Tag Archives: diabetes
Many of us take the durability of our feet for granted. We push them to the extreme and hope they will feel better by morning. But what if they don’t? What happens when that sore on your foot doesn’t go away…or gets worse?
Diabetics are especially prone to foot ulcers, which left untreated, may lead to worsening infection, gangrene, and even amputation. Aside from the physical and emotional trauma of losing one’s toes or a foot, an amputation may significantly and permanently impact the life and mobility of the patient.
At Hyperbaric Medical Solutions, we help treat foot ulcers every day. HBOT delivers pure oxygen under pressure to the tissues around the wound… in far greater concentration than you can breathe in otherwise…to help with healing. It is so rewarding to see toes and feet saved from amputation.
Unfortunately, the positive impact HBO-therapy may have in the healing of diabetic foot ulcers is not yet widely recognized by the public. Consequently, amputations which may have been avoided still occur.
HMS nurse, Janice Reilly, RN, ACHRN, CWS, has some great advice for diabetics. “A diabetic should never cut their own toe nails. They may have visual acuity problems and neuropathy. Some of them do not even know if they have a foot problem because of loss of sensation. Proper foot care, and nail cutting are all part of healthy prevention of wounds.” Janice said. She also offers this helpful tip: “Checking their feet every night to see if there is any redness also is a simple process. I tell them to put a large mirror under their bed and take off their shoes and socks and look in the mirror for any redness etc. Any changes in the foot are a problem that should be addressed by their podiatrist early on”.
If you or a loved one suffers from diabetes, or has any wound that is not healing with conventional medical treatments, like antibiotics, please give HMS a call to see if HBOT might help. We’re conveniently located in Medford and Woodbury.
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Would you consider HBOT for a wound that wasn’t healing? Did you know it was a therapy option before reading this post?
At Hyperbaric Medical Solutions, we use Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or (HBOT) to treat patients suffering from over 40 different medical conditions and diseases, including stroke, cancer, TBI, autism, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes to name just a few.
While each of these diseases and conditions is different, they have something in common: the patient who is suffering almost always has a caregiver. And the caregiver is suffering, too.
It takes a special kind of person to be a caregiver.
The caregiver is a selfless master of multi-tasking. Caregivers are cooks, housekeepers, secretaries, chauffeurs, therapists, nurses, insurance claim handlers, advocates, and cheerleaders for their loved one. And that’s on top of all the other responsibilities of life, like a job and other family members’ needs. And their own needs.
Who takes care of the caregiver?
Sadly, too often caregivers overlook their own needs. They are so busy attending to their loved ones that they neglect themselves, especially if there is no one to help them. Over time this overwhelming situation can cause not only depression and resentment, but can jeopardize the caregiver’s own health. And then who will be left to care for the patient?
At HMS, we often get to know the caregivers of our patients as they sit in the waiting room or outside the hyperbaric chamber while the patient is having treatments. While their love is evident, the toll of caregiving is as well. And this concerns us.
If you know someone who is a caregiver, please reach out in any way you can. Offer real support, not just “If you need anything, call me.” Ask them specifically what they need. Persist if they answer “Nothing.” Offer suggestions. Can you make them a meal or run an errand like grocery shopping? If so, tell them “I’m coming over with a lasagna dinner at 7 on Friday, does that work for you?” Can you take their loved one to a doctor’s appointment? Maybe you can sit with their loved one for a few hours, or overnight, and provide a much needed break for the caregiver. If you can take a caregiver out for coffee or dinner or a massage, do it. If not, call them and drop over with coffee and cake once in a while so they have some company. Better yet, how about a weekly date to watch a favorite TV show together? (Remember to offer to bring the food or cake and drink, and don’t let them wait on you or your visit will just be more work for them.)
If you are a caregiver, please remember to take care of yourself. Don’t put off doctor’s appointments. Accept help or ask for it. You need a break. Everyone does. Remember what they say on airplanes: “If the oxygen mask drops, put it on you first. Then assist others.”
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What are the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of being a caregiver?