Friday, September 10, 2010

Because I Like Having Pretty Feet

Maybe I'm just spoiled by being such a newbie with no complications at all, but I sometimes read the dos-and-don'ts of diabetic self-care and I'm like, WTF? I'm not made of glass!

Like this "Treat Your Feet Right" quiz on dlife. Sorry to spoil some of the answers for you, but never go barefoot on the beach?! (Are you really knocking sand for being "ground up rock?") Don't get pedicures?! Oh, and cut toenails about once a week?! (My toenails would be itty bitty nubs if I tried that!)

Yeah, OK, I get that you could step on something sharp in the sand. And I'm sure there are a few rogue pedicurists out there who turn the water too hot (check it first!) or are careless enough to cut you with their germy nail clippers, but I wouldn't think of a pedicure at a clean and reputable salon as dangerous.

What it comes down to, I think, is calculating your risks and deciding how much precaution to take. For example, having phenomenal circulation, all of the feeling in my feet, and pretty decent control of my blood sugars, I don't think a cut toe will put me at great risk of anything serious (as long as I care for it or get it taken care of, whichever is called for). So, on the rare occasion that I go to the beach, I'm going to walk barefoot in the sand. And I'm going to get a cute pedicure once in a while, because I can never keep up with all that dead skin myself. (But, at the recommendation of my CDE, I won't let them use one of those scary callus razors anymore.)

Now, if my condition changes in the future and I become more prone to infections or lose some feeling in my feet, that risk level becomes a little too high. I might wear sandals on my beach stroll and just dig my toes in the pre-checked sand at the foot of my towel... but I'll probably still get an occasional pedicure!

I think this is exactly the kind of stuff that makes a new diagnosis so hard to deal with. You're faced with a complicated treatment program, a complicated diet, and lots of complications living life (basic exercise shouldn't be potentially dangerous, damn it!). And then you're thrown alllllll this nit-picky stuff that could possibly be more of a risk for a new diabetic, and it starts looking like diabetes is taking over every single nook and cranny of your life.

Don't get me wrong, this information is important. I should be reminded that injuries to my feet are now more serious than before, and that barefoot walks on the beach and pedicures carry some risk of injury... but being told I simply shouldn't do those reasonably safe activities anymore flat out doesn't cut it for me. I'll do my best to manage this disease well, I'll take every precaution against wounds becoming infected, but dang it Diabetes-Care-Powers-that-Be, I'm pretty dang healthy and normal so, you leave my pedicures and tropical vacations alone!

My feet are freeeeeeee!!!!!

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