Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Sometimes what you plan is not what you get. For instance, this was supposed to be an entry about how pale your fingernails are can be an indicator of diabetes, based on this item from WebMD. But, before I could write it, my reality changed.
For some time now, I have had swelling in my legs; it's believed to be a result of my heart attack in 1995. Before you ask, no, it's not painful, and, except for leaving me less than attractive in a pair of shorts, causes me no particular difficulties. But for the last few weeks, my left leg ballooned to a disturbing size. Walking became very difficult, and I was in great discomfort. Like most people, I was stalling seeing a doctor about it [I have an appointment with my regular physician early next month, and I thought it could wait]. A visit to my podiatrist last Friday changed my mind. He reminded me that I had had a blood clot in the leg two or three years ago, and that I should have it checked. So off to the Emergency Room I went [my doctor, for various reasons, is unavailable several times during the week], TheWomanILove dragging me, kicking and screaming a little [me, not her].
After several hours in ER, the physician on-duty decided it would be best to admit me. I spent the rest of the weekend, plus all of Monday and most of Tuesday in a hospital bed, waiting while the medical staff resolved the issue. Turns out I had an infection in the leg [source unknown as of this writing]; a regimen of antibiotics, along with a little rest, seems to be doing the trick.
Interesting, you're probably saying. But what has this to do with diabetes? A few things:
-diabetics are more prone to infections - it's very important for diabetics to keep up on any infections they do have, and vigilant about infections they may get [since, in addition to being easy targets for illness, we don't recover from them as easily as our non-diabetic friends].
-diabetes can lead to other serious complications - of course, it's difficult to prove that my diabetes led to my heart disease, which led to the heart attack, which led to the swelling, which might have contributed to my infection. But it's not an unlikely chain.
-diabetics need to stay on top of anything that's wrong with them - I don't know if this could have turned into something worse than it was. Fortunately, I'm not going to find out. But I'm stubborn. Don't you be stubborn.
-Mike Riley


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