By: Pam Holbrook

In August of 2014 my mother, Irma, was rushed to the emergency room due to a hip injury. Dr. Haemmerle happened to be the orthopedic surgeon on call at the time and determined that she needed a hip replacement.

Hello, my name is Pam and I was my mother’s power of attorney. I had gone to countless other appointments with her and watched how some surgeons, doctors, and providers bypassed my mother’s gaze, while speaking to me instead. Although I made medical decisions on her behalf, I found it incredibly disheartening that some individuals acted as if she wasn’t in the room.

That wasn’t the case with Dr. Haemmerle. He directed his attention to her and gathered information from her, rather than only addressing me. He treated her with complete respect and kindness.

As I watched this unique interaction, I thought to myself that if I ever had an orthopedic need, I would go see Dr. Haemmerle at Stevens Point Orthopedics (SPO).

Surgical Season of Life

Little did I know, that a few short years later, I would need to make that trip. After some initial evaluations and consults, I ended up having four major orthopedic surgeries in less than two years.

Before surgery, I was walking with bone on bone pain and couldn’t lift my arms properly. After my surgeries, I no longer walk with pain and have gained back the mobility in my arms.

I know in my heart that I couldn’t have gone through all of those surgeries without Dr. Haemmerle. His professionalism, patience, compassion, expertise, skill as a surgeon, and kindness all meant the world to me as patient. I never felt like a number and always felt important when I came in for appointments.

From the moment I walked in, the ladies at the front desk welcomed me with a smile and always asked how I was doing. I was also greeted by other staff while walking down the hallway and even got a couple hugs from Mallory (pre-COVID of course).

David Hahn was my physical therapist after all four surgeries and I cannot say enough about his compassion and expertise as well. It is truly a positive environment to be in—even if you are there for surgery.

I greatly appreciate how the SPO team walked me through that surgical season of life. Their kindness and care are irreplaceable.

The Next Step

After I healed up from all of my surgeries and completed my physical therapy, I wanted to continue my health journey. I heard that SPO collaborates with D1 Training and Sweet Spot Nutrition to offer the Bridge Program. The three organizations work together and focus on all areas of health to help us patients get back to our pre-injury or pre-surgery movement and activity.

In January I was ready to take the next step and completed a 10-week weight loss challenge at D1. It not only covered fitness, but nutrition, water intake, new recipes, healthy food substitutes and more.

The challenge ended in March and I feel great! I’m down 28 pounds (and counting), bettered my nutrition, made friends and even finished a 2-minute plank the other week—that’s something I could have never done without these amazing organizations.

If you’re living with any type of pain I encourage you to seek help. My only regret is that I didn’t sooner. Strive to live pain free and love life!  

Before Bridge

After Bridge