PEP Talk

Your stories

Your stories

Everyone has a story to tell

We want to hear from you! Everyone has a story to tell.

Share your story with us and people like you.

  • What foot care challenges have you faced?
  • How did you solve the problem?
  • How do you manage foot care?

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Crystal's Story

During the middle of my 8th grade school year, I went to the doctor’s office for a checkup where they ran a few tests.  The doctor left and came back with the tests results, she told my parents and I to go home and pack my bags there was a room waiting on me at the hospital. When I got to the hospital the nurse showed me where my room was and they ran more tests .  The doctors told me I had type 1 diabetes.  They explained to me what it (diabetes) was, and they said sadly there is no cure for it. I had to take 3 shots a day of insulin to keep me alive.

I denied I had diabetes at first and it took me a while to get used to it.  I realized you can die from it, so there I was going from a normal teenage girl to a sick girl with a disease that can't be cured!!!  I spent 4 days in the hospital with doctors explaining to me what to do, and what not to do.  They told me what to eat, what not to eat and waking me up at all hours of the night to check my blood sugar.  I did not like all of that pressure, because I needed my sleep.  I was so mad, but I forgive them now. I had to check my blood sugar 4 times a day.  The day the doctors told me I could go home, I was so happy. I was not going home to what I was used to.  I had a new normal now,and it will be (my) normal until a cure for diabetes is found.  Before I went home the child life specialist gave me a Rufus (diabetic bear).

The day (after) I got out of the hospital, I went to school the next day.  My dad said “you just got out of the hospital, are you sure you want to go to school?”  I told him “I sure miss my friends and I have a lot of work to catch up on.” The truth is I also did not want to fail.  My friends started acting different around me, but I got use to it. I passed out several times from a low blood sugar; the scariest thing was that I became unresponsive.  When I woke up I could not remember anything. I was afraid to go to sleep at night.  What if I did not wake up? My dad had to give me sugar to wake me up.   

When I entered high school all my new friends asked me, “why do you have to leave class early every day before lunch to go to the nurse?” “Why do you eat lunch early?” I told them” living with diabetes is not easy, but I have to live with it till there is a cure found one day.” I have hope and I will never stop fighting and never give up hope. On a good note I just graduated from airport high school June 1 date incorrect 2011.  This is what I would say to people with diabetes “never give up fight until a cure is found, because one day there will be a cure!”  When there is, we can scream, “Yes no more shots, no more pricking ourselves!!”

On June 5, 2012 I received some bad news; I got a nerve test on my feet at the foot doctor.  They diagnosed me with diabetic neuropathy.  One foot is mild the other is severe and I am only 19. 

As you can see, I live a complicated life when I got diagnosed with Diabetes a week before my 13th birthday.  Just recently on August 8, 2012 my health insurance cut me off.   I am not going to let that bring me down. I will fight even harder now never ever give up!!

Frank’s Story

I had no idea that so many different foot wounds could occur.  I felt that my “blister” was the sum total of what could go wrong with feet.  But I soon found out that I was very uneducated about foot problems that could occur without proper foot care.

My experience was with a blister under my big toe when I went to the hospital for a stress test and forgot to bring the proper footwear.  I was wearing hiking boots but the test administrator wanted gym shoes or stocking feet only.

The treadmill was quite rough and I ended up with a blister which I did not notice until later that night.

I put a bandage on it after a shower, and by the next morning I had a smelly “Staph” infection.  I went to the emergency clinic, and they referred me to the hospital emergency room where they began massive doses of antibiotics - both oral and intravenous.  I had to be seen by a microbiologist, who thought he could save my foot, but he was not sure about my toe.  I had to report to the hospital daily for twenty-eight days for an extra dose of antibiotics through my catheter, and they managed to save my foot and my toe.  This was a “Wake-up call” and I finally began to understand what all the fuss was about when the doctors stressed foot care for diabetics.

John’s Story

In 1974 I was diagnosed as a diabetic, given a prescription for some pills and sent home. A few months later, on an unrelated doctor’s visit I was asked to take some blood tests and was told I had to take some injections of insulin to control my diabetes.  I was given an orange, a syringe and was told to practice injecting a saline solution into the orange for a few minutes.  I was than given another prescription for syringes and insulin and the amount I should take daily and sent on my way again. I was never given any education on how to control my diabetes. I always felt like I was carrying around a secret that I couldn’t tell anyone.  Diabetes was such a silent disease that nobody ever mentioned that word.  It wasn’t until years later that I received any information on this illness and the complications that could arise because of the uncontrolled sugar levels in my blood.

I continued to work as a carpenter until Sept. 1999.  At this time, I had kidney failure and had to go on dialysis.  Due to my ignorance of this disease and the uncontrolled level of my blood sugars, I continued to experience drastic complications of this deadly disease.  In 2001 I had to have a Stint put in my heart because I had a collapsed aorta valve in my heart.  In the fall of 2002 I had two small toes amputated from my left foot due to an infection and poor circulation.  In 2003 I also had eye surgery because I was going blind. I had cataracts removed from both my eyes and had implants put in to help me see. Previous to this operation I’ve had several laser procedures done to both my eyes that had caused major scaring on both retinas. April 13, 2004 I had a renal transplant and a new lease on life.

Six months after my transplant I went back to work.  I worked for a few months when I stubbed my big toe on my right foot.  It got infected and because of poor circulation due to my diabetes I had a below-knee amputation on my right leg on March 15 of 2005.  Due to all the different complications and effects of this disease I’ve had approximately twenty-seven operations performed on me.

Darlene’s Story

Upon awaking one morning, I noticed my one foot was swollen and quite pink.  I went to my doctor, and he suggested it was arthritis.  I was given inflammatory medication.  When that didn’t help, further investigations showed it was Charcot foot.  Charcot foot causes the bones to change in the feet and some deformity, which can cause ulcers.

Charcot foot was not well known in the medical profession at that time.  When I saw a doctor on call, she had never heard of it.

If the problem was diagnosed sooner, I would have been in a non weight bearing cast for awhile.

Currently, I am wearing healing sandals, and the ulcer has healed.

I cannot express how important it is to get help immediately when any changes occur with your feet.  It can worsen within minutes if not attended to.