Look­ing af­ter feet could save a leg

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

TWO years ago I faced the most fright­en­ing mo­ment of my life when I was told my left leg might need to be am­pu­tated due to a di­a­betes­re­lated com­pli­ca­tion.

Hav­ing been di­ag­nosed with Type 1 di­a­betes as a teenager, I first knew some­thing was wrong when an ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain down my left leg woke me up in the mid­dle of the night.

I held off call­ing the hos­pi­tal un­til 6am but not want­ing to make a fuss al­most cost me my leg.

When I even­tu­ally got to hos­pi­tal I was told I had a blocked artery that meant no blood was get­ting to my leg, some­times known as a ‘foot attack’.

I was rushed into a five-hour op­er­a­tion and, luck­ily, the sur­geons saved my leg.

I can no longer kick a foot­ball or go run­ning with my dog, but I re­alise how lucky I am my leg was saved from be­ing am­pu­tated.

My hope is, my story can help raise aware­ness of the im­por­tance of look­ing af­ter your feet when you have di­a­betes, and that is why I am sup­port­ing Di­a­betes UK’s Putting Feet First cam­paign, which aims to re­duce di­a­betes-re­lated am­pu­ta­tion by half.

At present, 120 am­pu­ta­tions take place in the UK each week due to di­a­betes – but Di­a­betes UK says 80 per cent of those are pre­ventable.

It is vi­tal peo­ple with di­a­betes un­der­stand the im­por­tance of good foot care, that foot care ser­vices are im­proved, and that peo­ple know what foot care ser­vices they should ex­pect.

One of the key ways peo­ple with di­a­betes can take care of their feet is by at­tend­ing an­nual foot checks.

Di­a­betes UK’s new leaflet, ‘What To Ex­pect At Your An­nual Foot Check’, ex­plains why it is so Let­ters to the Edi­tor, Buck­ing­hamshire Ad­ver­tiser, Trinity Mir­ror South­ern, c/o Trinity Mir­ror Colour Print, St Al­bans Road, Wat­ford, Herts WD24 7RG im­por­tant to have your foot check and out­lines the care you should re­ceive in th­ese checks.

I know I am very lucky to still have both my legs. I strongly urge ev­ery­one with di­a­betes, who is aged 12 and over, to down­load and print off this leaflet and take it to their next an­nual foot check. Be­ing pre­pared is the best de­fence.

You can down­load the ‘What To Ex­pect At Your An­nual Foot Check’ leaflet and find out more about the Putting Feet First cam­paign at: www.di­a­betes.org.uk/ putting-feet-first.

To or­der free copies of the leaflet please visit: https://shop.di­a­betes. org.uk/go/foot-check.

GARY MAB­BUTT MBE Hon­orary vice pres­i­dent of Di­a­betes UK and am­bas­sador for

the Putting Feet First cam­paign. He played for Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur for 16 years (1982-1998) where he went on to be­come club cap­tain for

11 years and played for Eng­land.

bring joy to a per­son’s life even as mem­o­ries fade. That’s why, to mark de­men­tia aware­ness week, I’d like to en­cour­age your read­ers to ‘do some­thing new’ and help raise aware­ness of the con­di­tion. From dining at a new restau­rant to ab­seil­ing from a bridge, ev­ery­one can play their part.

Peo­ple can share their pho­tos of them ‘do­ing some­thing new’ by tweet­ing us @AlzSocCWEng­land or post­ing on our Face­book page @ Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety – Cen­tral West Eng­land us­ing the hash­tags #DoSome­thingNew for #DAW2015.

CHRIS WY­ATT Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety re­gional op­er­a­tions manager for the South

East

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