April 2, 2017

April 1 Support Group Meeting

Yes, we know all about “April Fools” jokes; however it was decided to have a meeting anyway and then possibly another on April 29. And, we had a new CDE (Beverly) to welcome back to the group. And then we had an even larger surprise when Beverly also announced that we had a new CDE as a member. None of us knew that Jennifer was in the program and had been accepted as a Certified Diabetes Educator.

This brought a round of applause that surprised many of us, but was welcomed as well. Brenda asked both to stand up front and accept a congratulation line. This took some time, but everyone went forward to congratulate both of them.

Then Brenda asked both of them to speak briefly to the group. Jennifer started by saying she was happy that there were two of us. She said that when she needed support she had found it in our group. She thanked Brenda, Sue, and Beverly and then asked Beverly to thank Suzanne or give her an address so she could send a thank you card.

Beverly said she would give her an address later. She said the hospital had used both of them for diabetes education and this had allowed for better results for more patients. Jennifer was nodding her head. Beverly said that there would be another nurse/CDE about next April that would also work in the hospital.

At that point, Brenda said Beverly would have the program about foot care and avoiding amputation.

Beverly thanked me for the many blogs I had written about foot care and avoiding amputation. She said that most people only think of amputation involving the feet and lower legs, but she said that she was surprised recently by an arm amputation. The person entered the emergency department with gangrene in the hand and half way to the elbow. She continued that normally people go to the doctor for anything not healing in the hand or arm so this was a real surprise when it came time for the amputation.

Beverly said they average five to eight toe, foot, or partial leg amputations per month and she said that everyone here should check their feet daily or ask someone to check them for you if you are unable or don't have a mirror to see the bottom of each foot.

Next, she asked for a show of hands from those that see a podiatrist at least quarterly. Of the 26 present, only 13 of us did see one quarterly. She next asked if there were some that saw one more or less often. Four more hands were raised. She asked each how often and all said twice a year. Then she asked how many had mirrors to check their feet and six more hands were raised. She asked how the other three were handling checking their feet and all said they were able to look at the bottom and Sue and Bob said they also help each other at times.

She then asked Brenda to include the three blogs of mine, blog 1 on avoiding amputations, blog 2 on foot care, and blog 3 also on foot care in the newsletter she sent out, as they were important.

Then Beverly opened for questions and the discussion lasted another half an hour. Then cleanup was done and the meeting was over.

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