I almost lost my feet to diabetes. Now I have virtually no foot problems because I changed how I injected the insulin.
Read my story save your feet maybe your life!
I have been a type 1 diabetic for 17 years. As much as I wish it weren’t true, it is. Back then the doctors told me that there may be foot problems. “it takes about 15 to 20 years, though, so don’t worry about it.” sure enough, 15 years later the numbness started setting in. then the cold. later, lack of feeling. All the while their apearance getting more sickly. All of it was insidious. Over the years I only noticed my shoes getting “tighter”.
One day the nurse looked at my feet. A wave of sadness went across her face and she left the room. That’s when I took the first good look at my feet in years.
They looked like they were made of black alligator skin. A black ashy look, swollen, callousing that litterally traveled from my big toes, encompassing the heal, all the way up my achilli’s tendon. The calloussed skin litterally brushed off like dandruff. For the first time in my life I was afraid that I would have to have my feet amputated.
It got worse. One day my feet were freezing. After again, putting them next to a heater, I realized I could not feel them. They were so numb they felt DEAD. That’s the best way to discribe it. Black, caloussed, swollen, numb, DEAD! I wanted to cry because amputation was now about to be real. I could walk, but I could not feel the floor under my feet.. This was bad.
As sad as this moment was, It was also one of those “EUREKA!” moments.
While staring at them, it dawned on me that they were cold because they weren’t producing heat.
THE CELLS weren’t producing heat because they weren’t getting any food (glucose).
They wern’t getting any food because they weren’t getting insulin.
The insulin is needed for the glucose to get past the cell walls to “feed” the cells. NO INSULIN, NO FOOD, NO HEAT!
They weren’t getting enough insulin because all or almost all of the insulin was getting used up as it traveled through the muscles of the hips, thighs and calfs.
By the time what’s left got to the feet, it’ was virtually gone.
WHAT WAS HAPPENING?
I theorized: MY FEET WERE STARVING TO DEATH!…. a few cells at a time.
I think this dead tissue is also what causes the swelling. Like when any part of the body is injured, swelling occurs to help remove the dead tissue.
(“This could also be the reason for eventual diabetic kidney failure. The kidneys work overtime to “filter” these dead cells. Eventually shutting down from too much work. Just a thought.”)
Anyway this thought (cell starvation) was an inspiration and my salvation.
Normally I would shoot in the stomach area. It’s easy. If my feet were starving because of lack of insulin to get food into the foot cells; switching the injection sites to the feet, so the feet get the insulin first, may make a difference. It certainly couldn’t hurt.
So I did. On march 3, 2011, I started shooting in or near my feet.
Within 30 minutes (using R) of injecting by the toes in each foot, I could feel the difference! I felt warmth and tingling for the first time in months.
In about 10 days the swelling was gone. Calousing, slow healing, numbness, all disappeared over the course of just a few months, max.
The blackness of my feet took well over a year to go. To be honest, this past month (October 2012, 19 months later.) was when I finally declared it completely gone. Which confirmed what I suspected: they were very close to being dead. And having to be amputated.
Now my normal pattern of injection sites are: 25% in each foot or as close as possible to them (ankle, under calf muscle, behind or to the side of the knee). Under the skin and not in a muscle or artery. Just like other injection sites. (cleaning the site first). At least below the knee, at each injection time. and 50% in the stomach area. That’s a minimum of 3 injections 3 times a day (brkfst, lch, dnr) with R.. My N is still once a day at dinner or bedtime in the stomach area. But sometimes that’s a close to foot injection too.
Why 3 times a day with R? Because I normally shoot R at each meal. This guaranty’s that the feet get all of insulin they need first, at each meal. Not last as was before.
To date (nove 5, 2012) there is just a small amount of numbness in the right foot. A smaller-than-dime-size area at the flex point below my right big toe. That’s down from total numbness from toes to halfway up my calf area.
My feet, which I felt were about a year away from being amputated are now as healthy as can be. No swelling,sores, callous’s, complications, of any type.
I recently dropped something on my right big toe causing it to swell and the toenail eventually coming off. This would normally strike terror in a diabetic. Although I was a little worried, the toenail grew back and there were no healing problems at all.
I knew that changing my injection sites could not hurt, even if it didn’t work.
IF YOU HAVE DIABETIC FOOT PROBLEMS, IT WILL SAVE YOURS, TOO!
Your feet need very little insulin to keep them alive. By starting there, they get it first. It works.
Even if you don’t see the foot problems now, It doesn’t mean it’s not happenning. If you are like most of us, you won’t notice it until the problems have advanced considerably.
Some people have hand or finger problems, too. Another extremity. Fingers, like toes, would also be the last recipient of insulin. Shoot under the skin around the fingers to save them.
Remembering that little bit of college anatomy physiology saved my feet. May have saved my life. That’s why I started this blog.
Pass this information on to anyone you know who is a diabetic; you could save their feet. maybe their life