Kootenai | Kootenai Health | Issue 3, 2022

KH . ORG 17 If you have questions or concerns about your own medical condition, speak with your Kootenai Health provider. He or she can help determine if a Mayo Clinic eConsult would be beneficial. person, which was Kristina’s case. “It was like getting a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. When you get this opportunity, you take it,” Kristina said. It took a couple of months to arrange the visit, but once Kristina and her husband arrived in Rochester, Minnesota, they spent nearly a week visiting different specialists, completing lab work and tests and receiving education. “The first appointment was with the neurologist I was referred to,” she said. “It was a two-hour review of my health history while he gathered information and teased out different symptoms in order to decide what other specialists to include on the team for my case.” Apathway forward Following that initial meeting, Kristina had visits with four other specialists to help diagnose her condition. In between appointments she had lab work completed, with results delivered in real time to her cellphone via an app. No stranger to the complexities of health care, Kristina was impressed by how quickly everything came together. “In four days’ time, I had seen a number of specialists. We started with 40 different potential conditions, all of them possibly life-threatening. I went home with seven different new or confirmed diagnoses, thankfully none of which are life-threatening.” In her estimation, this process may have taken years without Kootenai Health’s partnership, connection to the Mayo Clinic specialists and access to specialized tests that weren’t available locally. Kristina and her husband made one additional visit to the Mayo Clinic a few months later to see one last specialist and attend a daylong education session together. While her condition can be painful and requires a lot of daily management, she is grateful to have answers and a path to move forward. When asked what the experience meant to her, Kristina said: “These possibilities and the unknown hang over your head and disrupt your life. I wanted to understand what was happening to me and why. This process let me lay to rest my fears and made me better equipped to manage these conditions. It gave me hope.” Kristina Breneman of Ponderay, Idaho, enjoys a stroll through a wooded area.