Daniela was told she needed amputation after a wound developed so large that it exposed her Achilles Tendon

 

Mrs Georgina tells all about her fight with a chronic wound

My name is Georgina and I sustained a spinal cord injury at level T7 after a blood clot developed in my spinal cord in November, 2003. I have a long history of lupus (SLE) with blood clotting being one of the many symptoms. I take many medications including warfarin, aspirin, prednisolone and others to treat poor circulation.

Many challenges can arise from having complete paraplegia and having to use a wheelchair for daily mobility. Pressure sores, ulcers, abscesses and cysts can form quite easily which can unfortunately developing into chronic wounds.  I have had several pressure sores in the past years and together with not having sensation below level T7 I have become more vigilant on checking and moisturising my skin twice daily and using a mirror to check my bottom area.

In October, 2018 I noticed a lump (abscess) 1 inch long on my right perineum. I sent a photo to my general surgeon and booked to see him at his surgery clinic a few days after. As there was a risk of the abscess enlarging a joint decision was made to surgically remove what ended up being an infected sweat gland. I was then sent home to bed with stitches, a small dressing and a script for antibiotics.

Complications developed after one week due to trauma from sitting in the car straight after the surgery, non-adjustment of warfarin therapy prior to surgery, and inappropriate wound care. A haematoma had formed, the surgery dressing removal caused blistering and the stitches required early removal.

I contacted the Austin Spinal Unit to request a wound nurse to come to my house to review, clean and dress my wound. I was devastated when I was told that it would be 8 weeks before the wound would heal and that I would have to be bed ridden. The additional care from Professor Geoff Sussman was instrumental in the healing my wound.

My family were a great support during this time with my husband in charge of my wound care. My Accounting work was limited to the few hours a day that I could manage from my bed using my laptop. This, along with becoming a bookworm, is what helped me get through each day.

With new dressings, extra supplements to promote healing, a reduced INR and the invaluable added expertise from a Wound Professor, the wound was healed in time for Christmas Day where I was able to have lunch with my family at home.  Subsequent extra care was required to the tender area for a few weeks until I felt secure in driving and returning to work.

My advice for those susceptible to wounds resulting from problems such as pressure sores or abscesses is to undertake appropriate measures and precautions to minimise risks which could compromise, and delay wound healing.  Seek advice from Wound Specialists!

Mr Templeman Suffered With A Chronic Wound For Most Of His Life Before He Finally Received The Correct Treatment

David Templeman lived unknowingly with a chronic wound for most of his life, after injuring his leg playing football in 1970.

Years after his injury, Mr Templeman underwent significant vascular surgery which he thought was successful until he started to get flare ups many years later. These flare ups were often caused by international and domestic travel, and resulted in fluid build ups under the skin.

During one of the flare ups Mr Templeman accidentally knocked the area which resulted in a wound. As the wound gradually increased in size, Mr Templeman realised he needed medical advice as his wound just wasn’t healing.

Mr Templeman saw wound expert Professor David Hardman in Canberra, ACT, who immediately started him on a course of compression therapy. By the time the 8 weeks of treatment was up the wound had completely cleared.

Mr Templeman was surprised about the lack of information on this sort of thing in the community. “I wish I knew to ask the question “is this a chronic wound?” said David.

“My one piece of advice is that you shouldn’t suffer in silence – if a wound doesn’t show signs of going away within 4 weeks, you need to treat it seriously and seek appropriate medical assistance.”

Share your story with us to help others!

We are always looking for patient stories to help raise awareness of chronic wounds and would love to hear your story. At Wounds Australia we appreciate not everyone wants their identity shared, therefore if you don't want us to share your first name then please do let us know.