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Marc’s Diabetic Feet Beat Part 1: The Saga of my Left Foot

May 17, 2021

The (so far, Continuing) Saga of My Left Foot

This is the first installment of ---what I hope to be ---the continuing saga of my left foot. It is a saga because it stretches back some forty years to when I first learned that I was suffering from Type 1 Diabetes; and I hope to continue writing about it so long as: (i) my foot remains attached to my body and (ii) my story is able to provide some useful insights in successfully dealing with one of the potentially most serious but, with proper care and treatment, mostly preventable, consequences of diabetes mellitus—the loss of a limb.

Who am I?

First, a brief introduction. I was first diagnosed with Type I diabetes in my mid 30’s. For more than twenty years thereafter, I basically ignored the advice of my endocrinologist and dietitian(s), refusing to alter my carb-laden diet in favor of simply eating what I wished and compensating with excessive and somewhat arbitrary insulin injections. I visited podiatrists mostly after problems occurred rather than seeing them on a consistent schedule and taking prophylactic measures to prevent them. I pranced around in bare feet and chose my footwear based on style rather than suitability. After problems developed, I sought medical advice without adequate investigation or research. In short, I was reckless, and I paid dearly for it. I hope to save my readers from a similar fate.

I am a slightly overweight, if not morbidly obese, 70+ year-old, mostly retired, lawyer. This is important, not because I want to impress you that I have a law degree, but because I want to be certain that you understand that I do not have a medical degree. The thoughts, observations and comments that I will be sharing with you are based on my nearly forty years of real life experience as a diabetic, which although informed by an abundance of dealings with an ever-changing cast of endocrinologists, podiatrists, surgeons, wound care specialists, orthotists and sundry other specialists in diabetic foot care, and aided by my own independent research and one unfortunate malpractice case, are neither intended to be nor should be taken as medical advice. At most, I hope to be able to provide those who choose to follow my blog with guidance on when and to seek competent medical advice—as well as on the steps that may be taken to minimize the need for it. I will also highlight some of the medical and technological advances that have taken place in the recent past that assist in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diabetic foot disease that were unavailable during the early years of my struggles to save my foot.

What’s up with my foot?

This is a recent x-ray and picture of my left foot:

MarcF-Charcot-Foot-Xray-Tiny
MarcF-charcot-foot-siren-socks-tiny

(For reasons that a not entirely clear, my left foot has suffered most of the complications caused by diabetic neuropathy, including recurrent ulcers, hairline fractures, displaced fractures, a Charcot foot collapse, two (and potentially a third) reconstructive surgeries and ongoing ulcerations. Apart from sharing the daily incidence of incessant neuropathic foot pain with its partner on the left, my right foot is a near-perfect piece of anatomy suitable for placement in a Ferragamo ad in GQ. Unfortunately, shoes are typically sold in pairs). Had I only known earlier what I have learned through experience and hope to impart to others through this blog many of these problems could have been avoided.

What can I do for you?

My objective in taking on this project is to look back over by four decades of my experience dealing with the ravages of diabetes and highlight the steps that I might have taken to avoid the loss or, at least minimize the damage that impairs the usefulness of my foot and quality of my life. These include tips on monitoring and managing diabetes, daily foot care and preventative measures, podiatric treatment and advice, the benefits and options of reconstructive surgery and diabetic wound care. My hope is to deliver my message in a way that it not only informative but also practical and even entertaining.

What’s next?

In the next installment of my blog, I will describe the background and early years of my experience with diabetes in hopes you will be able to benefit from my recklessness and mistakes – and ward off the resultant complications.

About Siren Socks

Siren Socks are innovative smart socks that detect potential issues with your feet. Siren Socks are an FDA-registered Class I medical device and are for people with neuropathy.

The socks measure your foot temperature. Temperature monitoring has been shown to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers in multiple clinical studies clinical studies over the past 20 years and is considered the gold standard in diabetic foot care.

The information from the socks is monitored by licensed nurses who contact you regularly to check on your health and the status of your feet. Your doctor review any issues that arise and determine if a clinic visit is necessary.

Siren Socks are covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and many private insurance plans.

Interested patients can find a Siren-Certified Provider near them and begin the enrollment process by clicking here.

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Robert John
23 days ago

Marc,
Great. Blog, and I am sure the story of many diabetics, including this writer!
Hopefully your stories will encourage others to pay attention and not have to suffer as you have!
Keep up the updating and Happy Birthday a few days early!
Bob John

Gary S. Yellin
22 days ago

I am very glad that Marc is sharing his own experience and the resultant knowledge to those who have the opportunity to avoid what he’s been through.

Jill Grady
20 days ago

Looking forward to following your blog. I have been through a similar story with my sister’s left foot. She’s had a trans metatarsal amputation.

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