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. 

PUBLIC PAGE
Fri, May 11, 2018 9:00am

Sharing the Burden of Pain: Meet @sandytoes14

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.

Jen-Mentor

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

@sandytoes14: I enjoy doing research. I also believe in being educated in illnesses and conditions that I have, so I subscribed to Mayo Clinic's newsletter. One day I noticed a blurb about Connect and wanted to find other people like myself who have a desire to give and receive support on their health problems. What I found was a warm, welcoming community where I felt comfortable sharing things that I couldn't share with family and friends who didn't understand what I was going through.

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

@sandytoes14: Connect is a place where I feel safe to share how I feel about my health conditions without being judged.

JOHN: What groups do you participate in?

@sandytoes14: 
I mostly participate in Chronic Pain and Bones, Joints & Muscles. Sometimes you will catch me in Sleep Health. That’s based upon how much sleep I actually get in a night. The less sleep, the less sense I make!

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

@sandytoes14: 
That’s an easy one to answer: my fellow volunteer mentor teammates and moderators. @hopeful33250 always has a kind word, @johnbishop helps at a moment’s notice, @JustinMcClanahan is the one who checks in “just because” and @colleenyoung is much like the beautiful little hummingbirds I love to watch at my feeders. She is everywhere at once bringing joy and knowledge.

I also am very involved with those who have fibromyalgia on Connect, and I enjoy sharing ideas with other members about distracting oneself from chronic pain.

JOHN: What surprised you the most about Connect?

@sandytoes14: 
The Connect community itself surprised me: the members reaching out to find out about their own health concerns and sharing what they have learned with others, and the support and strength they give each other to be better advocates for themselves.

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

@sandytoes14: 
Phone calls from my kids make me feel refocused. There is something about unexpected video chats from my daughter in Germany and a quick “I love you Mom —  I’m on my lunch break” call from my son that get to me.

JOHN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.

@sandytoes14: 
Sitting near the ocean, with my husband, listening to the laugh of the gulls as the waves lap up on the shoreline is a favorite. I generally have a light-read book in my bag and my perpetual cup of coffee Dunkin Donuts’ is preferred in my hand.

JOHN: What food can you simply not resist?

@sandytoes14: Chocolate

JOHN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?  

@sandytoes14: Sandra Bullock: Beauty and Brains

JOHN: What do you love about where you live or vacation?

@sandytoes14: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. My husband and I lived on Ford Island for nearly five years for his last assignment in the U.S. Navy. Every day was like a vacation.

JOHN: Puppies or kittens?

@sandytoes14: Puppies

See more Member Spotlights.

Hi Jen @sandytoes14, Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better! I love the mental picture I get when I see your username @sandytoes14 ☺ Also – Go Navy!

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

@sandytoes14 Jen

What a great interview – it is just a delight to get to know you better. If you did not already have such a great name (sandytoes) I would recommend, "sunandfun."

Teresa

@johnbishop

Hi Jen @sandytoes14, Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better! I love the mental picture I get when I see your username @sandytoes14 ☺ Also – Go Navy!

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Thank you John for a great interview. Military sticks together !

@windwalker

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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@windwalker Terri, Being a Navy Brat you know that distance knows no boundries when it comes to friendships! We will have to work something out to meet. Maybe we can get @travelgirl Jackie to meet too as she lives a short distance from me. Wouldn't it be great if we had our Mentor/Moderator gathering in sunny Florida at Jacksonville Mayo? Too bad HQ is Rochester.

@windwalker

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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I'd vote for that unfortunately comma I don't get a vote ☺

@windwalker

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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@sandytoes14

@windwalker

@sandytoes14 Jen, I just loved reading your Spotlight. I feel like you and I would be girlfriends if we lived close together. I live near the ocean and just spent the last two days at the beach with my little dog beside me. I am a Navy Brat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for our sailors. I look forward to meeting you in person soon.

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@sandytoes14 Jen, meeting up in Jacksonville is no trouble for me, I go down there frequently. In fact, I will be there June 6 for my annual breathing tests at Mayo.

In my experience, once you are involved in ongoing medical problems (even not life-threatening ones) you are never the same, and a permanent darkness comes over you.

@jshdma

In my experience, once you are involved in ongoing medical problems (even not life-threatening ones) you are never the same, and a permanent darkness comes over you.

