How can I get an appointment in General Internal Medicine at Mayo?

Posted by clutch @clutch, May 9, 2019

Was told today that booking appointments for Florida Internal Medicine was a year out at all locations. Disappointing!! They suggested a “Satellite Clinic” in Atlanta. Didn’t get through to anyone that knew very much about how this worked in Atlanta…kept referring me to a different clinic/number to contact. Very confusing! Anyone have experience or thoughts about the Jacksonville or Atlanta situation? Please help!!

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I am a 21-year-old male and I am seeking help because my medical ailments have gone undiagnosed for a few months with multiple specialists telling me my only option is the Mayo Clinic. It all started back in Feb. of this year when I started having high blood pressure (readings of 160/100 or higher). I thought this was odd – but made it a few months without noticing much change. In April, I got diagnosed with ADD and began taking Concerta. I stopped taking it on 7/4/19 because I was having bad side effects such as excessive sweating, anxiety, and insomnia. On 7/6/19, I got shortness of breath, my heart rate spiked for 15 minutes up to 160 bpm at rest, and I started sweating excessively. 5 more days throughout July, my heart rate spiked for 15 minutes and I had to quit work. Along with the cardiac symptoms, I began to have severe abdominal pain and GERD. I had an upper endoscopy performed and found out I have a large type 1 hiatal hernia. I was put on a Proton Pump Inhibitor. However, the surgeon did not think the hernia would cause my cardiac symptoms. A couple of weeks later, I was having wheezing and shortness of breath – my primary care physician put me on Prednisone. After two days on Prednisone, on 8/15/19 I ended up in the ER with a heart rate of 172 and blood pressure of 177/110. I was having severe hand tremors, sweating profusely, and having muscle spasms. They ran a series of tests and couldn't figure out what was wrong so I was admitted for 3 days of workup. The weird thing is my heart rate was around 80 bpm at rest, 100 bpm sitting up in bed, and 130 bpm after standing up – however, I don't have POTS. After all of the testing, I was told I most likely have an endocrine issue – more specifically my adrenal gland. The cardiologist ran a series of tests and my heart came back as normal. He stated my heart was reacting to something else going on in my body. When I was discharged from the hospital, I was put on Losartan 25 mg, and Metoprolol 25 mg 2x per day. A couple of weeks later, I began having severe breathing problems and went to a pulmonologist to have Pulmonary Function Testing done – my lungs were functioning at 74% of where they should be. I was then put on Advair 250/50 mcg, Asmanex 100 mcg, Singulair, and Levalbuterol nebulizer treatments. Also, I have been working with an endocrinologist over the last month and went through 2 series of extensive testing and everything has come back normal. I am frustrated and had to sit out of college this semester as no one has been able to figure out what is wrong with me. I am losing hope that there is a cure for all of my abnormal symptoms. Since my PCP and multiple specialists have not been able to figure out what is going on – my PCP referred me to the Internal Medicine Department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I spoke with the appointment office last Friday 10/11/19 and they never mentioned the possibility of getting rejected – especially after a physician referral! It sickens me that the slogan the Mayo Clinic has posted on their website is "WHEN IT'S TIME TO FIND ANSWERS, YOU KNOW WHERE TO GO." I need answers and the Mayo Clinic was supposed to be my solution. To say I am thoroughly disappointed is an understatement. I feel as if the Mayo Clinic does not value me as a patient.

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Kam, I know this must be scary and devastating, My symptoms came out of nowhere. I went running like any other day; that evening i landed in the ER and was admitted. That was May 2015; by mid-July I was imprisoned in a body that was not my own with a host of symptoms and, like you, no one could figure it out. I am a trained researcher and as sick as I was, I refused medications. Why would you prescribe me medications and you don't know what's wrong with me.

I would invite you to consider a few things (and I wish someone would have told me this when my journey began 4 1/2 years ago). What is your diet like? Do you eat a lot of sugar, processed foods, energy drinks (I noticed you said you were in college and my students tend to choose energy drinks over real food)? Food is medicine. Are there any unprocessed traumas in your history? What was your schedule like before you became sick (i.e. were you burning the candle at both ends, neglecting sleep and other self-care measures). Symptoms are a sign that something is either physically or emotionally wrong.

Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the mind's effect on our health and resistance to disease. Overwhelming research has substantiated the notion that what we think, feel, and believe can seriously impact our health or exacerbate existing health issues. I tell you this, because no one told me when I first became ill. YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY! Fear and anxiety are not good for you right now. They are the enemy. Think about what you can change right now to contribute to healing. Your body has the capacity to heal itself if we give it what it needs. I am not on the other side of my challenge YET; but I have come a long way through a very clean diet, gentle movement at least 20 minutes a day, meditation and prayer, and restorative yoga or yin or yoga nidra.

If you are struggling college student like I was, then you may not have money for everything organic, but you can eliminate sugar, dairy, soy, and processed and fried foods. These foods are poisonous and toxic to a healthy body, so certainly not good for you now. If you are too uncomfortable for any type of exercise, I invite you to sit quietly and envision yourself doing some form of exercise that you enjoy. I also invite you to consider what was happening in your life before you became ill. Our bodies will protect us by any means necessary, including allowing us to become ill. When we are ill, we have no choice but to stop, be still, and deal with unprocessed issues. Well, we do have a choice to keep ignoring and resisting but what we resist persists. Along those lines, what we focus on the most expands. I don't spend as much time focusing on "the" illness (it consumed me for almost 3 years; I just wanted my life back). Instead I focus on accepting what AND envisioning myself as healthy, whole, and vibrant. This journey has taught me to love myself, to make myself a priority, to slow down and be present in the NOW, instead of always thinking about the future or the past.

I don't know why you became ill but I do know that we don't just become ill…though many believe this. Illness is a sign. Your task is to figure out what your illness is telling you and to ask what you can glean from this experience. I had to surrender to the illness before I cold learn from it.

I pray that you understand at least part of what I am sharing. I wish someone would have shared with me what I am sharing with you, when I started on this very dark and scary journey. YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY! Don't give up…stop, breathe, and assess what you CAN do to obtain the answers you seek. My journey was similar to yours in that I saw 16 specialists as well as dozens of alternative and functional medicine doctors, before I finally received a diagnoses. I don't recommend continuing that route; it's exhausting and driven by fear. Be very discerning about who you choose to be part of your care team and ask lots of questions. You must participate in your care. You know your body better than any doctor.

I am not a doctor, but have read books and blind, randomized controlled studies from the Mayo Clinic, Oxford, Harvard, John Hopkins, and the Cleveland Clinic. I've learned a lot to say the least. You shared that you have been prescribed various kinds of drugs and it seems often you have felt worse and certainly not better. In the future, when you are prescribed a drug for a symptom, I would invite you to ask the doctor the following questions:

1. Is this necessary?
2. What are the risks/side effects?
3. Are there other options?
4. What will happen, if I do nothing?

Then you carefully consider whether the drug is the answer. Often they mask symptoms, cause side effects and don't get to the root cause of what's causing our illness/dis-ease. I know you want a quick fix, so you can feel better. That can actually lead to you feeling worse. How do I know? Because I went down that road at the beginning. Be still and listen deeply to your inner self. It will guide you to the right answers and resources. Ask for help and keep asking. Make sure to get rest and to manage the stress of the situation. When we are dealing with illness of any kind, the body needs more rest and less stress. Failure to do this will only exacerbate the symptoms.

I don't know you but I am praying for you, Kam. I know what it is to suffer and to be afraid when there are no answers. I hope you have friends and family to walk with you on this journey. I don't really have any family, at least none that's supportive and not dysfunctional. Most of the people I thought were my friends disappeared when I became ill; it turns out I was only a function to them. I am a deeply spiritual person with a deep faith. This is what has carried me this far. I won't tell you what spiritual journey is right for you but, if you are open or already belong to one, I would encourage you to start a daily practice. Don't -practice to get healed or anything like that but practice to gain guidance and nourishment for your soul and well being. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS!

Sending you lots of love and light!


@clutch If you haven't had your DR. call with a referral , that might get you in faster; just a thought.

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@dandl48 , My Dr. did my last referral. I was told that they were no longer taking any new patients, 6 months to 1 year out. I saw here on Connect that one person got on a waiting list for the GI Department. This is all at Jacksonville Clinic. Does anyone else have any updated information as of now??

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