• Gastroenterology Patient Stories

    Colorado Nurse Finds Answers to Medical Mystery

Written by Sara Jacobsen

Everyone who visits the Mayo Clinic has a story. Though my story may be a lot like all of the other patients who have come and gone through the Mayo Clinic system, I want to share my gratitude for the organization, facility and clinic that Mayo is.

Sara JacobsenThe year 2013 proved to be a bit of a roller coaster for me. I started out with bowel and bladder difficulty that ultimately spread to affect my neurological system and breathing. I had seen every specialist and had more tests done than I ever knew were possible. In August, I started worsening. I was having difficulty taking a deep breath in, while having increased right sided weakness, fatigue and numbness. The whole array of diagnoses were thrown at me (ALS, MS, Cancer, Myasthenia Gravis, and everything in between). I was placed on oxygen at night and it was becoming difficult to have enough energy to care for my two young boys (ages 3 and 5). I continued to work as a nurse, but I wasn't as effective as I had been.

In October, things continued to worsen. I had to stop running because my right foot was becoming numb, and I had to limit my activity because it was becoming more and more difficult to breathe. By the time I decided to come to the Mayo Clinic (the best place in the world for medicine) in November, it was hard for me to drive home at night because of the numbness in my right foot, it was getting difficult to make it through a day of work, and I had no energy for my kids. The quality of life I had was diminishing quickly.

When we arrived at the Mayo Clinic, I had the awesome privilege of seeing Dr. Karen Mauck. She spent an incredible amount of time with me and ordered more tests. The way the Mayo Clinic moves you through each test and gets you taken care of is more than incredible. They have a system down that is efficient, caring and absolutely amazing. After being there for 7 days, I was able to find a diagnosis of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The scary diagnoses were eliminated. I had some rare neurological antibodies that were elevated, but there is a specialist for that too! And, they said not to focus on that and recheck it in a year.

I was given a plan. I was given validation and care that was beyond anything I could ever have asked for. I am back home in Colorado. I am working, exercising and enjoying, and playing with my boys. I will be forever grateful to Dr. Mauck and the system that Mayo is. Thanks for all you do and will continue to do. May you all continue to be used and blessed every day. Thank you for letting me share my story!