On the mend thanks to “Dr. Wizard”

Published 4:49 pm Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

We’re off to see the Wizard….only without a yellow brick road, Dorothy, Toto, Auntie Em, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Munchkins, nor the wicked/good witches of any direction.

And there was no tornado….just thought I would mentioned that here in the midst of springtime severe weather.

But there was a Wizard. He wore blue surgical scrubs offset by crocs of a different color.

Dr. Richard P. Holm (MD) is the mastermind behind EmergeOrtho in Roanoke Rapids. If he ever decides to hang up his scrubs and go in search of another line of work, I would strongly suggest he become a stand-up comedian. The latter trait is very obvious through his humorous bedside manner, all a part of his medical blueprint to put his nervous patients (along with their spouses) at ease.

Dr. Holm is the man responsible for giving my wife a new lease on life. Over the past two to three years, Deborah’s left knee has progressively gotten worse. She tried different avenues to help deal with the pain, but we both knew those methods only mask the aches….her knee was shot and needed the skills of a surgeon to repair.

Deborah weighed another option before settling on Dr. Holm. Her first choice was in a nearby town across the state line. As it turned out, we experienced no trouble traveling across the Virginia border, but our insurance didn’t care for the trip and cast the deciding vote.

On her consultation visit with Dr. Holm, Deborah and I were both impressed by his style. What I zoomed in on was that he didn’t seemed rushed. He took his time explaining what was wrong with Deborah’s knee and how he was going to fix it. He made both of us feel that Deborah was the only patient he was seeing that particular day. Of course that wasn’t the case as his office was full.

And before I forget it, here’s a good spot in this column to mention the staff at EmergeOrtho….they are all courteous, comforting, and professional. Each and every one treated us like royalty….it’s evident that the office acorns do not fall far from the tree.

Deborah completed all the necessary pre-op work in advance of her March 29th surgery. That included a visit with Dr. Holm and his staff on March 24 followed by a three-hour meeting at Vidant North Hospital. There, Deborah filled out paperwork and we met the staff on the third floor, which serves as Dr. Holm’s other home, the Joint Care Center.

As scheduled, we arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am on March 29. Deborah was given room #384. She slipped into her sexy hospital gown; had her vital signs taken, and then 92 minutes after arrival, an orderly arrived at the room to, in his words, “We’re off to see the Wizard.”

NOTE: I did later see patches of teal and burgundy tiles on what was your basic white tile hospital floor. I guess those are the preferred colors of this particular Wizard. The path to his operating room wasn’t colored in yellow.

Following surgery and a stint in recovery, Deborah arrived back in her room at 10:38 am. Twelve minutes later she was sitting up in bed eating fruit and drinking juice.

Lunch arrived at 11:45 am and 45 minutes later Deborah was assisted in getting dressed in her clothes and was seated in a recliner located next to her hospital bed. The latter was only used to sleep in at night.

With the help of a physical therapist, Deborah was up and walking the circular third floor hallway at 2:10 pm, roughly six hours following surgery. She walked two complete laps (800 feet).

By the time I left the hospital around 6 pm that Monday, Deborah had walked eight laps plus performed a few in-room exercises as demonstrated by the physical therapist.

Upon my arrival back at the hospital at 8:30 am Tuesday, Deborah had walked over 6,000 feet. By the time she was discharged the next morning, my (age deleted) wife had walked 12,600 feet (2.38 miles) on a surgically repaired left knee (along with, of course, her good right one).

All those steps would not have been possible without several things: Deborah’s willpower, the medical expertise of the third floor staff (all of them, to include her main nurses – Leigh, Robin, Tracy, and Ashley), and the encouragement of five other patients under the care of Dr. Holm. The “Super Six” lifted each other up on their journey….400 feet at a time.

On a wall across from the nurses’ station, there was an oversized board with cutouts of small cars, each attached to the board by a magnet. Each car bore a room number and when the patient of that room passed by the board they advanced their “car” to show they had completed a lap.

I’m proud to say that of the five female patients, Deborah’s grand total of laps was the highest.

And then there was another Deborah….this one a warm, caring, and knowledgeable physical therapist who conducted hour-long sessions on three occasions with the group. Her expertise assisted my Deborah in being discharged on time from the hospital on Wednesday morning….a shade over 48 hours following surgery.

Deborah Bryant is now at home and on the mend. She is a twice-weekly patient at a physical therapy office associated with EmergeOrtho in Roanoke Rapids. The folks there are courteous and professional as well.

We’re hopeful that by the end of this month, Deborah will be back to her old self…..minus the nagging left knee pain….and ready to return to what she enjoys the most in life: being a great wife, mother, grandmother, church go’er, legal assistant, and professional shopper!! But she first has to survive my cooking and housekeeping skills….or lack thereof.

I just hope the economy in Greenville can withstand her short-term absence.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal