Midge Mullin - Harrison, MI
"I don't know what would have happened to me without them!"
Healing Doesn't Have to Hurt
Three years ago, Margaret "Midge" Mullin developed a troublesome ulcer on her left ankle, a complication from varicose veins. "I tried to take care of it myself but it just would not heal," she said. Eventually, her primary care physician referred her to a wound clinic. Mullin, who lived in Vassar at the time, was anxious for help and followed his instructions.
Sadly, Mullins did not have a positive experience. "It was horrible," she said. "Every time I left that place, I was in pain, my toes were numb and I was miserable."
The treatment was successful, though, at least for a while. "The wound did heal, but a few months later, I developed cellulitis." She returned to her family doctor who did a punch biopsy which only aggravated the situation. "The sore returned and again, it would not heal."
After being treated for the cellulitis, she was told she had to go back to the wound clinic. Mullins decided she could not face that situation again and opted to work with her doctor's nurse practitioner instead.
In September of 2016, Mullins and her husband, Arthur, relocated to Harrison. The stubborn ulcer on her ankle was again getting worse and worse. One day in October, she went to the emergency department at MyMichigan Medical Center Clare. "They were good, thorough and quick," Mullins said.
Within a couple of hours, the staff had evaluated her and made arrangements for her to have therapy at the Wound Treatment Center at MyMichigan Medical Center Midland. They provide specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds, which are defined as sores or wounds that have not healed after 30 days of conventional treatments. When wounds persist, specialized methods, like those offered at the Wound Treatment Center, are required for healing.
Mullins was amazed by the kindness, skill and dedication of the people at the Wound Treatment Center. "They are beyond wonderful!" Mullins said. "I call them angels because they are. I was afraid at first, but they went out of their way to help me. I don't know what would have happened to me without them."
From her first visit to the present day, Mullins said they have focused on her best interests, comfort and healing. She said their kindness and patience helped her get over her fear of doctors. She said small things made a big difference; for example, at the Wound Treatment Center, they would numb the area around the wound before cleaning and debriding. At the previous clinic, that was not an option.
Mullin particularly appreciated the patience and kindness of the staff as she was still grieving the unexpected death of her oldest son. "They helped heal my heart as well as my foot."
She visited the Center twice weekly in the beginning, then once a week for several months. At every visit, the caring staff at the Center would clean the wound, debride it (remove dead, damaged, or infected tissue), photograph the area to better track progress, and, in Mullin's case, they would apply compression wrapping to keep swelling under control and aid healing.
At the beginning of Mullin's therapy, the staff at the Wound Treatment Center was optimistic about her recovery. However, as time went on, they agreed more aggressive treatment was needed. Mullin had surgery in January to remove damaged tissue and wore a special protective boot while recovering.
Since recovering from surgery, Mullin has had no other issues. Her ankle has healed and she is feeling very well. She is also vigilant about maintaining her good health.
"I'm very careful with my feet now," she said. "I use compression stockings and I keep my feet elevated, especially as night. I pray I never have to go back to the center, but I wouldn't hesitate to work with them again. They healed my leg. I would recommend them to anyone."
MyMichigan's Wound Treatment Centers in Alma, Alpena, Clare, Midland and West Branch provide specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds. The Centers feature physicians and other clinical experts with advanced training and expertise in wound management as well as state-of-the-art technology, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Learn more at www.mymichigan.org/woundcenter.