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.
JOHN: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect? What motivates you to take part in the community?
@mamacita: I grew up being taught that knowledge was a good thing to strive for, but wisdom was what we needed to be happy and successful in life. Mayo Clinic has long had the reputation for being the place to go when you need some serious answers. Doctors in my community tried, but my conditions were not really understood very well. Small towns sometimes do not gain the experience that larger cities have in dealing with complicated illnesses, as there are fewer people affected.
Mayo Clinic Connect was there for me when I faced many serious health issues. I turned to Mayo Clinic Connect to find solace in the company of others who had been through what I endured. There I found not only comfort, but serious attention to my circumstances. I felt that I was being heard, at last.
JOHN: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@mamacita: When I am "talking" with another patient on Mayo Clinic Connect, I feel as if we are sitting in the lobby of one of the finest medical institutions in the country, if not the world. I talk to everyone, and everyone has a story. I meet so many people and have learned so much from them. Just like when you become acquainted with the folks you talk to for hours at the hospital, learning and sharing with friends made on Mayo Clinic Connect builds community. It's a great feeling to know you aren't alone.
JOHN: What groups do you participate in?
@mamacita: Most of the time, I participate in the Adults on the Autism Spectrum discussion. I routinely check in with the Chronic Pain group, and I also am involved in discussions about topics like long-term depression, anxiety and panic attacks or fibromyalgia pain. Many symptoms overlap into other groups, so you never know where I may show up! I also like to check on groups to see if there is anything helpful that I might add.
JOHN: Who has been a special connection for you on Connect?
@mamacita: From the beginning, @gailb and @hopeful33250 have been so encouraging and supportive. I am a big fan of how they speak with other members and the kindness that they show. @johnbishop also has been wonderful about giving suggestions and information.
JOHN: What surprised you the most about Connect?
@mamacita: The most surprising thing about Connect to me is the vast number of medical topics that are covered by the discussion groups. This is very important to me, because I know all too well what it’s like to feel alone in the middle of your suffering. Whether it is your child or your partner, or yourself, when you need a helping hand, I’ve found Connect members are there for each other.
JOHN: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?
@mamacita: Our young teenager energizes me. He is full of life, smart, kind and funny. He was airlifted to a children's hospital a couple of years ago with a severe head injury. Blood was seeping from his brain, and his fractured skull posed an equal threat. Two days later he was home, having survived surgery to release the blood and save his life. I will be grateful always to the medical team who saved him.
JOHN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@mamacita: Spending time with my family, and my friends who are like family, is the most fun ever. Whether we are watching “Doctor Who,” “Father Brown,” or catching “Incredibles 2” at the theater, we have a good time. We sing, cook, play instruments and love on our animals — nothing better.
JOHN: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?
@mamacita: "We are better together." When I first started using this quote, it was used on Facebook by a dear pastor friend of mine. She is on a mission to make sure everyone knows they are loved and accepted just for who they are. She is a wise lady and knows that it takes all of us working together to make our communities a better place.
JOHN: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
@mamacita: Loyalty is the greatest asset one can have, as far as having friends goes. Honesty is so very important that it has to almost be right up there next to loyalty. Friends are in your life for a reason. You may not understand at first why the universe put you together, but you will, and you will be amazed.
JOHN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see cast as you?
@mamacita: Hollywood has the perfect actress to play me in the story of my life. Her name is Kathy Bates, famous for her roles in “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Blind Side,” and “Titanic.” People tell me all the time that we look like we could be sisters, and we even sound and act alike.
JOHN: What do you love about where you live or vacation?
@mamacita: Our family loves the beach. Alabama has the most beautiful beaches in the world, if I do say so myself. The water is heavenly, the salty air is so refreshing … well. Y'all just come on down here and see for yourself!