Yesterday I had my first ever podiatry appointment. I was referred earlier this year after my routine diabetes clinic appointment. At clinic she was concerned about the pressure points on the bottom of my feet, and so thinking I needed insoles including arch support.
I was given an appointment in an area I don’t know (Bargoed) which is about a 40 minute journey from my home. This was so I could be squeezed in before the end of August. When we finally found the clinic, it was at the end of the day, I was the only person in the waiting room. So it was only a few minutes before I was called in.
I was asked all sorts of medical history questions and he looked at my last hba1c and was impressed & said it must have taken a lot of hard work. It did! I explained that a couple of years ago I’d gone right off the rails with my BG (blood glucose) “control”due to burn out. After the hospital asking to see me more regularly and more recently with the help of my Libre I’d was back on track for the most part and that it is still hard work trying to manage BG’s.
I was asked to sit on a chair similar to a dentist chair and hoped that my recently washed feet hadn’t got smelly as it was a very hot day (eeeek). Thankfully, according to the podiatrist, I had nothing to worry about as really bad foot conditions with very bad smells had been seen before so there had been no need to get self conscious.
So I had my first ever ultra sound scan on my feet. It took me right back to the baby ultra sound scans and the sound of the baby’s heart beat. Obviously we were listening to the my artery sound. On one foot there was a double sound and on the other a triple sound which is apparently very good, so no clogging/hardening of any arteries, phew!! Next I had the usual “can you feel this” pokey stick check (I’m sure that is the technical term 😀 ) which was all good too. Finally, the vibrating tongs. The only thing different this time was I had to say when I stopped feeling the vibration. Apparently I’m at 6, good is 8, diminished is 4-6 but he did say 6 could just be normal for me anyway so he wasn’t at all concerned.
I was then asked to walk across the room so he could see how I walked and my foot placement. Apparently I have tight calves which are causing more wear & hard skin on the ball’s of my feet, as basically I am rotating on the ball of my feet as I walk. So I don’t need insoles (at least not yet), I’m glad I didn’t just go and buy some as they’re not cheap. I just need lots of calf stretching exercises & I have to go back in 2 months time to see how things are going. He recommended twice daily moisturising (any cream as long as its not face cream) and to get a foot cream with urea in to help on the particularly tough patches.
He asked about the type of footwear I wear, I explained about what I wear to work during the different times of the year and if I’m going out. There was the usual advice about footwear, but was fully aware that us women still like our shoes 😀 . He said that wearing something with a strap, laces or velcro (no way!!!) acted like a seatbelt for your feet and therefore less wear on the pressure points of the feet. I hadn’t thought about it being a “seatbelt” before, but it was a good analogy and made perfectly good sense. I have in mind some shoes with a strap for work (they’ve got to be pretty though) as I am on my feet all day but when it comes to going out I am still wearing my Ruby Shoo’s. I was asked to bring some photographs of some of my footwear next time.
I asked what could cause the tight calves and, of course, he said that there are all sorts of different reasons but had I heard of glycosylation (I have since Googled it, link here), which I hadn’t. He gave a brief description and said that it could also be a cause of things like a frozen shoulder too in people with diabetes. So that explains why so many people who have diabetes seem to suffer with a frozen shoulder?!
I’ve already been doing my exercises, I just need to remember to keep it up!