The fall was spectacularly stupid. I was trying to maneuver a cracked plastic laundry basket that was too full around a corner of the bed. I tripped over a corner of the bedspread that was out of my siteline because of the basket. I fell to the ground, and a huge gash was bleeding on the middle of my outer calf.
Everything hurt. The fall was hard. I must have literally laid there for at least 5 minutes, assessing each part of my body that hurt, because there was no one else home at the time. Gingerly, I began flexing and releasing fingers and toes, and then moving onto larger and deeper muscles. I knew that I was pretty banged up. When I went to move my head, the back of my head roared to life with pain receptors. I was assuredly injured.
Going into the bathroom, it was shocking. I had blood going down my face, and from my leg. I bandaged myself up, threw some petroleum jelly on the wounds to stanch the flow of the blood and took some Aleve for pain.
The next few days were filled with the pain and soreness that you would expect. In about a week to ten days, the cut in my scalp was only a hardened little bump and scab that hurt only if I brushed or shampooed without giving a little tender treatment to the area. By the third week, my head was pretty much healed. The bumps and bruises all over my body were pretty much gone, save for the especially deep ones that were still present, but faded.
The gash on my calf, though. That was a problem. No matter what I did, that gash was still an ugly purple and burgundy, with literal shades of blue and green in places. It was closed, but with a scab. I did not know that wound care was an issue with people that have diabetes. I researched cuts. and finally, at the one month mark, I decided that I needed to go see the doctor.
The doctor looked at the cut, asked how it happened, and looked at the healed cut on my head as well. He gave me a couple of prescriptions, some instructions on bandaging and wound care, and I was sent home.
At the two month mark, when I was finishing the last of the cortisone cream that I was prescribed, the cut really didn't look any better. It was sealed, but still very angry deep red and purplish at the cut. The skin felt thinner there, and I was embarrassed to wear shorts, dresses, or anything that showed my calf, because it was so shocking that strangers would ask what happened. So, I basically lived in leggings worn under a dress or anything else.
I called the doctor, and he said that I should come back in, because it should be healed by now. At that visit, he said that I might have something call fragile skin. That meant that it could take me a little longer to heal. He said that because it was sealed close, we were just in a waiting game for the discoloration and sensitivity to heat and cold to come to and end.
It took that wound nearly 8 months to heal completely, to where there was no discoloration, and no abnormal sensitivity or numbness.
Here is what I would have done differently now, knowing that I am a diabetic:
If you have a wound, call your doctor and do what they tell you. Ask if they have hand outs about wound care for diabetics, and any other resources to make sure that you are doing all that you can do for your health. If you don't get help from your physician, ask for a referral. Your doctor should be a partner in your well being.
Hi, my name is Dixie
I have diabetes and this is the place where I share all of the discoveries that are part of my journey.