Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My New Foot Fetish

One of the things that was emphasized during my diabetes education was taking care of my feet. Because the beginnings of nerve damage seem to show up there first, feet literally are the first line of defense in avoiding future amputations.

AMPUTATIONS???? you ask...

Yes. Diabetes can cause nerve damage. When the nerves are damaged, it's hard to feel anything, any injuries that might occur to your feet. And if your feet do get damaged and infected, gangrene is very hard to treat - hence, amputations. I have a friend who had his foot amputated last year for that reason. My step-grandmother's brother started out losing his toes, then his foot, then his leg to his shin, then knee - and finally they had to stop amputating because there was nothing left to amputate. The next infection killed him.

My barefoot days are gone. I wear my flip flop crocs most of the time so I rarely go barefoot anymore anyway, but still, to have it spelled out so bluntly. I have to treat my feet like babies now. Never let them get too damp, too hot, too cold - keep them safe from injury.

Up until last week, my feet were purely funtional. They were those things down at the end of my leg that let me stand and walk without swaying all over the place. They make pretty good anchors. I never really dressed them up with shoes as I spent most of my childhood barefoot and between that and genetics, my feet are incredibly wide. Duck feet almost. So those little dainty heels? Never were an option to begin with.

When I was taking KenPo, I had to wear these tight wrestling shoes. My feet were crammed into them and hurt like crazy after only a few minutes. Then they started feeling like someone had put a match to one tendon leading to the little toe. My doctor calls it Morton's nerve and that the solution to that was to avoid wearing shoes that squeezed my foot across the end. Shoot - that let out MOST shoes and I began wearing those crocs all the time (this was before we knew I had diabetes).

But leaving my feet out there in the weather led to some roughness at the heal and under the big toes. I bought a foot groomer - fancy word for a sanding machine for my feet. There are a couple of metal rasps and a pumice stone that you put on the machine and it spins them around like an orbital buffer to sand the rough patches off. Then you apply heel cream (I use Heel Balm). You have to do this a few times a week, but it does make a difference.

I buy my shoes slightly large and as wide as I can find them. Mostly I wear those crocs, a pair of New Balance 407s, and a 15 year old pair of Nike hiking boots. Most anything else is out unless I can get by with less than two hours of wear time.

In the Fun Monday post that had us showing off our shoes/feet, Willowtree said that my feet would give him nightmares.

May be, buddy - but not having my feet at all would give ME nightmares. So I will continue this new habit of paying attention to and babying my feet. It's one of many new habits.

I wish the doctor had told me getting a daily massage should be a new one, too.


Anonymous said...

Crocs are actually better for your feet because they allow room for air to circulate, reducing hot spots. I have found that Aasics and Avia have a little wider cross trainer or running shoe than most brands.
Dot in FL

karatemom said...

nothing feels better than a few min at the end of a long day and some lotion on my feet...its actually really relaxing ..now i guess i know why

lisa's chaos said...

It's good to take care of diabetic feet. And I agree with your commentor that crocs are to die for. :)
Do you have the furry lined ones yet? I'm lovin them.

ANd Koontz, love them all - love the Odd series! My favorite books of his are probably Intensity, Brother Odd and I love the beginning of From the Corner of His Eye. I could keep going, love em all. :)

nikki said...

The Body Shop has an awesome line for foot care. I got some for my husband's feet because he's on them all day.

Anonymous said...

I say a daily massage is a wonderful idea. However it could be somewhat pricey unless you know someone in the biz. So now begins training for DM.


Diabetes Supply said...

Persons with diabetes should keep their blood sugar at a healthy level to prevent or slow down diabetes problems. Ask your doctor or diabetes teacher what a healthy blood sugar level is for you. Your blood sugar can get too high if you eat too much. If your blood sugar becomes too high, you can get sick. Your blood sugar can also go too high if you do not take the right amount of diabetes medicine. Diabetes Symptom at http://diets-diabetes.blogspot.com