Learning how to prevent ulcers

As a person who has had chronic progressive multiple sclerosis for 30 years, I have firsthand knowledge of the dangers […]

Generic Article graphic with Access Press emblem

As a person who has had chronic progressive multiple sclerosis for 30 years, I have firsthand knowledge of the dangers of sitting too long in one spot. My experience led to stage four ulcers. It happened when my husband and I drove our truck to a Rainy Lake houseboat from Minneapolis. After a week of sitting in a standard wheelchair with no special cushion, we headed back home. (My power wheelchair with a commercial cushion did not fit on the boat.) A couple of weeks after returning home, I was in the hospital having surgery to debride three stage-four ulcers— one ischial, one sacral and one hip. I spent the next seven months either in the hospital having surgery or in bed being turned from side to side.

After “flap” surgery, a therapist suggested I purchase an air flotation cushion. She mapped my seating surface and showed me how to maintain the correctair level. The cushion never worked because every time I went over the smallest bump, I had spasms that caused me to shear forward and resulted in a blister. I was then out of positionfor the rest of the day.

A physical therapist at the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology referred me to the Assistive Technology group at Gillette Lifetime Specialty Healthcare. Gillette’s staff made me a custom seat cushion. I wish someone had given me such a referral before I went on vacation! Now I’m going to buy a watch with an alarm and start relieving pressure regularly. I never want to go through ulcers again, especially if I can do something to prevent them.

  • Wash your hands! Hands that look can still have icky germs!
  • Work with your care provider to stay healthy. Protect yourself. Vaccines are your best protection against being sick.


EXPERT SEXUAL HEALTH CARE. IT'S WHAT WE DO. SCHEDULE ONLINE.
You are not alone. Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.