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@jshdma You are right in one respect. When I was at my sickest, which lasted for years; I was in that same head space. I got my Living Trust set up, started giving away treasured items to the people that I wanted to have them, and downsizing my home's contents. I was so sure I wasn't going to last but maybe two more yrs tops. But, after successful treatment at Mayo, I began to feel better; and then better yet. Then, my mind cpuld meet my body halfway. I could fathom the posibility of getting well. I set my mind's course to not accept illness. Am I still ill? Yes, I have a serious progressive disease. The other shoe could drop and I could nose dive into a critical state. That is not my 'belief'. I live this belief and feel great physically. (of course taking precautions with health) I have found joy again. I hope that you will too, and lift that permanent darkness. Hugs! -Terri

@jshdma

In my experience, once you are involved in ongoing medical problems (even not life-threatening ones) you are never the same, and a permanent darkness comes over you.

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Thanks for your thoughts. You seem to have a lot of inner strength.

@jshdma

In my experience, once you are involved in ongoing medical problems (even not life-threatening ones) you are never the same, and a permanent darkness comes over you.

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@jshdma

I suppose for many of us, we have come to realize the inner strength is not something that comes naturally, it must be acquired. It comes with determination not to give in to a negative mind set.

Teresa

Hello; this is my first connection to this site…….Have belonged, but not participated until now. The topic of pain caught my eye. My pain is in the form of depression which has a cycle of every other day "good" and "bad." I've tried a number of approaches to finding relief. Currently I'm in a series of neurofeedback "brain training" which has been slow to help…..not sure how it will turn out. Do try to get in daily fast walks and have recently tried Yoga…..These seem to be making some difference. Not sure this was the place to send all of this ? Oh, your comments about your husbands last duty station made me smile. My Army husband's last station was The Presidio in SF ~ I called them our "Camelot" days :-)))) I look forward to reading more of your posts; thanks for sharing….

@azsandy

Hello; this is my first connection to this site…….Have belonged, but not participated until now. The topic of pain caught my eye. My pain is in the form of depression which has a cycle of every other day "good" and "bad." I've tried a number of approaches to finding relief. Currently I'm in a series of neurofeedback "brain training" which has been slow to help…..not sure how it will turn out. Do try to get in daily fast walks and have recently tried Yoga…..These seem to be making some difference. Not sure this was the place to send all of this ? Oh, your comments about your husbands last duty station made me smile. My Army husband's last station was The Presidio in SF ~ I called them our "Camelot" days :-)))) I look forward to reading more of your posts; thanks for sharing….

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Hello @azsandy

I am so glad that you posted on Mayo Connect. Welcome! Yes, pain can take many forms, can't it? Pain can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Often, the emotional pain of depression can also lead to physical forms of pain as well. I would encourage you to look at some of our Members' post in the Mental Health discussion group. We hav a discussion group on long term depression, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/long-term-depression-1/. Also, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/doing-things-to-relieve-depression-motivation-and-ideas/ As you read these posts you will undoubtedly identify some thoughts that are similar to yours.

I see that you are currently working with "neurofeedback brain training." Could you tell us something about that?

If you are comfortable sharing more, please do so in one of these groups. Have you been diagnosed with a certain type of depression? Have you tried any medications?

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

@azsandy

Hello; this is my first connection to this site…….Have belonged, but not participated until now. The topic of pain caught my eye. My pain is in the form of depression which has a cycle of every other day "good" and "bad." I've tried a number of approaches to finding relief. Currently I'm in a series of neurofeedback "brain training" which has been slow to help…..not sure how it will turn out. Do try to get in daily fast walks and have recently tried Yoga…..These seem to be making some difference. Not sure this was the place to send all of this ? Oh, your comments about your husbands last duty station made me smile. My Army husband's last station was The Presidio in SF ~ I called them our "Camelot" days :-)))) I look forward to reading more of your posts; thanks for sharing….

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@azsandy I am so very happy you decided to join us here on Connect. Please continue to share with us. I was unavailable to answer you right away and asked my teammate Teresa also known as hopeful33250, to initially welcome and guide you.

You stated that walking and yoga help you. Azsandy, does excercise help your mood and your pain?

Military duty stations– there is such a love/hate relationship! I'm glad I could make you smile. I look forward to getting to know you

Jen

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