when I met my surgical team I was calm and ready and doing just fine. Coming to Mayo exceeded my expectations and changed my life, and I brought my own creativity as my guide.