Thank you so much for all the prayers and positive thoughts during our recent journey to Rochester, Minnesota. We managed to travel both directions safely, and missed most of the snow and bad weather. It began snowing as we headed back home. For a couple of hours, we drove through a white winter wonderland. I now have a new appreciation for the word "cold". Temperatures were usually between 10 and 20 degrees. If I ever again complain about cold temperatures in my part of the country, my friends to the north are more than welcome to stuff their mittens and mufflers in my mouth!
Actually, the people in Rochester are quite smart. The majority of hotels, shops, restaurants and Mayo Clinic buildings are linked by a series of underground tunnels and skywalks. You really do not need to venture out into the cold much at all.
We were able to dine at the same restaurant where my husband often dined, as a child, with his mother and a beloved aunt. The restaurant, Michaels, is still owned and operated by the same family 50 years later. His favorite entree of roasted duck with wild rice is still served. Our meal was delicious, and the waitress kind enough to listen to my husband's trip down memory lane. Bless her heart!
We also took a quick detour to Janesville, to catch a quick glimpse of his grandparents' home. The building which once housed his grandfather's Chevrolet dealership and repair service is still standing, although greatly modified and serving a different purpose. The grocery store and Dairy Queen, where many nickles and dimes were spent on treats, are still in business.
We also walked down hallways at the Mayo Clinic where his mother and father once might have walked.
It is somehow reassuring to know that some things never change.
The ophthamologist, with whom we met, described my case of thyroid eye disease as one of the most severe and complex he has seen. Treatment options that might be advantageous to others, will not benefit me.
The best that can be offered is a series of surgeries that will lessen, but not completely reverse the double vision. He believes the amount of time that I am currently able to align my eyes for normal vision will continue to decrease. Each day, I seem to notice more deterioriation.
His surgery schedule is currently filled for the next three months. So, we have time to continue researching, thinking and making decisions. Should openings in the surgery schedule become available, we will be notified. Truthfully, at this time, I am not too eager to agree to additional surgeries.
The journey to Mayo Clinic did make one thing clear.
The halls are filled with thousands of people, all searching for their own medical miracle.
While our individual battles may seem insurmountable to each of us, many are fighting wars that may never be won. They would gladly trade places with me.
The holidays are a time of hope and miracles.
I continue to cling to that promise.
I also continue to pray for grace to accept and make the best of my situation --
what it is now, and what it may become.