About Connect: Who, What & Why

Mayo Clinic Connect is an online community that connects people. In the About Connect page, find out more about Mayo Clinic Connect mentors, members and the community. Meet the team of Mayo Clinic moderators and how the community is managed.  Review the community guidelines and learn how you can get the most from your Connect experience.

Each week a Member Spotlight features a members of your Connect community. Follow the About Connect page to get updates about members and the community. 

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Mon, Feb 19, 2018 3:43pm

Easing the Burdens of Caregivers: Meet @IndianaScott

By John, Volunteer Mentor, @johnbishop

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.

Scott spotlight

JOHN: Scott, what brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect and motivates you to take part in the community?

@IndianaScottMy wife was a long-time patient of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, as she waged her 14-plus-year war against brain cancer. During this time, she and I not only developed an incredibly special relationship with her physicians at Mayo, but I was also her full-time caregiver.  I found caregiving was the toughest job I ever held: no training, no employee manual just “jump into the deep end and try to swim with the sharks.” The longer I was a caregiver, I also began realizing how intensely isolating caregiving (and chronic illness) can be to patients, caregivers and families. It was this isolation which sent me searching early one morning for some online community open to discussing the realities of caregiving. Quite by accident, I found Connect, and it was the Mayo Clinic brand, which led me to investigate it and brought me into the fold.

JOHN: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?

@IndianaScottAt first I registered and just jumped in and began posting and replying to various threads. I found the community to be welcoming, open and nonjudgmental. Also, I discovered it was one of the few online communities where I could talk about what caregiving is really like for the vast majority of regular folks who find themselves thrust into the role of being a caregiver. After a while, I was lucky to be asked if I would consider becoming a volunteer mentor, which I agreed to do. To me, the best part of Connect is we can all be open and honest, and so many can benefit from this community.

JOHN: What groups do you participate in?

@IndianaScottThe Caregivers group is closest to my heart, since it was my idea to see if such a group might be of interest within the Connect community. I also participate in the Brain Tumor; Chronic Pain; Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat; Just Want to Talk; Mental Health; Sleep Health and Visiting Mayo Clinic groups.

JOHN: Who has been a special connection for you on Connect?

@IndianaScottI can’t really identify any specific individual, but I can say, with all my heart, every caregiver who participates and reads the Caregivers posts are very special to me. As I said, caregiving can be incredibly isolating. Add to this the stigma often associated with being a caregiver, difficulties faced by many in their employment and the often seeming impossibility of meeting the daily demands of caregiving, I admire every caregiver who takes a few moments of their precious time to participate in this particular Connect community.

JOHN: What surprised you the most about Connect?

@IndianaScottI would have to say there are two things I admire most about Connect: first is how accepting and nonjudgmental the community is, and second would be how willing the community is to listen to what the unvarnished truth is about many of the struggles people face in their healthcare and caregiving journeys.

JOHN: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?

@IndianaScottAfter 14 years of being completely out of balance in my life due to the overloaded lifestyle that is endemic to caregiving, I am still struggling to find balance in this different phase of my life. I am trying to make up for lost time with our children and grandchildren as well as with some good friends of old who stuck with me through the thick and thin of my caregiving years.

JOHN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.

@IndianaScottAfter spending time with family and friends, my current hobby is learning more about the red wines of Napa Valley, California, and developing a family wine cellar centered on them.

JOHN: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?

@IndianaScott“Wonder Woman and Superman only exist in comic books, so no one can be a superhero in caregiving.”

JOHN: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

@IndianaScottI truly and deeply appreciate those very few friends who stuck with me and understood me during my caregiving years.

JOHN: What food can you simply not resist?

@IndianaScottMy wife was 100 percent Italian, and she introduced me to gnocchi, which I absolutely cannot, nor want to, ever resist!

JOHN: Puppies or kittens?

@IndianaScottHaving bred yellow Labrador retrievers for decades, I’m a puppy guy through and through!

See more Member Spotlights.

@IndianaScott Hello Scott! My mother had emphazyma due to Alpha-1 (she passed away at age 58). My father retired early and was her sole caregiver. It was hard on him in many ways as I am sure you know. My hat is off to caregivers, I am sure it can feel like a thankless job. I heard a gentleman at a lung transplant support group once say that after his wife's transplant, people would call the house and ask how she was doing. He said "Not a one asked me how I was doing." Scott, how are you doing? How is that wine venture coming along?

@windwalker

@IndianaScott Hello Scott! My mother had emphazyma due to Alpha-1 (she passed away at age 58). My father retired early and was her sole caregiver. It was hard on him in many ways as I am sure you know. My hat is off to caregivers, I am sure it can feel like a thankless job. I heard a gentleman at a lung transplant support group once say that after his wife's transplant, people would call the house and ask how she was doing. He said "Not a one asked me how I was doing." Scott, how are you doing? How is that wine venture coming along?

