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Patient Life

August 23, 2019


Living with diabetes in general is just hard. I can't even begin to think about how hard it is. You're told to memorize and think about all these different kinds of problems - probably dozens of times a day and that doesn't even count when you're checking your blood sugar. Sometimes when you think about the foot, this becomes 11th on your 10 most important things to do in your life. Believe me, I understand that and I'd be the same way. I especially would be the same way if what I had to check wasn't hurting me. Trust me when I tell you that what you can't feel can hurt you and what you can't feel can even kill you in the diabetic foot. If you just put a few little things into play every day (even just one thing into play every day) you will really make a difference. And that one thing is: check your feet every day like you comb your hair or you brush your teeth. You would say to me, "well, what do I look for?" And the answer is: you would know. If you're looking at your foot every day (or if someone else is - maybe a loved one) and if they see something that's maybe a little different, like a little ingrown nail or some redness or a callus that's there that wasn't there or maybe a little bit of swelling - any kind of breakdown in the skin, then you can get in immediately to your foot specialist and call him or her and let me tell you - they will get you in. If you have diabetes, you are part of that family. Those little things every day can make the difference between life and limb. Just getting in to see your foot doctor reduces your risk of getting an amputation - especially a high level amputation - by anywhere on the low end just under 20% to on the high end - over 80%, depending on what risk factors you have. Since when do you hear about numbers like that? If we just had a 5% risk reduction, that would be a blockbuster drug. What we're talking about is blockbuster prevention. This is something that we can do in the most low-tech manner possible.

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