The Diabetic and the barley bag – part 2
Loss of sensation and reduced blood flow to the lower limbs and feet are a well known complication of diabetes. As winter progresses, people with diabetes are at increased risk from problems associated with damage caused by trying to keep the feet warm. The lady I wrote about on May 7 is still at high risk.
Fortunately she is sticking to her care routine and the toe has stabilised. The blistered skin dried and formed a hard crust – actually this is a dry gangrenous crust – has formed over the centre of the wound, but the edges are clean and pink. The primary key to a successful outcome is control of blood sugar and that is good. Secondary is the quality of wound care and hopefully we are up to standard.
The biggest problem we have when treating diabetic foot ulcers is to keep weight off, called off-loading. Naturally, this is very difficult for a patient who knows they have a foot ulcer, but doesn’t feel any pain. Remember, pain stops us from doing further damage to an injured body part.
Here are a few WINTER FOOT TIPS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES.(It’s winter in the southern hemisphere).
Keep up the daily washing and drying -especially drying
Keep up/start a daily routine of gently massaging moisturiser into your legs and feet
Remember that your shoes may become tighter because you are wearing socks and closed shoes
When you take off your shoes, check your feet for tell-tale red marks – this means dangerous pressure
Check that your shoes do fit, you possibly haven’t worn then for some months
Thicker-soled shoes will keep your feet warmer
Don’t let your boots squeeze your calf muscles and reduce circulation
Keep your feet warm at night – wear socks. NOT nylon, but cotton or wool or mixtures
Heat your bed BEFORE you get in and turn off electric blankets and heating pads. Remove hot water bottles
Try to avoid sitting in draughts – difficult, because we have houses that are designed for coolness
Wrap a blanket around your legs and feet if you are in a cold room
Never sit too close to any fire or heater – (people have fallen asleep and burnt their legs & feet)
Try to keep your excercise routine going, even though it’s darker morning and evening
p.s. Cape Mohair make excellent socks