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thanks @windwalker for the kind words and the inquiry! I, too, was never asked how I was doing outside of the casual, throw-away comment of 'take care of yourself'. But here you are and you asked — I'm doing OK. I'm not a big fan of my new life, especially since I had a stroke in mid-December, which stole the sight in my right eye. That said, I am focused on staying busy, never accomplishing a task, visit, etc. without putting a new, replacement on my calendar, which I find very helpful to me. The wine….no problem there! Seems to have grown into a family hobby now including our two adult children so that is fun! Plus being the son of an alcoholic I am forever vigilant to keep it in perspective! Cheers and I hope you are doing well also! Think Spring!

Hi Scott, I so admire anyone who can and will subjugate their self to care for another. I have been disabled for 6 years, but primarily I can not work or drive and sometimes have issues with decision making. Just these limitations put an extra burden on my wife as she is an elementary school guidance counselor and after completion of one more 8 week class will begin working on her dissertation for her EdD. She amazes me with her ability to stay positive and except when she had the flu over the past week rarely ever appears to be "at her wit's end" where I am concerned. What you did, for the period of time both your wife and you had to suffer is so very commendable. Thanks for helping others who are doing the same thing every day and I hope you are able to catch up with your kids and grandkids as much as possible. Gary

@seabee, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I just read your profile bio and would like to introduce you to @IndianaScott. If you click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification, you can read the Member Spotlight featuring Scott and you'll see why I'd like to 2 of you to meet.

My mother-in-law recently passed away from Lewy body dementia, and my father-in-law took care of her as long as he could. I admire people, men especially, who take on this new role! I realize that marriage is “in sickness and in health “, but some really step up to the plate. I recently had hip surgery (not the “normal “ procedure) performed at Mayo in Rochester and my husband has now been my care giver, as well as working a full time job as a plant manager. Many years ago we had a yellow lab named Sadie. She was incredibly smart and a great friend! We currently live in IN. I assume(ohoh!) that you do also, because of your name! So,
thanks! From: an appreciative wife!

Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, @blb3988. Thanks for sharing such a lovely story. We do look forward to getting to know you; would you be able to share a bit more about your hip surgery?

@IndianaScott so happy to see you recognized. I loved sharing eith you reading your encouraging replies to just want to talk. My problems are worse, husband retired last month and we have to move quickly. Glad to hear about your interest in Napa Valley Wines and that you raised Labradors. Will jump back on to mayo connect in a little bit into the two categories that I used . I was on" just want to talk" and chronic pain. Thank you again for your volunteering :you are a dear ,dear person to me. Sincerely Dori ( Victorious69)

@windwalker

@IndianaScott Hello Scott! My mother had emphazyma due to Alpha-1 (she passed away at age 58). My father retired early and was her sole caregiver. It was hard on him in many ways as I am sure you know. My hat is off to caregivers, I am sure it can feel like a thankless job. I heard a gentleman at a lung transplant support group once say that after his wife's transplant, people would call the house and ask how she was doing. He said "Not a one asked me how I was doing." Scott, how are you doing? How is that wine venture coming along?

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@Indiannascott

Liked by virtuous69

@colleenyoung need help jumping bsck into mayo connect. Tried to start new topic discussion about shoulder tendonitis and rotator cuff tear especially about asking anyone if they've ever used a shoulder brace for support and what they do to treat their symptoms for shoulder tendonitis and Rotator tear. Signed Victorious 69

@blb3988

My mother-in-law recently passed away from Lewy body dementia, and my father-in-law took care of her as long as he could. I admire people, men especially, who take on this new role! I realize that marriage is “in sickness and in health “, but some really step up to the plate. I recently had hip surgery (not the “normal “ procedure) performed at Mayo in Rochester and my husband has now been my care giver, as well as working a full time job as a plant manager. Many years ago we had a yellow lab named Sadie. She was incredibly smart and a great friend! We currently live in IN. I assume(ohoh!) that you do also, because of your name! So,
thanks! From: an appreciative wife!

