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It’s really hard for me to admit this, but I spent my life making all the wrong choices when it came to my health. I ate whatever I wanted and not in moderation, I was lazy and hated exercise and I would never drink water at all. Other than being fat, I never really had to deal with any consequences of my actions so I guess I figured that nothing would happen to me.
Last year, I finally said enough! I started to eat a little better and I got up and exercised a bit, but I couldn’t kick the soda habit or even my smoking habit. I did feel a little better most of the time, but I knew it wasn’t enough and I didn’t do anything to change that.
That is until January of this year when I started to have diabetic symptoms. While I waited for a snag in the insurance coverage to clear up, I immediately quit soda, started drinking water all the time and started eating even better than I was before, just hoping that I was imagining the symptoms.
No such luck at all because on March 24 I received the diagnoses that I was dreading for 2 months, I am a diabetic. I hadn’t had soda in 2 months and didn’t even miss it, but I knew I need to cut way back on carbs if I wanted to get my numbers under control and I did exactly that. In May, the doctor took me of diabetes medications and in June, I had my sugars tested again and they were almost normal!
While I am doing really well with my sugar levels, one thing that I am not doing well with is my feet. My sugars must have been too high for too long and I have pretty bad nerve damage in my feet. They were hurting pretty much all the time and the main reason for that was how dry my skin was becoming on my feet. I also started getting calluses on my feet for the first time ever and, of course, any cuts and sores need to be looked over right away.
I did my research about how to properly take care of my feet I have been doing a great job so far taking care of them this summer since we really just stayed at home and relaxed. However, with school back in session, the kids have clubs and concerts and other activities that we need to go to so I decided to put together a Diabetic Foot Care Kit for myself. I really need to step up my care routine to keep up with our back to school routine and I need to be able to take it with me! There are a few things not pictured that I use too, but they are either too big and bulky or too basic to picture.
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Foot Bath (not pictured)
A foot bath is an iffy item for a diabetic, as we are warned not soak our feet, but that is because we lose feeling and cannot determine how hot the water is and can potentially burn ourselves severely. I do have an electric foot bath that I used to use but don’t feel comfortable with anymore because it heats up the water and I am very careful to make sure the water is the right temperature and I cannot risk it heating up. I have opted instead, to use a dirty dishes bucket that I got at my grocery store a long time ago. My feet fit perfectly and I control the temperature and of course, the price was much nicer than my other foot bath.
This is something new to me as I never really dealt with rough patches of skin on my feet, but now, I always have at least one callus on my feet and if I don’t use the stone, they end up hurting so bad that I can’t walk at times. After I soak my feet for awhile, usually for about 10 minutes, I lightly scrub them with the pumice stone, all over, but I mainly focus on the callus(es). I also love that my stone is foot-shaped, it’s a little whimsical!
Of course, this one goes and hand in hand with the pumice stone, it’s foot-shaped too! But also, after I use the stone, I then use the scrub brush to clear away all the dead skin I just scrubbed off. I also like to scrub my toenails with it because it helps to clean up the cuticles better than anything else I have used.
Toenail Clippers (Not Pictured)
Keeping my toenails neatly trimmed is important to proper foot health as well especially since I suffer from ingrown toenails. If I were to let an ingrown toenail go for too long, the skin surrounding it can become infected and since I have decreased circulation in my feet, a small infection can turn severe. It can even get bad enough for amputation. Since I want to keep my feet for the rest of my life, I am making sure that I don’t risk infection. I always trim my toenails with the toenail clippers after I am done scrubbing my feet, while the skin and nails are still soft.
Because of the decreased circulation, the skin on my feet tend to get really dry. I personally love Aveeno for all my moisturizing needs, but definitely for my feet. Since I use the foot bath at night, I put Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Overnight Cream on them. Actually, I put it on every night and then every morning, I use Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief 24hr Moisturizing Lotion. Since have been using both, my feet don’t hurt quite as much as it used to.
The cozy socks that I keep in this kit are some super comfy ones that I received a few years ago in a foot pampering kit and have loved them since. After I apply the Aveeno Overnight Cream, I put on the socks and slip into bed with a book. I don’t know how they do it, but they help the lotion really sink in and my feet are so much softer in the morning. On top of these socks, it is also important, as a diabetic, to have good fitting diabetic socks that can breathe well. I get that stuff for myself from Walgreens as the socks I find elsewhere end up hurting my feet, rather than helping!
Other than for the kids, I have never been one to put Neosporin on as I was never worried much about infection. I was not too bright before, but now, I have it with me wherever I go. If I get a cut or a sore, I immediately clean it out and apply the Neosporin and then cover with a Band-aid. The fear of amputation has truly changed how I see cuts, scrapes, and sores.
I do have Band-aids in our normal medicine box, but these ones are special, just for my feet. They are perfect size for my calluses and any blisters I get, but also, they are waterproof and flexible, which are perfect for my feet. So while my family has all the other Band-aids in the house, these are all mine!
I grabbed an extra large makeup bag (seriously, this thing is huge) and voila, everything fit perfectly! Although, the Aveeno Overnight Cream and the socks stay on my nightstand.
What are some ways you take special care of yourself?