Jim Edwards
By Jim Edwards Latest Reply 2011-07-18 18:34:35 -0500
Started 2011-07-11 09:45:25 -0500

You all know, or soon will know, the problems that a person with diabetes faces as far as your feet are concerned. The feet are one of the first things to go, so taking care of them is important. We are told not to go barefoot. The reason is to prevent injuries. I know that when I get an insect bite on my foot now, I can expect the markings to be there for 6-8 weeks. Research being done in the Portland, OR area indicates that the less you restrict the foot, the better. So, going barefoot is best for most people, but not us. Sit down, take your shoe off.
Flex your foot forward,, back, side to side. Now, put one foot on top of the opposite knee, grab hold of it and twist and turn. There are 27 bones in the foot, all designed to move independently. Now, take your shoe, how well does it flex? The stiffer it is (think hiking boots) the more your foot, legs and back suffer. So, what do you do? Sometimes I will wear 2-3 pair of old socks and walk down our stone road with them on my feet, protecting them from most injuries. My "shoe" of choice is a moccasin without much sole. I got mine at Walmart for about $10.00. I can feel the stones through them. Sandals are generally not a good choice, as the sole is firm and unyielding. The bottom line is, if your foot does not flex, then your foot is not working properly. There is footwear that is available, but I do not know the name of it. It has leather on the bottom and separate places for the toes. Very flexible. I was told these are used by the Navy Seals for rock climbing, since they provide better gripping with the toes. The most common feet problems,
especially among women, are caused by shoes that are too small in length and/or too small in width. If you have to squeeze your toes into them, get rid of them. Realize over the weekend that the last 6 months that I have worn my moccasins, the pains in my feet, especially the crippling one in my heels, have gone, made me sit down this Monday morning and spread my learned wisdom all across DC land. Once I dig up some of my sources, I will let you know. Jim

26 replies

toodles 2011-07-18 09:10:16 -0500 Report

I am a little confused. Are you stating that a diabetics foot eventually becomes rigid or nonflexible?

MewElla 2011-07-18 09:06:41 -0500 Report

Very interesting…brings a lot of attention to things I had not thougth of before.thanks for sharing…

VaHermit 2011-07-13 00:54:17 -0500 Report

Thanks…I hate shoes and only wear when forced and then only the least amount of shoe possible. I love my Birkis with rubber soles and hate the newer ones as they do not have the little round massage things. My feet feel so good after walking around in them. Don't like socks they rub my toes and those ridiculous "diabetic" socks are a big waste of $$$. I am l a Large lady and they are so so in the foot but the tops are made for "twiggy". Moccasins sound great…mine are fuzzy for winter. There was a show last season on TNT where the medical examiner wore those sock/shoes with individual toes…look weird but probably comfy. [vibram fivefinger "barefoot shoes" for all type activity.] Th.anks for prompts. I wear Birkis clogs everywhere if I need socks…used work in them too and they have lots of room for your toes.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-07-12 06:48:28 -0500 Report

I wear Croc type shoes when I am not at work. They have alot of flex and feel better than walking barefoot. I used to spend as much time as possible without shoes on, that has been a hard adjustment. I don't wear the crocs if I am walking much outside as the soles do let thorns and glass puncture through to my feet.
When I had West Nile Virus my feet hurt very bad for over 4 years. I used to lay awake at night exercising and flexing my feet to keep them from feeling like they would be unable to move. Did the same for hours each day. I still have the habit of doing it every few hours throughout the day. Plus massaging them several times every day. Some of the many moving arts of my feet have a tendency to get misaligned. Had a few years of wearing corrective contraptions for crooked feet as a child and they seem to still protest.
I noticed last year after I finally was released from the hospital and bed rest that the feel of earth beneath my feet was wonderful. The bumbs and dips of bare ground flexed my feet. Sidewalks and hallways just don't give the foot the same workout.
I wore a pair of moccasins for years after my sister got tired of them. Haven't found a pair as comfortable as them since.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-12 09:24:04 -0500 Report

Sounds like you are doing good. The idea from what I read was to flex the feet as much and as often as possible. The only real exercise that I do is that I will hold onto 2 handrails and step on the stair tread with just my toes and drop my heals lower than my toes. Ithen use my toes to push up. I only do this for 5 reps, so it is about a minute. I can hear and feel the movement.

