Seeking advice for first time Mayo Clinic visit with toddler (patient)

Posted by kristap31 @kristap31, Sun, Jun 16 11:02pm

I am making travel plans to come to Mayo Clinic this August with my 18 month old (he is the patient.) Some specific things I am wondering about travel and lodging:
How difficult is it to find parking at Mayo? I am wondering if it would be easier to stay within walking distance or get an Airbnb.
Do people with babies usually rent a car or just use the shuttles to transport from hotel/lodging to the hospital? I am thinking I will need to rent a car just to have a carseat available.
Is it easier to fly into the Rochester airport? (Seems this is pricier but maybe more convenient)
Any recommendations for lodging (4 days) with an active toddler? He will be having a procedure under anesthesia so I'm keeping that in mind for travel plans. It is hard for me to visualize how this all will work since I have never been to Rochester. I did receive the brochure of the hotels which is helpful, but wondering about the subways/skyways and how convenient that is to get to the hospital. I am from a small town so any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

Hello @kristap31,

Although I reside in Rochester, I continue to be impressed about the accommodations that Mayo Clinic makes to suit patients’ schedules, especially if you’re coming from out of town. I would start by calling Mayo Clinic Concierge Services – it is a free service that you can use prior and during your visit to help you find services, such as accommodations, transportation and things to do. You can contact them by email, phone, chat or in person during business hours:

* Phone: 507-538-8438
* Live Chat: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide
* Email: concierge@mayo.edu
* Web form: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/becoming-a-patient/concierge-travel-services

I’d like to invite @rosemarya @flor @50surgeries @jillnc @badboys1965 @cap217 @rosannen @user_chdb5e8ac to join in with their insights too.
For more tips from Connect members, please see these discussions:
– Tips for first dr visit and tests/appt schedules https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-for-first-dr-visit-and-testsappt-schedules/
– New to Mayo and first time traveling to MN…https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/new-to-mayo-and-first-time-traveling-to-mn/
– First Time and Terrified https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/first-time-and-terrified/

Here are some quick links:
– FAQ about Visiting Mayo Clinic: https://www.experiencerochestermn.com/mayo-clinic/faq/
– Parking at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/travel-lodging-maps/parking

May I ask if you are able to share some more details about your son, @kristap31?

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Hi I have 25 years experience taking my son to mayo clinic. He still goes back for follow-ups. He had two or three procedure in St. Marys. Personally I think its more convenient to have a rental car because Rochester is small and convenient to drive around. I have used Priceline to research hotels. But it's also good to call to see if there's a mayo rate. That's usually about what Priceline costs but you don't need to prepay. You can get a 5 day pass for $25 for unlimited parking. That's probably the best deal. Parking is not expensive at mayo clinic.

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I will be at Mayo next week and from all I can gather, you'd be better off with an Airbnb within walking distance if you can. Hotels charge on average $11-$16 a day parking and Mayo also charges about that. My husband feels the need for a car so we will get there 5 day pass; especially for the time I am in the hospital. We got an Airbnb 4 blocks from Mayo tho there are several even closer.

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@kanaazpereira

Hello @kristap31,

Although I reside in Rochester, I continue to be impressed about the accommodations that Mayo Clinic makes to suit patients’ schedules, especially if you’re coming from out of town. I would start by calling Mayo Clinic Concierge Services – it is a free service that you can use prior and during your visit to help you find services, such as accommodations, transportation and things to do. You can contact them by email, phone, chat or in person during business hours:

* Phone: 507-538-8438
* Live Chat: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide
* Email: concierge@mayo.edu
* Web form: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/becoming-a-patient/concierge-travel-services

I’d like to invite @rosemarya @flor @50surgeries @jillnc @badboys1965 @cap217 @rosannen @user_chdb5e8ac to join in with their insights too.
For more tips from Connect members, please see these discussions:
– Tips for first dr visit and tests/appt schedules https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-for-first-dr-visit-and-testsappt-schedules/
– New to Mayo and first time traveling to MN…https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/new-to-mayo-and-first-time-traveling-to-mn/
– First Time and Terrified https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/first-time-and-terrified/

Here are some quick links:
– FAQ about Visiting Mayo Clinic: https://www.experiencerochestermn.com/mayo-clinic/faq/
– Parking at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/travel-lodging-maps/parking

May I ask if you are able to share some more details about your son, @kristap31?

Jump to this post

Ok thank you!

REPLY
@ihatediabetes

Hi I have 25 years experience taking my son to mayo clinic. He still goes back for follow-ups. He had two or three procedure in St. Marys. Personally I think its more convenient to have a rental car because Rochester is small and convenient to drive around. I have used Priceline to research hotels. But it's also good to call to see if there's a mayo rate. That's usually about what Priceline costs but you don't need to prepay. You can get a 5 day pass for $25 for unlimited parking. That's probably the best deal. Parking is not expensive at mayo clinic.

