Looking after feet could save a leg
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