Te Ja
Te Ja 2011-07-12 11:08:07 -0500 Report

Another good one is to sit down draw out the alphabet forward and backward with your foot.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-18 10:09:29 -0500 Report

First, I am glad I am not in China or Japan doing the alphabet! Second, can you write the alphabet backwards for me? If not, I will find a camper who is dyslexic to help me!
I had heard of this and had forgot about it. It is a good foot exercise. Thanks for the reminder.

Te Ja
Te Ja 2011-07-18 17:34:44 -0500 Report

I'd be happy to write the alphabet backwards for you. I have been doing this foot exercise for over 20 years now.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-18 18:10:01 -0500 Report

I want you to learn the Chinese alphabet. I will do the forward one first. I often (daily) exercise my feet and this will help me to make sure I am getting all the bones involved.

Te Ja
Te Ja 2011-07-18 18:20:38 -0500 Report

I have to do it to keep the muscle strong (hope that's the right word) for I pulled & torn all the ligiments so badly. Good luck with the Chinese alphabet.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-18 18:34:35 -0500 Report

Te Ja, you must have mis-read my post. I want YOU (not me) to learn the Chinese alphabet! I think strong and toned are the best words to describe it. Sounds like whatever you did 20 years ago must have hurt real bad. Hopefully you have kept yourself completely mobile. Jim

Curlie49 2011-07-12 03:17:04 -0500 Report

I generally wear slippers on my feet, or I use the shoe socks at Walmart. They
are so convenient and they have a little bit of a sol at the bottom of the sock.
That works very good for me and it is comfortable to my foot.

Curlie49 2011-07-12 03:14:28 -0500 Report

Another problem I am having is anemia because of the in balance of my sugar.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to keep your iron level up?

Curlie49 2011-07-12 10:14:07 -0500 Report

Hi Jim!
Thanks so much for getting back to me. I have since seen the Doctor and he has
referred me to an oncolgist who has given me some form of iron injections to raise
my blood count. They are very helpful and productive while you are getting them,
but they do not seem to last. They have prescribed an iron pill, but I think because
of the foot infection it tore my sugar apart all over again. The thing is that when
you have an infection, your readings are higher as a result.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-12 09:26:22 -0500 Report

Curlie, I would start a discussion to get an answer to this. The only thing I can think of is to add an iron suppliment. Although you have to be careful as iron can upset the stomach.

Curlie49 2011-07-12 10:15:10 -0500 Report

IA I will try and start a new discussion on this, once I figure it out. LOL I am
not that computer savy. I barely know what I am doing here. LOL

Curlie49 2011-07-12 03:13:10 -0500 Report

I have just been diagnosed with a foot infection due to a blister that I got on my foot
It is real deep and it looks horrible. The Doctor has me on an antibiotic and he gave
me some cream for it. My question is how do I get it to heal?

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-12 09:29:00 -0500 Report

I would expect it to take 6-8 weeks to heal. I have a bite on each foot, I believe they were from black ants, and I got them the end of May. They are finally showing signs of healing. If they are like past bites, I will have the scar for about a year. Welcomr to the world of Diabetes! Ten years ago they would have totally cleared in 2-3weeks.

Curlie49 2011-07-12 10:18:45 -0500 Report

Thanks for the estimated time frame. I have noticed that the smaller blisters on
my toe part have started to heal. They toke a culture yesterday to see how
far it had come. They mentioned something about an oxgen room that you
sit in for 2 hours that will kill all the bacteria. Have you ever heard of that?

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2011-07-11 18:05:35 -0500 Report

Hi Jim! Love your article & I love Moccasins. My feet hurt really bad all the time! I am going to have to get me a pair of those moccasins!!! is a good place to find any kind of sho you want!!!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-12 09:32:30 -0500 Report

I could not believe the difference they have made and I was a dyed in the wool hiking boots kind of guy. I found out yesterday that the kind I like are only seasonal at Walmart, so I need to wait until October/November to get them. My everyday pair is worn thin so I need to move my "Sunday go to church" moccasins to my everyday ones. Guess I will have to go barefooted to church!

Dixiemom 2011-07-11 12:12:50 -0500 Report

I wish I could wear moccasins. I have a problem trying to keep lowcut shoes and those without laces on my feet. I would wear socks but after awhile they look like flippers and come off. I do the foot exercises occasionaly as the footdrop in both feet makes them feel real stiff at times. At least I do not have the pain.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-11 12:26:34 -0500 Report

The ones I have can be adjusted a little by the strings. I have a steady supply of socks from camp. I wear my socks close to my feet and add the camp socks on top. A friend of mine does body work and he is very strong as he also does horseshoeing. He definitely adds range of motion to my feet.

Next Discussion: Type 1 and losing weight »