MRI Helps with Orthopedic Surgery
My name is Dale Olson. I live here in Brookings, South Dakota. My wife and I moved up here in 1975 when I went to work for 3M Company. I thought we'd be here three, four or five years, and then go on to something better and found out there really isn't a whole lot better. We like it here.
What brought your to Brookings Health System?
I had a pain in my thumb. I couldn't hold on to things. And my wife had worked here at the hospital since 1983 when we moved to town. She said, "Well, why don't you go see one of the doctors at the hospital?" They hooked me up with Dr. Holmoe and eventually on the 4th of August we had the repair done.
What was your impression of Dr. Holmoe?
I like him. I didn't realize, you know, he was relatively new here. And since I didn't have much, the only contact I had with the health system was over at the clinic or the emergency room here. And he knew what he was doing. He knew what to look for. He ordered an x-ray right away so that he could see where and what, you know, we were dealing with.
What was your diagnosis?
It's osteoarthritis. I think that there's no cartilage left between a couple of bones and that brought things together. And of course the tendon was longer and, you know, it doesn't naturally shrink. It, kind of, spread out. So it would be the right size, but it hurt to do that.
Did you try other treatments before surgery?
He did injections into the joint. And he fitted me with a brace that wrapped around my hand and held my thumb, sort of, rigid so it wouldn't move around. Well, he was thinking maybe that'll be enough. But it just got worse and worse. But the first two or three injections after he was done, it was probably two days and I was back to pre-thumb hurting time. You know, this Medicare thing you got to wait 90 days or whatever the timeline is there and that's what we spaced the appointments on. And it removed that scratchiness and the hurt for almost the whole time. It was, maybe, the last week or so that I could remember why I was going to see Dr. Holmoe. I asked him if we could get it fixed because he'd explained the procedure. I thought it was something I was just going to have to just tough out. And he said no, he could fix that.
Why did you need an MRI before surgery?
He needed the MRI so that he'd have a better picture of my thumb. And then he needed some tendon to make the repair. And he wanted to see if I had what he needed or if he's gonna have to try something else.
How was your MRI experience?
It wasn't like the other two or three that I've had. I had one way, way back here, you know, back in the old hospital. And then I had one done at the VA first for something else. But this, it was good. The technician that took me back there, she told me exactly what was going to happen. And she said, "This would be a good experience for you." And it was.
How did the MRI staff treat you?
Oh, really good. They were really fun people to work with. And, to me, they appeared to know what was going on. And they took good care of me when I was there. Asked me what kind of music I wanted to listen to and I said, "'60s folk music." And so that's what I got.
How is your pain following surgery?
Since they took the stitches out, why, and I've been moving it. It's better. I'm getting a lot more freedom with it and things that hurt right away. Back up in here, it was hurt so bad and now I'm good to go.
What did you appreciate most?
Everybody's nice. You know they're nice, they're personable, they're competent, I think. You know, in my humble opinion, not being a medicine man or anything. But, yeah, they know what they're doing. They know what they're talking about.
What COVID-19 precautions were in place at the hospital?
Everybody here wears a mask, and people that come in wear a mask. They take your temperature to make sure you're not sick. Tell you, "If you're not feeling well, stay home we don't need that here. And when you're better, then we'll get in and look at you."
Why did you choose treatment in Brookings?
It's a hometown thing. We live here. We've lived here since '75. We got more modern and could afford the nice equipment and up-to-date stuff. We've got a lot of friends that go to Sioux Falls and they're kind of whining about, "Well, I've got to drive all the way down there." Then, why don't you do it here? "Well, I don't know. I've just been doing it down there." And yeah, it was a hometown thing.
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