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.
JEN: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect and motivates you to take part in the community?
@predictable: I subscribed to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter several years ago. In early 2016, the publication carried an invitation for readers to consider signing up for membership in Mayo Clinic Connect, and I did so. At the time, I was working on lifestyle changes for accommodating atrial fibrillation and the new medications prescribed to treat that ailment. I found others on Connect were also facing these new-to-me challenges, and they had a lot of good ideas and empathetic approaches that helped me a lot.
Earlier, I had dealt with a range of health problems. After being successfully treated for them, I found other Connect members interested in my experiences. So, I shared information and ideas with them and, presently, became addicted to Connect. I wish I had more time to give to this noble service, which values the ability of patients to learn about their maladies and — to a reasonable extent — manage their participation in the therapies and care they need and obtain.
JEN: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@predictable: I am far less concerned about confidentiality now than I was before I retired over a dozen years ago. Personal transparency is much less risky when it is unlikely to affect my work and earnings. More important, we all enjoy our fellowship on Connect more — and get more information, insights and trust — when we give and receive the confidence of other members freely.
JEN: What groups do you participate in?
@predictable: I try to respond to any group whenever a moderator, a mentor or a member thinks I may be helpful. My main groups are these seven:
JEN: What surprised you the most about Connect?
@predictable: First, that Connect even exists; then that Mayo Clinic has invested so much in it as a manifestation of Mayo's commitment to patient-directed inquiry, diagnosis and treatment; and third, that Mayo Clinic and the Connect team are working so hard to expand the fellowship that brings untreated ill persons and current patients of the medical system together with survivors, medical professionals and leading researchers in the pursuit, discovery and application of proven treatments for the growing range of health problems people face.
JEN: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?
@predictable: Inspiration from the life experiences and insights of others is most influential, I suppose. It's hard to lose one's balance if you pay attention to what's happening in science, politics, history, journalism, philosophy, and human needs and achievement. Confronted by conflicts among these major concerns, I wonder whether resolutions come from reliance on faith or fact, or some measure of both.
JEN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@predictable: Music was my avocation since my retirement a few years ago, and now it is my primary activity outside of home. I have sung baritone and bass in four large mixed choruses and sometimes solo in popular music halls around my region. Not golfing any longer, I enjoy bowling; after 68 years of practice, I'm averaging 180 in a senior bowling league that meets weekly.
JEN: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
@predictable: The many things they do to clear the air during discussions of controversy and to explore chances for uplifting experiences for our neighbors, community and nation.
JEN: What food can you simply not resist?
@predictable: Blue crab cakes, my wife's carrot cake, Baseball Nut® ice cream cones and lefse.
JEN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
@predictable: The guy who played Forrest Gump. What's his name? Oh, yes. Tom Hanks.
JEN: Puppies or kittens?
@predictable: Puppies — they're more humble.