LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Saturday Share #8

Did you know that health topics are the number one internet search item, outstripping even porn? Uh… pardon the Freudian slip there...

So to do my part in trying to keep internet health information correct I’ve been two-timing my blog by writing over at
Sharecare were I am one of their “Experts” answering diabetes questions posted by readers.

I’m having a blast, and I’ve decided that every week I’m going to share one of my favorite questions with you here.

Sharecare Question: I have diabetes, should I be concerned about a small red foot blister?

My “Expert” answer: Absofreakinlutely. Not to scare you, but we D-folk account for over half of the amputations in the US, all of which start with something simple like a blister.

For what it’s worth, that’s around 90,000 amputations every year, a popular club, but not one you want to join.

For a whole host of reasons, those of us with diabetes heal more slowly than other people, and we are also a risk from suffering from reduced sensation in our feet. That’s important because it means you might injure the bottom of your foot and not even know it.

But the great news is that you are aware of your blister. That tells me you are paying attention. Taking care of any foot injury early on is the key to keeping your toes, feet, and legs attached to your body until you die at the age of 114 after being hit by a FedEx truck while out for your early morning jog.

Two tips for everyone: buy slippers. Yeah, I know, I know. It is a hard habit to get into, but you should never be wandering around barefoot. Keep slippers by your bed so if you get up at night to answer a call of nature you don’t step on something sharp the cat drug in or stub your toe on a wall in the dark. (I’ve been preaching this to my patients for years but had to break a toe twice to actually start doing it myself.)

Second tip: kiss your feet goodnight every night. That simply means stop, look, and feel. Check in with your feet as you slip under the covers. Make sure everything is A-OK. No cuts. No splinters. No blisters. No odd color. If you have a hard time seeing the bottoms of your feet, get a hand mirror.

You can check out other Expert’s answers to this question, and my answers to many more questions by going here:

Then select the “Answers” tab near the top left.


Blogger Unknown said...

Wil, great post. I was it OK to let young children with type 1 run around barefoot. I know they aren't likely to get the complications mentioned especially in the first decade with "d" in the mix...but would it be a good idea for forming good habits?

Thanks! Oh...and thanks for the response on Joe's toe. I appreciated your words!

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

AMEN WILL!! I am actually at the hospital with my husband who is having two toes amputated today because of what began as a blister. We are both type 1 and have been careful, but the infection began deep inside the tissue and he was unaware of it for several days. His blister began after wearing new boots for work. But after many infections and surgeries, the damn thing just won't heal and the infection has progressed to the bone. Keep an eye on those toes, friends! And Will, thanks for all you do.

7:38 AM  

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