A Friendly Diabetes Complications Reminder

After my scare this past month with having a stroke, I feel it is important to remember why we are fighting diabetes daily, and give a little reminder as to what could happen to you if you decide to give up or not care. It’s nice to have positive motivation and stories which keep us on the right track. I also think it is important to have a little bit of fear of the possible bad outcomes.

Complication experiences with diabetes

Trust me, you want to hear about the possible complications diabetes can give you rather than experience them and possibly destroy your current way of living or even your life.

Stroke

The first complication I will talk about is having a stroke. This can completely destroy your life and change life for your loved ones. Complications of a stroke can include the following: paralysis, inability to talk, inability to understand the spoken word, inability to swallow food or liquid, and death. This is not an all-inclusive list and the problems that arise from most of these effects are devastating for your life, your work, and your well-being, as well as your family's life.

I can tell you first hand, it is horrible when you know what you want to say and are unable to say it fluently like you normally do, or looking at your foot while someone instructs you to wiggle your toes or lift your leg and you are unable to. If this would have been a permanent condition, it would have ruined my career, causing who knows what problems in my life.

Neuropathy

Another complication is diabetic neuropathy. This is one I don’t have and have not experienced personally, but everyone I have talked to who has it, says it can be a very difficult condition to live with. A lot of people have a constant burning sensation in their extremities, which if they are lucky, can be controlled with medication. But what happens when that medication starts to not work? You have to live with this constant burning pain. You can also lose sensation to where you don’t notice cuts or other injuries to your extremities, especially your feet. This is why doctors emphasize regular foot exams.

Wound healing

The last complication we will talk about is decreased wound healing and possible amputation. Generally, if you have neuropathy, you probably have poor circulation. This means when you get wounds on your feet, it doesn’t heal very quickly or heal at all. You are also susceptible to infection much easier. You can spend months getting simple procedures to clean the wound, have a wound nurse, and worst-case scenario, end up needing an amputation. At this point, you will have to make the decision to amputate if the doctor recommends it, or you can continue to try to fight the infection, which would be a tough decision because no one wants to give up and lose a foot or part of their leg. However, if you choose to fight the infection, you risk getting to a point where you may need to amputate more of your leg than if you originally went for amputation. Either way, it’s not a good situation and totally avoidable.

The importance of diabetes management

I apologize for talking about a topic we would prefer doesn’t exist or happen. On the flip side, I think that is the perfect reason why we should have these reminders. Diabetes is a terrible disease, and keeping in mind why we fight every day to control this condition, is a very important part of keeping ourselves healthy.

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