I wear steel toe boots. I ordered them really carefully by reading the reviews online and the sizing guide. Everything said that these boots were an exact fit, no need to go up or down a size.
I work in a warehouse and the floors are poured and polished cement. The first days I was at the new job, I noticed that at the midpoint of my shift, my toes were really aching and when I got home, they were sort of numb. I had done everything I could to make my feet as comfortable as possible. Orthotic inserts, a pair of thin compression socks topped by a pair of thicker socks to prevent rubbing and chafing, and a couple of gel wraps for my little toes so that they did not rub along the side of the leather boot.
Remember what I said? The boots were right on size. I was basically wrapping them like mummies to provide comfort and cushioning. So, I was cramming a bunch of stuffing and feet into a boot. If I was going to do this, I should have ordered a size up, and gone to a wide boot as well.
I noticed the small little blister when I was washing my feet. Since being diagnosed, I make it a point to go over my feet really carefully at least one time a week. I look for injuries, blisters, nail and cuticle health, and make sure that each toe is in good condition as well as clean each foot carefully during this little health inspection. I had never found anything suspect, but I kept up with it.
The blister was on my left foot's second toe. It didn't hurt. It was pretty small, and comparing it to where my composite in my "steel toe" boots hit, it seemed that the blister was at the edge between the regular boot and the toe guard portion. I marked it on my "diabetes calendar" so that I could accurately follow the progress of the blister.
I then thought about all of the stuff that I was jamming into those doggone boots and decided to remove everything, including the orthotics and just wear a pair of diabetic socks until I could get a larger pair of boots ordered.
The next day, my toes did not began being numb at the middle of my shift. Coming home, I took my boots off and looked at the toe with the blister on it. I had taken a photo the day before. I took another and looked at it. My blister was actually looking deflated and less angry. I monitored this blister carefully for the next few days. By day five, there was no blister, the skin was just ever so slightly more wrinkled than the other toes at the place where the blister had been.
I did not apply anything that would soften the skin, such as ointments or lotions. I wanted to have the blister dry out and be absorbed, not apply a humectant to draw or trap moisture at the site.
By day seven, all traces of the blister were gone. Since that point, I carry moleskin, the felt like protective fabric with a gentle adhesive backing in the trunk of my car with a small pair of safety scissors so that I can protect any tender skin areas on my feet and rest of my body.
I feel that by doing these frequent inspections of my feet, I avoided what could have been a significant issue. I do not have neuropathy, so the issue was not one of not feeling the injury. Instead, by monitoring my skin closely, I was able to catch something happening at early onset.
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.