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Thank you, that is helpful. I was looking at the $25 parking pass and sounds like that may be the way to go.

REPLY
@sheim

I will be at Mayo next week and from all I can gather, you'd be better off with an Airbnb within walking distance if you can. Hotels charge on average $11-$16 a day parking and Mayo also charges about that. My husband feels the need for a car so we will get there 5 day pass; especially for the time I am in the hospital. We got an Airbnb 4 blocks from Mayo tho there are several even closer.

Jump to this post

Thank you, I did see some reasonable Airbnbs close by and think that may be easier than staying in a hotel with a little guy. I hope everything goes well for you next week.

REPLY

@kristap31, I’m tagging @jannaconciergeb who works with Concierge Services. She may have some additional ideas for you re accommodation and kid-friendly places in addition to the great ideas members have already shared. I’d also like to tag @patrassi and @alishanjosh who have been to Mayo Clinic with young children.

I find it relatively easy to travel with the bus shuttle (90 minutes) from Minneapolis airport, but I travel alone. The shuttle or Uber from Rochester airport is super short.

Krista, there are plenty of wide open spaces to let a toddler explore and the weather should be pleasant outside in August (although potential humid and warm). The subway and skyway passages offer an air conditioned alternative. Rochester center and Mayo Clinic are quite walkable. Will you bring a stroller or will you need to find one when you arrive?

REPLY

If your toddler tolerates the car you could fly to MSP and drive to Rochester. I would rather drive than fly with my kids personally. It’s not even 1.5 hours from MSP to ROC and the drive is easy. Driving around Rochester is not bad at all. Mayo has valet parking you could use to help speed things up before and after appointments. There is an additional cost for valet, but I have never been charged for parking at my hotel so it may even out in the long run. Also, check VRBO for places close by that may family friendly than a hotel. Your stroller will be very helpful. Good luck on your trip and I wish you and your child safe travels!

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@kristap31, I have been to Mayo Rochester as an adult, and I have no experience with taking a toddler. However I I did locate a video that I would like to share with you about preparing a child for a medical procedure. I hope it gives you some added comfort as your child's visit approaches. It is a taped recording, and not a live broadcast.
Video Q&A about Preparing Your Child for Medical Procedures
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/video-qa-about-preparing-your-child-for-medical-procedures/?date=1559779200

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Thank you for responding and sharing the link! I will watch the video and I'm sure it will be helpful. As I am new to Mayo, I am wondering if many toddlers are seen at Mayo Clinic? It seems that there are not many kids my son's age (18 months) who are seen there. His injury is quite rare, to give some perspective.

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@tnraemae

If your toddler tolerates the car you could fly to MSP and drive to Rochester. I would rather drive than fly with my kids personally. It’s not even 1.5 hours from MSP to ROC and the drive is easy. Driving around Rochester is not bad at all. Mayo has valet parking you could use to help speed things up before and after appointments. There is an additional cost for valet, but I have never been charged for parking at my hotel so it may even out in the long run. Also, check VRBO for places close by that may family friendly than a hotel. Your stroller will be very helpful. Good luck on your trip and I wish you and your child safe travels!

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Thank you! I took your advice and booked a flight into MSP. Also found a nice Airbnb whose host was quite accomodating with toddler friendly accessories. It's also within walking distance so that should be nice. Thanks for your help!

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@colleenyoung

@kristap31, I’m tagging @jannaconciergeb who works with Concierge Services. She may have some additional ideas for you re accommodation and kid-friendly places in addition to the great ideas members have already shared. I’d also like to tag @patrassi and @alishanjosh who have been to Mayo Clinic with young children.

I find it relatively easy to travel with the bus shuttle (90 minutes) from Minneapolis airport, but I travel alone. The shuttle or Uber from Rochester airport is super short.

Krista, there are plenty of wide open spaces to let a toddler explore and the weather should be pleasant outside in August (although potential humid and warm). The subway and skyway passages offer an air conditioned alternative. Rochester center and Mayo Clinic are quite walkable. Will you bring a stroller or will you need to find one when you arrive?

Jump to this post

Thank you! Yes we will have a stroller and are hoping to be able to walk to Mayo if the weather is nice. Thanks for your help! We found an Airbnb within walking distance which also has a small yard which our little guy should be able to run around in.

