Doug Cabaniss (center) celebrates the healing of a chronic wound with Eli Miranda, RN, Alisse DiMatteo, BSN, RN, Ashley Lindsey, CMA, and Tiffany Schwarz at the Texas Health Huguley Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine.
The most difficult part of having an open wound on the bottom of his foot was not the pain. Not the diminished mobility. Not even the inconvenience of medical appointments, which were sometimes as frequent as twice a week.
No, the most difficult aspect of having an unhealed wound for four long years was keeping a positive outlook.
Doug Cabaniss of Burleson sometimes despaired that the wound on the bottom of his partially amputated right foot would never heal. He sought treatment more than four years ago with Dr. Randy Lew, a podiatrist, who referred him to the Texas Health Huguley Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine.
Dr. Lew, the wound care team and Mr. Cabaniss all realized from the start that healing would present challenges. Complications from diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease impaired his circulation, slowing the healing process. But as the treatment extended from months into years, Mr. Cabaniss began to feel overwhelmed.
“I would become despondent at times not knowing when or if I would ever become healed. The great staff at the Wound Care Center could sense my dismay and cheered me up with meaningful conversation and a genuine smile,” Mr. Cabaniss explained.
Several treatment methods and surgical procedures were implemented with modest success. Ultimately, an innovative therapy using pig cells provided the means to completely close the wound.
“When they put those cells in, I had to stay off of it for an entire month, bearing no weight on it. It’s nice to be back to the cane again,” Mr. Cabaniss said.
Mr. Cabaniss’ health challenges began eleven years ago when he had three toes amputated due to uncontrolled diabetes. Since then, he lost more of his foot to osteomyelitis, and declining vision necessitated giving up driving.
“I’ve learned that each day is what you make it, and it’s up to me to make it the best of it. My attitude helps me live life on my own terms,” he said.
The wound care team, Dr. Lew and Mr. Cabaniss celebrated at the appointment when the wound was officially declared to be healed. “God played a large part. It was by God’s good grace that I was blessed enough to have become healed,” he stated.
Brook Sandstrum, BSN, RN, wound care manager, explained, “Through his positive outlook and his willingness to follow physician and nursing recommendations, Mr. Cabaniss was instrumental in the healing process. Most chronic wounds that we treat will heal in a matter of months, but they are still debilitating both mentally and physically. It takes an extraordinary amount of time and energy on the patient’s part to be successful.”
With the wound healed, Mr. Cabaniss still visits Texas Health Huguley Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine occasionally for social reasons. “Dr. Lew and the talented staff at the Wound Care Center tended to my wound with perseverance and a professional attitude, above anything I expected. Never once did they lose sight of my healing and were some of the most delightful, caring, innovative people I have ever come to know. I call them friends now,” he concluded.