Midday today, Jack had an appointment with an Internal Medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The doctor would provide their assessment of Jack’s medical roller coaster ride in May and, hopefully, provide some insight into what put Jack into the hospital. Afterward, Jack summarized the meeting by telling Jason, “I give the meeting an ‘A’.”

“The meeting gave me clarity,” he said. The doctors diagnosed Jack with West Nile Virus and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can be caused by the West Nile Virus. Recovery from West Nile involves toughing it out and treating symptoms. Unlike the COVID-19 virus, there is no vaccine or antidote to West Nile Virus.

As Mayo works with Jack to make plans to remove his thymoma, they want him to see a Mayo neurologist (to follow up on the encephalitis), a nephrologist (to check on his kidneys as they recover from the ‘shock’ of NSAIDs and other medicines), and an ear, nose, and throat specialist (to follow up on Jack’s apparent hearing loss). Scheduling all this could be a challenge, and Jack is starting to think he wants to schedule his thymoma procedure for after his Colorado elk hunting trip, in November, spending the summer and fall recovering his strength.

It’s a strange comfort to have confidence in Jack’s medical assessment, even though it’s pretty heavy. The mystery is gone. The path forwarded is clearer.