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@indiannaScott wrote you a long thank you post and so happy to hear that you've been recognized as a great moderator. You are one of my favorites I will always always be grateful for your encouraging comments. I hope my original post pops up some where. I was encouraged to read about your interest in Napa Valley Wines and raising Labradors. Then I saw about you having a stroke in December and losing a part of your eyesight .that made me very sad. Things are even worse than they were before .My husband has retired in March and we have to move quickly to somewhere we don't know where we're going to a senior living that's cheaper. So I will probably jump back in the Mayo Clinic in to the just want to talk subject and also I posted yesterday a request for anybody who has ever used a shoulder brace for a torn rotator cuff or shoulder tendonitis. Thank you ever so much for being who you are and for the delightful person and posts that you've encouraged me along the way signed Victorious 69 Dori

@virtuous69

@IndianaScott so happy to see you recognized. I loved sharing eith you reading your encouraging replies to just want to talk. My problems are worse, husband retired last month and we have to move quickly. Glad to hear about your interest in Napa Valley Wines and that you raised Labradors. Will jump back on to mayo connect in a little bit into the two categories that I used . I was on" just want to talk" and chronic pain. Thank you again for your volunteering :you are a dear ,dear person to me. Sincerely Dori ( Victorious69)

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well @virtuous69 aka Dori! Gosh! I am blushing 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!

I wish you all the very best with your move. They are never easy, but always what my best half called "temporary inconveniences for permanent improvement" and I hope it is the same for you and your husband!

Strength, courage, and PEACE!

@windwalker

@IndianaScott Hello Scott! My mother had emphazyma due to Alpha-1 (she passed away at age 58). My father retired early and was her sole caregiver. It was hard on him in many ways as I am sure you know. My hat is off to caregivers, I am sure it can feel like a thankless job. I heard a gentleman at a lung transplant support group once say that after his wife's transplant, people would call the house and ask how she was doing. He said "Not a one asked me how I was doing." Scott, how are you doing? How is that wine venture coming along?

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@IndianaScott , Wow, I am sorry to hear that you had a stroke. My sister-in-law had one this past Feb. She too lost vision in one eye The type of stroke she had was a continuous brain bleed. She is still in recovery and has lost some cognitive skills.

@windwalker

@IndianaScott Hello Scott! My mother had emphazyma due to Alpha-1 (she passed away at age 58). My father retired early and was her sole caregiver. It was hard on him in many ways as I am sure you know. My hat is off to caregivers, I am sure it can feel like a thankless job. I heard a gentleman at a lung transplant support group once say that after his wife's transplant, people would call the house and ask how she was doing. He said "Not a one asked me how I was doing." Scott, how are you doing? How is that wine venture coming along?

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Thanks @windwalker Terri! I appreciate the kind words! I send good wishes for a strong recovery for your sister-in-law!
Scott

@gman007

Hi Scott, I so admire anyone who can and will subjugate their self to care for another. I have been disabled for 6 years, but primarily I can not work or drive and sometimes have issues with decision making. Just these limitations put an extra burden on my wife as she is an elementary school guidance counselor and after completion of one more 8 week class will begin working on her dissertation for her EdD. She amazes me with her ability to stay positive and except when she had the flu over the past week rarely ever appears to be "at her wit's end" where I am concerned. What you did, for the period of time both your wife and you had to suffer is so very commendable. Thanks for helping others who are doing the same thing every day and I hope you are able to catch up with your kids and grandkids as much as possible. Gary

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Thanks @gman007 I appreciate the kind words and support! Indeed, all I can say about caregiving is love is an incredible motivator and can often lead us places we never knew we could go!

I am doing just want you say — catching up with our children and The Grands right now and having a very good time doing it! Being on their turf for a few weeks is a good way to mend my soul! Plus our daughter even came down from Chicago to join us all for a mini-family reunion of sorts, going across the state to spread some of my wife's ashes in the fourth of the five spots she wanted. All five are shorelines so we get a bonus of seeing some very nice spots too.

Best of luck to you and your wife as well!

@blb3988

My mother-in-law recently passed away from Lewy body dementia, and my father-in-law took care of her as long as he could. I admire people, men especially, who take on this new role! I realize that marriage is “in sickness and in health “, but some really step up to the plate. I recently had hip surgery (not the “normal “ procedure) performed at Mayo in Rochester and my husband has now been my care giver, as well as working a full time job as a plant manager. Many years ago we had a yellow lab named Sadie. She was incredibly smart and a great friend! We currently live in IN. I assume(ohoh!) that you do also, because of your name! So,
thanks! From: an appreciative wife!

Jump to this post

Hello @blb3988 I am so sorry to be so late in responding to your lovely post! For some reason I did not see it. Again, sorry about that and let me say a warm, if belated, welcome to Mayo Connect! You assumed (!) correctly! I do live in Indiana and we even raised yellow Labs for many, many years! Our 'dog of a lifetime' was a yellow named Cinder! She was one amazing dog!

I appreciate your kind words and wish you well!

Thanks again and I hope to hear from you again on Connect!

Courage, strength, and peace!

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