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Thu, Mar 28 8:47am · How to perform nonjudgmental meditation? in Depression & Anxiety

I'm guessing that non-judgmental meditation would be referring to the Mindfulness Meditation. You can Google to get information. The non-judgmental part is that when your mind wanders (as it will do) you bring your attention back to the breath non-judgmentally rather than thinking of it as "failing" meditation. Mindful Meditation has gone mainstream due to Jon Kabat-Zinn. He is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (in 1995). He is also the founder (in 1979) of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and of UMass Medical Schools, world-renowned MBSR Clinic.He developed a form called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) that is also used for those that want to meditate primarily for stress reduction. I first learned about Mindfulness from a "60-Minute" episode featuring Anderson Cooper's experience. After that I took a free course online from a man who was trained by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I was very skeptical, but I stuck with the course and realized that it did make a big difference in my health. (I will try to find the link to that course if you are interested.) There are also MANY apps to download that will guide you through mindful meditations. I started out with the Calm app (

Fri, Mar 15 9:04am · I'm having multiple odd episodes that are keeping me undiagnosed. Help in Brain & Nervous System

Your experience reminded me of the story of Susannah Cahalan in the movie "Brain on Fire". While the symptoms aren't the same, it took a doctor who looked for the rare "zebra" diagnosis to diagnose her with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. It literally saved her life. Prior to that diagnosis she was at one point told she was schizophrenic and put into a psych ward. I'm not saying her disease is causing your symptoms, but to point out that getting to a facility like Mayo that have all specialties under one roof and physicians who will work together and look outside the box for rare maladies could allow the puzzle pieces to be put together. Good luck and God bless. I hope you have a diagnosis soon.

Wed, Feb 27 8:31am · Contemplating NOT having suggested gallbladder surgery! in Digestive Health

I got three recommendations before I had my surgery. After the most painful night of my life, my family physician said it was consistent with gallstones and sent me for a sonogram. The sonogram revealed sludge, but no stones. I was very hesitant at removing it with no stones present so I sought out opinions from varied physicians/surgeons. Three months later I went ahead with the surgery and it revealed that a gallstone had been lodged in my main bile duct. I had passed it at home before the sonogram. I was told that it could have killed me. Judging by the amount of pain I was in that night, I believe it. You will read a lot of negatives in this forum regarding removing the gallbladder, but I have to say it changed my life for the better. I didn't realize that I braced for pain each time I ate until afterwards when I tested out a cup of broth and braced…nothing. No pain. That was the first time I realized how much chronic pain I had been living with. Three weeks after the surgery I could eat anything I wanted with no negative effects including fatty foods. I think you should get multiple consults and make your own decision. If you feel wonderful perhaps your decision will be different from mine, but I would like you to hear from someone who had a huge improvement in quality of life after having it removed. I have regretted losing some other organs, but for me losing this one is "good riddance".

Sat, Feb 16 8:12am · Mayo Insurance Question in Transplants

Tricare approves a set number of visits per referral. If you need more visits and aren't switching to a new physician/group, then the physician's office will usually contact Tricare to cover more visits . If you are switching doctors/groups even if it is for the same medical issue, then you get your PCP to make a new referral. Just remember that every referral must go through your Primary Physician even if a specialist is the one sending you to a different specialist (For example, my husband's urologist was sending him and the medical results to Mayo, but the actual referral still had to be requested by our PCP.).The trick is to be sure that each time you switch doctors/location, you get your PCP to make the referral first. Always follow-up to be sure it is authorized before your first visit. (They do this quickly and you can check the authorization online.) I have also found when I have called Tricare's insurance number with questions or problems they are ALWAYS nice and work to quickly resolve any issues. For example we were referred to a particular physician for radiation. Even though the entire group accepted Tricare Prime, this physician was new and had not yet made it onto Tricare's approved physician list. It was initially denied because he wasn't recognized, but after talking to them on the phone and explaining the situation. it was subsequently approved. I hope this helps. I do know that our insurance is much better than most. Also, thank you for your service!

Fri, Feb 15 6:20am · Mayo Insurance Question in Transplants

We used Tricare Prime a couple of years ago at Mayo. My husband had surgery for prostate cancer. Tricare requires a referral from your PCP. It is always good to go to your Tricare account and double check that your pre-authorization has been approved before visiting. Here is a link to Mayo's Tricare info: Here is the link to all Mayo's insurance information so you can check to see if your present insurance is accepted. You would need to check the Mayo Campus that you plan to visit to see if they contract with your insurance.

Wed, Jan 16 6:53am · Gallbladder surgery in Digestive Health

Those symptoms also correlate to issues with the pancreas, liver, and/or the ducts leading away from them. What tests have you been through? If you are not getting answers, then think about searching elsewhere. This is when a referral to a facility like Mayo is very valuable. What you are describing isn't normal. I had my gallbladder removed and after recovery from the surgery I have never felt better.

Dec 22, 2018 · Gluten free diet in Digestive Health

I have been gluten free for over a decade. Nothing was marked "gluten free" back then and shopping for food was a landmine. Most restaurant staff had never even heard the word "gluten". By the time I knew I couldn't have gluten I had lost 20% of my body weight. My small intestine was wrecked. The first time we went shopping I had a meltdown and started crying in the grocery store's soup aisle. If anyone has questions, please ask. It is so second nature to me now that it is hard to know what beginners need to know. Hardest thing about being gluten-free is being careful to avoid cross-contamination. This can even occur at home if someone dips into a jar, spreads on bread, and then redips again. Wayward crumbs are also a landmine. It will be crucial to clean up your house first. After you master your home you can then branch out to restaurants, etc.

Dec 15, 2018 · First visit to Mayo and traveling alone: Winter advice? in Visiting Mayo Clinic

We stayed at the Kahler Inn and Suites that had a mini kitchenette area. I didn't book a full-size kitchen option because I didn't know we would be there for a month (over Christmas and New Year's.). The Kahler Inn and Suites is also attached to Mayo and The Methodist Hospital. I can't say enough great things about the service! Anything I needed they were there to help. A huge free breakfast was provided each morning and there were plenty of restaurant/fast food/deli/pizza/cafeteria choices within walking distance via the underground tunnels. I ordered needed groceries online from Hyvee and had them delivered to the room. All grocery stores probably offer the delivery service now.:) I loved that there were no shuttles needed once we checked in. Anything I needed could be purchased close by or delivered.

If you are walking outside, you will appreciate having real water-proof insulated snow boots with good traction. (I found that parking lots tended to collect black ice.) I waited until we got there and went to one of the farm supply stores (Fleet Farm on 63 South) and bought the real deal at much lower cost than department stores here offering them for looks rather than usefulness. I am from warm South Carolina and items needed there aren't even sold down here. If you have any questions, please ask. Mayo Rochester is AMAZING!