Attentive Local Emergency Care

My name is Lynn Darnall. I am from Brookings, South Dakota. I own a local green house here with my family called Medary Acres Greenhouse. Obviously I like to garden and read and bicycle and quilt and volunteer.

What do you remember about entering the hospital? 

When I entered the hospital, I was so impressed at how professional everybody was. When I walked into the emergency room, the young lady behind the desk took one look at me and knew I was in trouble. She asked me for my insurance card and then just called the doctor and got me right back to a suite. I didn't wait one minute. Then, when I got back to the emergency suite and they saw how much pain I was in and it was getting worse by the minute, I feel like things just flew. Because they didn't know exactly what it was, they had to diagnose it by elimination. The first thing they started doing was making sure that I was not having heart attack, that my breathing was okay, that there wasn't an obstruction in my lungs, which is one of the ideas that they thought I might have. So they never left me. Somebody was in the room with me at all times. I had driven up here by myself, so my family was on their way but they never left me. They made sure I was okay and as comfortable as they could make me until they knew exactly what was going on.

Who helped you in the Emergency Room?

Dave Fossum was waiting for me. They were afraid of things that it could be, such as clot in my lung, heart attack. So Dave was actually waiting for me when I got there. They knew it was serious and he was very attentive and started running tests immediately to figure out what it was.

How long were you hospitalized and how was your recovery?

I was admitted to the hospital that day within an hour or two. I was admitted to a room upon the medical circle and they immediately started trying to keep my pain under control. They did an excellent job with that. It was so painful. It did take three to four days to get it under control, and they were a little concerned about sending me home, so I did stay five full days in the hospital.

What led to your diagnosis? 

By the late evening of the first day, they were pretty sure that it was viral. So they started running the cultures for that virus and they were dead on. They had a pretty good hunch what they thought it was. That type of virus, you have to culture for nine days to get a positive diagnosis. So they actually got my pain under control, got the inflammation a little bit under control, and then I went home and it was a few days after I was home before we actually had a definitive diagnosis. They were exactly right all along from the very first night that I was in the hospital.

How did the staff help your recover?

So my care, once I was checked in to the medical circle here at Brooking Health System, was incredibly personal and incredibly good. The nurses came in. I was in a lot of pain. They would only let me have pain meds every two hours. I couldn't make it to two hours. The staff was in my room doing everything they could do to comfort me. They were very personal things like rubbing back and they were bringing me heat pads, and they would ask me, "Can we bring you some ice to suck on or something to eat." Anything to get me through last 20 to 30 minute where I couldn't control the pain. Once the pain was under control, goodness, the entire staff is excellent. The people from dietary were really...they would bring me little treats and that really does help in healing. The staff, my room was cleaned every day, and they were all so polite and so worried about maybe being a disruption to me. But being in the hospital for a week, it was really nice to have that disruption and they never felt rushed. They felt like they could visit with me for a while. I just think that was all really conducive to me healing.