I'm a 47 year old C7 Quad 23 post injury. Throughout the past ten years I've had a serious problem with pressure sores. I can definitely relate to Patrick's plight. I've had three separate muscle flaps done. All three were severe stage 4 sores and all three ended up with an infection in the bone which required an additional surgery to clean out the infection and a log course of IV antibiotics just to get to the point of being able to have the surgery. One infection resulted in me going into septic shock in the ER and more than likely narrowly (and more luck than anything) avoiding death. When you deteriorate to the point of on open stage 4 wound its a matter of when you get an infection, not if. Throughout all of this, I've tried all of the "magic pills" that the doctors offered (e.g., wound vac, creams, gels, etc.). Most of these are insurance protocols to try to heal it up in order to avoid the inevitable. I can't speak for other patients, but none of that worked for me. It just prolonged the inevitable. While the surgery, and subsequent recovery, is a long miserable process, there is an end to the process and if done correctly, its a favorable end. If you have the surgery and follow the doctors orders to the letter you are healed in a few months. You just have to be diligent about the recovery process and will yourself through it. Laying around trying to heal this severe a wound otherwise is both physically and emotionally debilitating. There just doesn't seem like there is ever going to be an end to it and your whole life is at a stand still.
All of my sore resulted from sleeping on an inadequate mattress. Over the years I've developed contractures which end up creating pressure points on the bony protrusions of your hip, knees and buttocks. No matter what I did I ended up with sores. The insurance didn't deem it medically necessary for me to have a proper sleeping surface until it was too late. This is an ongoing battle and one that ends up costing the patient their health and well-being. I am not willing to pay that price any longer and nobody should have to go through it. This is hard enough as it is without any more undue burdens. Eventually I bought a used Clinitron online to help prevent any more breakdowns. Throughout all of these issues, It came to my attention that I'm clearly not the only one having issues with both sores and the ability to get the proper equipment to treat them. To that end I've set up a non-profit organization where I acquire many types of sleeping surfaces (e.g., air-fluidized beds, alternating air mattresses, gel overlays, etc.) and with the help a a medical equipment company who specializes in this type of equipment, cleans and refurbishes the equipment and donates to patients in need who otherwise don't have the means to get it. If anyone is in any stage of recovery from a wound and is in need of a piece of equipment. please feel free to contact me I will work with you to get you what you need.
In the mean time, you need to try to convey to your partner that it is of paramount importance to have the sore taken care of as soon as possible. The alternative is not going to be acceptable to anybody. There are others of us out here who have gone through it and made a full recovery. It may not seem like it but it's worth it.