Today I would like to talk about how to take care of your feet after an operation and daily care. I’ve had four operations on my feet. The most severe was my left foot. I had a large hole on the bottom of my foot. The open wound was treated with a wound vac in the hospital and rehab. This device helps remove bacteria from the open wound. When I was taken home after rehab it was a scary day. I still had the cast on my foot and had to learn to walk around my apartment and up and down the stairs. After months of wearing this it was removed and a nurse would come to my house to perform wound care. My foot had to be wrapped and sealed with bandages to keep the leaking to a minimum. I remember how she would measure the wound every week to see if was shrinking, and eventually it did.The nurse showed me how to take care of my wound myself.
My daily routine was to take a shower, then walk back to my living room in my post op shoes to a chair with a towel beneath it. This is the area where I perform the wound care. I would always have two small towels ready, one with soap and water and one dry. You wash your feet, and then get ready to wrap up your left foot. You start with a large band aid, then a thick pad over the wound, and finally the gauze wrap. You can always measure the wound too before this process. Try to have the wrap tight but not too tight. Stock up on gauze, band aids, pads and tape. You’ll need plenty. The idea is too safely secure the wound. Sometimes I would over wrap just out of the fear of the wound never healing. The nurses at my foot doctors office would joke and call me the mummy. You’ll learn and with practice you’ll get better everyday. Eventually you’ll only have to put a small bandage of the wound until it finally closes! That was a great day! Sticking to your diet really helps!! Don’t cheat!
You’re ready now to wear socks again and to find a good pair of shower shoes. One of the wonderful side effects of diabetes and permanent damage is neuropathy. This is when you’ll have very little feeling in your feet due to nerve damage. Buy diabetic socks to help your circulation and a good fitting pair of shower shoes. The days of walking barefoot on the beach or in the shower are over. Don’t forget you now have to wear diabetic shoes with the inserts. You should also invest in a good pair of orthopedic bedroom slippers for around the house. You can get them online for about 40.00. Deerstag is a good brand.
The last thing I want to share is my daily feet cleaning and moisturizing routine. You now have the proper shoes, now it’s time have a solid daily foot care plan . After I shower, I grab my one towel with soap and water, and one dry towel. I get dressed, check my sugar, and then work on my feet. I take off my shower shoes, dry the feet and with my long shaft diabetic mirror I inspect my feet for blisters, wounds, large red marks or swelling. When every looks good on the first foot I wash the foot and then apply the moisturizer on the top and bottom of my foot. My doctor recommended Aquaphor. It’s all natural and keeps your feet smooth and free of cracked skin. Repeat the process for your other foot. Remember stick to your diet, and be careful of your feet. If something doesn’t look or feel right call your doctor. If you have swelling in your legs or feet, elevate them with two pillows. This must be done everyday!!
The next blog I will discuss my eye issues and what to expect as a diabetic.