So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

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So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby gunflint » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:17 pm

I received an email today from Dr Heiss's nurse telling me that they want me to be part of the study. I really don't know how I feel about it as it hasn't really sunk in yet. I do my best thinking in a boat and that's where I'll be in a few hours. They say that if you want to hear God laugh...tell him your plans. 6 months ago I was working full time. Hurting a lot but I figured that I was just getting older. I was wondering why the heck my left hand quit working like I wanted it to and why my forearm felt like it was burning. But I only had 8 years to go to retirement and I could do that standing on my head. 6 months later I get diagnosed with some strange disorder that neither I or anyone I know ever heard of. I meet some very understanding and knowledgeable people on the internet and the next thing you know, I'm flying into enemy territory. What the heck happened? Oh yeah, what's Bethesda like?
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Re: So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby karenb » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:13 pm

Gunflint,

Thank heavens you got in!!! Hallelujah!!! (Who? Me? Southern?)

I'm not sure what you mean by "enemy territory", but as far as I'm concerned, anyone who helps you is your friend. (Ponder the Good Samaritan for awhile, if you're still blown away...)

Personally, I am absolutely thrilled you got into the study - you can be a voice for the rest of us!

Karen
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Re: So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby pseudotumor » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:12 am

I have family in the DC area and was out there last week. Bethesda is the upper class area of MD metro, full of night life, bars, expensive restaurants.etc There's a zillion places to eat, and though most people on here suffer from headaches.etc I wouldn't recommend it - but lots of noisy bars and clubs. Simply walking around can be fun though. It's clean and fairly safe especially during the day.
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Re: So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby jfreema » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:30 am

Dr. Heiss did my surgery last year in May - wonderful neurosurgeon. I had to go into the hospital a couple of days early so that they could explore my unexplained fevers before surgery (they went away after surgery), so I was in the hospital 10 days. I had wonderful care, even by the doctors in training, and the surgery wasn't as bad as I'd imagined. They used no steroids, and they used my scalp for a patch, so I had no bad reactions to anything. They also use no contrast for their MRIs. I've been very pleased with the results of the surgery, have really had no problems except for the nerve damage that was already done by my syrinx before surgery. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me or ask me here. As far as appointments and the surgery and getting out and doing things in Bethesda, there wasn't much time to do much, so someone else could answer better than I could. I do recommend getting a motel where the shuttle stops. I wish you the best! I was enrolled about a month before the study you are in started, so I finished my time with them a couple of months ago.

Jennifer
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Pre-Op: SM C2-T4 (2mm C2 to C5, 6 mm C5 to T1, 2 mm T1 to T2, 7 mm T2 to T4), CM 8 mm
PFD surgery May 2010
Post-Op: Syrinx has completely disappeared - no evidence at all!
Surgeon: Dr. John Heiss at the NIH
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Re: So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby reedy » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:46 am

Congratulations! Dr Heiss is great and the NIH will take care of you. He's a funny character - speaks a bit slowly, occasionally closing his eyes if he's really thinking. Doesn't make a big deal out of things - very smart and careful. Delivers interesting assessments in his comments - its best to have someone with you who can help listen, take notes, so you can reflect on all the things he might have told you later.

I spent 5 days getting scans before my surgery, then while I was recovering my partner took care of himself in Bethesda. The business district is a 30-45 minute walk from the NIH entrance (and the entrance is 10 minutes from the Clincal Center building) so its a bit of a distance. Its OK, but for me, as an urbanite, I found it a bit fakey and Maryland suburban (I grew up in the MD suburbs but now live in London). There are a lot of chain restaurants in unimaginative block buildings. But there is good stuff to be found. I heard that the Spanish Tapas place is good (but a bit pricey). We went to a little Greek place a few times. We had a FANTASTIC meal at an Afghan restaurant (my last one 'out' before surgery, and worth the splash out). The Japanese place is packed and good value for its specials. There is a cinema.

Do have a look at the NIH library building. Nice architecture. There's lots of green space on the campus, so we just walked a lot, looking a birds, flowers, deer. Saw a very dramatic peregrine falcon catching something (squirrel? rabbit?) and it seemed to follow us all over campus, showing off its catch on every rooftop and tree branch.

But I've just finished my follow up visit (3 months post surgery) and they gave me money for a few nights hotel - and I decided I'd be better off in DC, taking the Red Line Metro in. I am pretty mobile still. It worked for me. The Smithsonian is open until 7:30 in the (hot hot hot) evenings, so I was able to do all kinds of interesting things outside of my scanning and appointment times. I have a friend who lives in Bethesda and agreed that if you want something more quirky and interesting, Bethesda ain't gonna give it to you. (I met him downtown for dinner several times).

But, if you are in Bethesda, you'll be comfortable and fine. Its the posh MD suburbs.
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Re: So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby karenb » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:41 pm

What a great suggestion!

reedy wrote:...its best to have someone with you who can help listen, take notes, so you can reflect on all the things he might have told you later.


I also carry a small digital voice-activated recorder so that I can go back over what was said later.

Best wishes!

Karen
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Re: So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby hegnauea » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:12 am

Hi there,

I live in DC - you have some great advice here. If you want to tour around the monuments, the white house, etc. If you stay near a Red Line train it would be around 20 minutes on the train to get to NIH (much easier than driving). If you go to google maps, you can search like this: "Hotels near Farragut North Metro Washington DC", and it will show you area hotels. Other red line metro stations that would be good include Dupont Circle, Woodley Park (this is the zoo stop if you like zoos :)), Cleveland Park.

Every metro station has an elevator if you need it - there are typically two entrances to each metro station and one side has the elevator.

Otherwise Bethesda is an upscale neighborhood - tons of shopping restaurants etc. It is really very nice.

Here are some resources that you might find helpful...

Washingtonian is a local magazine that rates restaurants in DC, Virginia, and Maryland - everything from 5 star to their "Cheap Eats" and even "Dirt Cheap Eats" (which aren't that cheap - DC is expensive).
http://www.washingtonian.com/sections/r ... index.html


WMATA is the metro's website - you can plan your trips here if you are taking metro - the trip planner is right on the homepage: http://www.wmata.com/

You can also see exactly where the elevator is if you need it as well by clicking on the station name once you plan your trip to go here(http://www.wmata.com/rail/station_detai ... ation_id=4) , then clicking on the pdf where it says 'entrances/evacuation maps'. Also this page will tell you if any escalators or elevators are out of service for the station.

Good luck!!!
Ab
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Re: So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby gunflint » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:36 am

Thanks guys,

There is some really helpful info here. I don't believe that I'll be doing much sight seeing on my first few visits however my wife will be coming with when I have the surgery and I'd like for her to find something to do other than hang around a hospital for 10 days. And I may be able to wrangle some time during my follow ups.
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Re: So, What's There To Do In Bethesda?

Postby reedy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:49 pm

This is a bump for this thread so gunflint has all this info handy. Remember to try to get out a bit beforehand so you have some context and shared experience. After surgery your world will be much smaller - but only for a little while!
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