Edited 30/03/17 to reflect changes in the page from DCO to Diabetes Can’t Stop me.
One of our Closed groups on the Social Media platform of Facebook was called ‘Diabetes Education and Management’. This group was supported by Diabetes Educators and a Midwife, a Dietitian, and a Pharmacist, as well as Mental Health Counsellors.
A very heartfelt and powerful response came from a member of the group, Zac. Zac has very strong views on the importance of seeking truth, accurate information, and developing informed knowledge about foot care and diabetic neuropathy in particular. He warns about the high risks associated with poor diabetic control, and not being proactive in our own health care, risks that he believes were not made clear to him before it was too late. Here are Zac’s powerful words:
This topic is very interesting to me, being a Diabetic T2 for a few years now. I visit my Clinic only once a year. They make my appointments, not me. BUT I just wish I had’ve been told about the seriousness of COMPLICATIONS of Diabetes as so far as Peripheral Neuropathy is concerned, as I now have it.
Not once was I referred to a Podiatrist, so I asked to make an appointment, only to be told they are not taking any more patients as they are over loaded. Well, I didn’t bother too much about it at the time, as I didn’t have Peripheral Neuropathy, and thought nothing of it. Until, that is, for another 2 yrs. By then, my feet felt like they were in a bucket of bull ants.
Not realising this was nerve damage, I put up with it, until, on one of my visits to my Clinic the nurse did a small test on my feet. She looked at them and said, “Oh, your feet are fine.” So I asked, “What would be making my feet feel like they are being bitten by bull ants?” She looked at them again, said she didn’t know, and again, said she thought my feet were fine, so home I went, feeling disappointed.
On the next visit, I demanded. I said, “Something is SERIOUSLY WRONG with my feet, please help me.” So the nurse called in some guy, whom I wasn’t introduced to, and he put a name to it, called it ‘Peripheral Neuropathy’. Well, I was just over the moon that someone had finally worked out what was wrong with them!
But then he said, “Go to your chemist buy some Phanalgon Cream. This helps some people.” my reply was, “But I want something that will definitely help my feet!”
He said, “There is no cure for Peripheral Neuropathy.”
So I said, “You’re kidding me, in this day and age there is no cure for it?”
He said, “Yes, no cure.”
So home I went, with Phanalgon Cream in hand, only to have a bad reaction to it. My skin started to peel off from my feet, as it has chilli in it. So I tried again when my feet healed, but used less of the cream. Still I had a reaction to it, so I gave that the flick…..
I’m ANGRY at myself. First of all, for being so flippant about Diabetes; and not educating myself about complications which I never knew existed. And I’m ANGRY at my Clinic for not pointing these matters out to me in the first place. After all, isn’t this why we attend clinics? When the nurse used to test my feet, I was never given an explanation as to why. It’s the same with my eye tests. I was never told that Diabetes can affect your eyes. I just thought it was a normal eye test…Sorry this is long winded but if I can help just ONE person to realise the seriousness of Diabetes Complications then it will have been worth while typing all of this.
I just wish I had been warned. Peripheral Neuropathy is the pits, and I don’t have a normal life now. I am practically house bound because of it…..If you have read this far I Thank You and I Thank you David Mapletoft and Sally Marchini and for everything I have learned through your expertise and knowledge, even though it’s too late. Well, not too late as far as Diet is concerned, but it’s too late for my suffering feet. Thank you Zac
Zac has kindly shared his experience here. Do you have a similar experience? Can you give Zac any suggestions on how to manage his foot discomfort and pain?
formerly Senior Counsellor DCO
Moderator Diabetes Can’t Stop Me
Helen was a Counsellor with the service from 2003 until the closure of the Service. She has been the parent of someone living with Type 1 diabetes since 1979, and has lived with Type 2 diabetes herself since 2001.