REPLY
@kanaazpereira

Hello @kristap31,

Although I reside in Rochester, I continue to be impressed about the accommodations that Mayo Clinic makes to suit patients’ schedules, especially if you’re coming from out of town. I would start by calling Mayo Clinic Concierge Services – it is a free service that you can use prior and during your visit to help you find services, such as accommodations, transportation and things to do. You can contact them by email, phone, chat or in person during business hours:

* Phone: 507-538-8438
* Live Chat: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide
* Email: concierge@mayo.edu
* Web form: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/becoming-a-patient/concierge-travel-services

I’d like to invite @rosemarya @flor @50surgeries @jillnc @badboys1965 @cap217 @rosannen @user_chdb5e8ac to join in with their insights too.
For more tips from Connect members, please see these discussions:
– Tips for first dr visit and tests/appt schedules https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-for-first-dr-visit-and-testsappt-schedules/
– New to Mayo and first time traveling to MN…https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/new-to-mayo-and-first-time-traveling-to-mn/
– First Time and Terrified https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/first-time-and-terrified/

Here are some quick links:
– FAQ about Visiting Mayo Clinic: https://www.experiencerochestermn.com/mayo-clinic/faq/
– Parking at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/travel-lodging-maps/parking

May I ask if you are able to share some more details about your son, @kristap31?

Jump to this post

Yes! Sorry it took so long to respond. He is 18 months old and has quite a scary history. He was born healthy and happy then started having sporadic traces of blood in his stools. Following with his PCP, it was thought to be a milk protein allergy. When eliminating dairy did not seem to make a difference, I requested a GI consult. All this while there was no urgency from the doctor because he was super happy, no discomfort, gaining weight, eating great…etc. While waiting for the GI consult, he received his six month immunizations. The next day he was lethargic and threw up (new symptoms). Took him to his PCP who said give him Tylenol because he probably just had a virus or wasn't feeling well from his shots. He was NOT right that night…super lethargic (very unlike him) not eating, threw up again. The next day I decided to take him to the ER. They still were not really concerned as he had no fever. Still, I asked if they could run some tests. They showed he had an inflamed colon. Sent us to Children's Hospital via ambulance but no sirens, four hour drive, no monitors or urgency. The paramedic thought he was just sleepy and would be back in a day or two. After being in the ER several hours and waiting for bloodwork, nothing obvious was showing up (no signs of infection). But all his labs were off. Then it became terrifying. He wasn't breathing right. They sent us to the PICU and from there he went into multi-organ failure. He was intubated for five weeks, his kidneys completely shut down so was on CRRT for weeks. His whole body went into an auto-inflammatory response.

He had several open abdomen surgeries and ended up with colostomy though there was no dead bowel present or any obvious problem with his colon other than inflammation. Specialists from every department tried to figure out what was happening and there were no answers. There are still no answers. He has had nine surgeries, and one year later is doing incredible. (very long story short)

During the course of his PICU stay (many other things happened during the PICU stay) he developed a blood clot in his left groin and ended up with non-traumatic compartment syndrome in his left leg. At the moment, it was the least of concerns. Now it is really the main thing we are dealing with and the reason he is coming to Mayo. He has a severe left ankle contracture and foot drop. Severe damage to his peroneal nerve. His ortho doctor here is recommending Achilles lengthening surgery and I want to make sure that is the BEST thing for him! He will see neurologists and an ortho doctor at Mayo and have an EMG under sedation. It is rare for babies to have non-traumatic compartment syndrome injuries, so I am hoping there is anything else that can be done before resorting to lengthening his tendon–which could result in permanent weakness or life-long brace. Overall, I am grateful that our son is alive and well. I'm trying to do everything I can to give him the best possible outcome for his little leg and foot.

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I know this is an older thread, and short notice, but I am going to Mayo Rochester neurology department tomorrow with my sister who has an epilepsy evaluation. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find child care for my 2 year old, and I will need to be in the room with my sister to help relay and retain pertinent information. My question is, is there enough room to get around if I take my daughter in her wagon? I just don't want it to be oversized and awkward, especially trying to navigate in the exam rooms.

Thank you!

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REPLY
@tiffanyjean

I know this is an older thread, and short notice, but I am going to Mayo Rochester neurology department tomorrow with my sister who has an epilepsy evaluation. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find child care for my 2 year old, and I will need to be in the room with my sister to help relay and retain pertinent information. My question is, is there enough room to get around if I take my daughter in her wagon? I just don't want it to be oversized and awkward, especially trying to navigate in the exam rooms.

Thank you!

Jump to this post

There should be room in exam room, but make sure you have plenty activity/ snacks to keep your two year old busy. You may have lot of time where you are sitting and waiting. And in exam room you want to be able to concentrate on your sister. I see lot of parents using ipads for them to watch movies. Maybe save the best toy till time when dr is in room. Good luck. Laurie

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