I am a diabetes educator and certified foot care nurse. Through the years, I’ve learned that most topics we teach people who have diabetes are really topics every person should know about.
I teach patients how to care for their feet, how to prevent foot problems, and how to treat them if they should have problems.
I have had so many patients return from vacation with foot wounds due to the particular shoes they were wearing. Some didn’t bring enough shoes or bought and wore brand new shoes, while some wore the type of shoes we don’t recommend and some didn’t wear shoes at all.
As I write this, I am on vacation. Before leaving, I thought about the above. I needed new shoes for the trip, so I bought 2 pair of the same shoes, one normal width and one wide. I didn’t have much time before leaving, but I did practice wearing them before leaving. “Something” told me to also bring a pair of old faithfuls…shoes I have worn a lot and had no problem with.
I’m so glad I heeded my own teaching. The first day, in one of the new pair of shoes, it went pretty well, no pain or redness. After wearing them all daytime, I changed to old faithful that evening. The next morning I noted a little redness and soreness on an area of my foot. I took no chances. I wore the pair with the wide width that day. No problems.
I thought about the wisdom we teach our patients. Glad to have feeling and sight to prevent a problem I’m sure would have occurred…more personal ammunition to teach my patients.
- When helping your patients prepare for travel, always teach to take more than one pair of shoes. If they are taking new shoes, this is especially important. And…always take a pair of “old faithfuls.”
- Whether traveling or not, teach your patients to “listen” to any sign of redness, soreness, or pain that is telling them to wear different shoes.
- Always teach the importance of looking at feet at least daily for changes and treat them early.
- Remember, what’s good for people who have diabetes is most likely good for everyone.
- Heed your own knowledge and practice what you teach.
Joy Pape, FNP-C, CDE, CFCN, FAADE
Associate Editor, DiabetesInControl
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