May 19, 2013

Diabetes Symptoms to Never Ignore – Part 2

Part 2 of 2 parts

We were having a meeting that was full of news and information. Everyone seemed to be participating or getting information. Barry read the next part of the WebMD article and said this should be of interest to many of us.

Infections, Swollen or Bloody Gums, Foot Sores Again A.J. set the tone and explained another reason he was thankful I had taken his diagnosis out of his hands. He lifted his pant leg and showed the sore that was almost healed. He said that the doctor was initially very concerned and thought about an operation, but after some discussion put him on two antibiotics, one a shot, and the second a round of pills. A.J. was thankful for that as it was almost completely healed. I could see that it looked well now compared to when we had gone to the doctor and I said so.

Jessie asked why we were concerned with swollen and bloody gums. I answered that diabetes may be associated with periodontal disease and this could be a problem for people with diabetes. With that, Jessie said she had better get an appointment with her dentist. Tim stated this is one reason to take good care of your teeth.

Elaine ask what type of foot sores we were talking about. I said everyone will need a strong stomach, but directed everyone to open a new tab in their browser and type in the search area “foot sores or ulcers.” I asked if there was a word in the upper left part of the screen saying images. Several said no, so Tim and I started circulating and helping them. When everyone had this, Tim said to click on the word images. There were several OMG's and some looking away from the screens. Jessie commented that this was too realistic. I asked if they would rather know this now, before they had problems, or later when they had this problem. Sue said most definitely now, that even if she did not like what she saw, now she knew how important foot care should be and what to look for. Even Rob said this was good to know. Brenda said now I know where you get some of the images you use in your blogs. I said yes.

Allen said that is a reason to see a podiatrist regularly and still check your feet everyday. I said yes, and I asked Max if he had a mirror that he could use. Max said he was way ahead of me and already had two mirrors that he used. Glen said to his wife Jessie that was why he kept her around. Jessie retorted that she was still getting a mirror. Jason asked where he had found the mirrors and Max said he was pulling up the URL as he was talking. He sent an email to everyone then and said they could search for other sites if desired. Tim then said that all of us should be concerned about some calluses, corns, and bunions as they could also become infected.

Eye Problems, Including "Floaters" Barry next asked how many had annual eye exams. Of the group, everyone said they had been advised to have an eye exam. Jessie said that was the standard for the doctor they were seeing. Barry went on to explain that at the age of most of us, we also needed the eye exam for cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, as well as setting the baseline for retinopathy. Barry continued that there are other problems possible as well that the ophthalmologist may discover. He concluded that for people with diabetes, it is important to have that eye exam.

I asked Barry to explain “floaters.” Barry said that if someone has had experience with them they could explain this more accurately than he could since he has never had floaters. I said okay and said that I had floaters once and at first they appeared as a bright spot when I moved by eye looking to the right. The next day I had dark floaters in my eye and a little pain. My first wife called to get me in to the ophthalmologist and then drove me there. In this case, I had a tear in the retina and was taken to the room for laser surgery. I was sent home with an eye patch over my eye to wear for two days. The third day I could try with it off, but if my eye was bothered to put it back on and call the ophthalmologist immediately. I was fortunate to have no further problems and eventually the floaters dissolved and I have not had problems since. Anytime you have floaters or dark spots when looking, get to an ophthalmologist immediately.

Heart Disease Symptoms (Not Just Chest Pain) Barry said the last part is the hardest to explain. He said anyone with diabetes should know that heart disease and the risk of an heart attack or stroke increases. He did share this link with us.

I asked how many people were on blood pressure medicine – only two, Max and me. Next, I asked who was on cholesterol lowering medicine – three of us only. I told Barry that we have a healthy group of people with diabetes. Granted, Max and I are the only two overweight and Rob said he has a history of heart and cholesterol problems in his family so he was not surprised to be on a statin.

Alan, Elaine's husband said he was on a statin, but as of yet does not have diabetes was the reason he did not say anything. He said he was aware that people on statins could develop diabetes, so that did not surprise him. We finished with some other discussions and Jessie and Elaine asked Tim and I if we could stay for a while after the rest left.

No comments: