There is an old expression, “Time heals all wounds.” And while that expression may be in reference to relationship, it is actually true for wounds of the skin. And usually, barring an infection, most wounds do eventually heal if properly cared for. But what if they don’t heal? What if they become infected, or the person has a medical condition that causes the wound to linger? Enter Suzanne Vogelsmeier, ANP/BC/CWS., board-certified Nurse Practitioner and Certified Wound Specialist at Fitzgibbon Hospital.
Life-long Saline County resident Johnnie Walker has received care from Vogelsmeier for eight years, and he wants people to know that there is an option if a wound will not heal. That option – a wound specialist – is available right here in the Marshall community.
“I kept having ulcers on my leg that wouldn’t heal, so my primary care provider, Brenda Dodds, referred me to Suzanne, and I have been coming ever since,” said Walker. Dodds, is a family nurse practitioner at Marshall Family Practice.
“When the ulcers start, I call her right away so that they don’t get out of hand. It doesn’t take as long for them to heal with Suzanne’s care,” he said.
“I have been providing wound care at Fitzgibbon Hospital inside the Outpatient Clinic for the past eight years. Wound care is a specialty field that treats people with complicated wound and skin issues that don’t heal by conventional means,” said Vogelsmeier. These wounds require advanced therapies to heal. In addition to patients in our wound care clinic, I also collaborate with surgeons in our orthopedic and surgical clinics including Dr. Brain Brizendine, Dr. Kelly Ross and more.”
Wounds that would require treatment from the wound clinic are typically chronic in nature due to an underlying condition such as diabetes, obesity, poor circulation, pressure ulcers, burns or trauma. According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic wounds affect around 6.5 million people, with an excess of $25 billion spent annually on chronic wound cost.
“I see Johnny for venous stasis wounds due to poor venous return. Basically the veins in his legs are damaged due to varicose veins and poor valves. His wounds are chronic in nature, and they heal and then reopen at times due to lower extremity swelling or infection,” said Vogelsmeier.
For Walker, he can’t say enough about Vogelsmeier and how the care she has provided has impacted his life.
“Talk to your primary physician, and see if you can be referred to Suzanne. Once she starts treating it relieves a lot of pain. There were a couple of points where they had gotten out of hand,and there was a lot of pain. As soon as she started treating, I had a lot of pain relief. I am very thankful,” said Walker.
“Johnnie is a pleasure to treat. He, like so many of our patients, become our friends over time because we see them weekly. And get to know them and know what is going on with their lives. We always look forward to seeing him, catching up with what’s been going on in his life, and helping him heal his wounds,” concluded Vogelsmeier.
If you have a wound that just doesn’t seem to heal, ask your primary care doctor about it. They may refer you to Suzanne Vogelsmeier at Fitzgibbon Outpatient Clinics on the second floor of Fitzgibbon Hospital. You may call (660) 886-8414 for more information.