Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Take care of your feet.

     Earlier I used my sweet little daughter in law as an example in a blog post.  The point at that time was, get your shots up to date.  Several times since I posted that blog, the subject of women with some diabetic symptoms has come up in my life.  Foot injuries can be more than an inconvenience.  I have my late dad as an example of killing yourself with bravado.  I use the story when my diabetic friend says something stupid, like, "Oh, that?  It's nothing just a cut on my foot. "  Are you kidding me?  My dad died of a cut on his foot.  

     Actually, my dad died as a result of the culture of manly man attitude.  He was diagnosed a diabetic when the puncture wound on his foot wouldn't heal and he swore the doctor to secrecy.  He told him NOT to tell his wife or family he had diabetes.  He promised to handle his health.  After he was dead, we found out that is why he died.  HE never changed his eating habits.  He never got the exercise he needed and never did what he was told to do to recover.  It killed him a little bit at a time.  First he lost a toe, then half his foot then the rest of the foot then he died. 

     He had symptoms and ignored them.  HE treated his feet like they were eternal.  They were not and he was not.  Good foot wear and foot care and a better diet could have saved his life and given him decades of life.

From http://www.diabetes.org :

Caring for Your Feet

There are many things you can do to keep your feet healthy.
  • Take care of your diabetes. Work with your health care team to keep your blood glucose in your target range.
  • Check your feet every day. Look at your bare feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help.
  • Be more active. Plan your physical activity program with your health team.
  • Ask your doctor about Medicare coverage for special shoes.
  • Wash your feet every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes.
  • Keep your skin soft and smooth. Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes. Read more about skin care.
  • If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them when needed. Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.
  • Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
  • Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Don't put your feet into hot water. Test water before putting your feet in it just as you would before bathing a baby. Never use hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets. You can burn your feet without realizing it.
  • Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, two (2) or three (3) times a day. Don't cross your legs for long periods of time. Don't smoke.
  • Get started now. Begin taking good care of your feet today.  Set a time every day to check your feet.

      Even if you have no cause to consider diabetes, you have feet, take care of them.  Where are you going to go without yours?  How are you going to get there without them?  

   From http://www.armymedicine.army.mil
 by Marcie Birk, Health Systems Specialist
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine
Foot blisters can cause extreme discomfort and reduce concentration. They can prevent Soldiers from completing marches, lead to days of limited activity or even affect a Soldier’s ability to respond to threats. In the field, poorly managed blisters can lead to more serious health problems such as infection.
A blister is a raised spot on the skin filled with liquid. Foot blisters can occur when slight movements of the foot in a shoe or boot produce friction between the skin and sock. This friction is made worse by the moisture produced by sweating. The best way to avoid blisters is to wear synthetic-blend socks (some synthetics are polyester, acrylic and nylon) versus cotton socks. Synthetic-blend socks help to pull water away from and reduce friction on the skin. These socks also help reduce blisters that can occur during physical training.
For large, painful blisters, take the following self-care steps:
  • Wash your hands and clean the blister area with soap and water.
  • Heat the tip of a clean, sharp pin over a flame until it glows red and allow it to cool, or wipe it with rubbing alcohol.
  • Puncture a small hole at the edge of the blister.
  • Drain fluid with a gentle pressure, but leave the “roof” of the blister intact.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister and cover with a clean dressing such as a Band-Aid.
  • Apply moleskin over the dressing to keep the dressing in place and protect the blister from further irritation.
  • Clean the area and replace the bandage dressing daily.
Go to sick call if any of the following occur:
  • Fluid or pus oozes out of the blister.
  • There is redness around the blister.
  • Blisters are so bad you can’t wear shoes or boots.
  • Pain is so bad you cannot perform your duties.
  • Blisters are not getting better with self care.


     In a TEOTWAWKI situation, there won't be doctors to warn you of impending doom based on a set of symptoms.  You will have to know the dizziness or the thirst will cause you to adjust your life in some way.  You need to know what your family medical history is and the chances for you to develop those disorders.

Keep clean
Wear good socks (padded socks if your have a diabetic tendency)
Keep feet dry inside the foot wear
Wear good fitting shoes
Wear boots with protection in industrial or construction work
Tend to blisters immediately
Examine feet often

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