Even if you have a whole team of professionals helping to take care of you and your feet, we know that you may still have some very real concerns. Can I continue to work and pay my bills? Should I stop playing golf? Can I still ride my bike? Will these dressing changes ever stop? Am I in danger? Should I have an amputation? What will my new partner say? Why do they tell me to stay active but at the same time to avoid walking? If I don’t walk, I’m less active and have less company. They tell me to stop smoking and drinking, but can I do it alone?
These are all very good questions. Your health professionals have a duty to inform you and listen to your concerns. Each phase of healing requires different adjustments. Your team will be able to guide you.
While it would be wrong to say that diabetic foot has no impact on your quality of life, our goal is to help you remain as functional as possible. The health of your feet is the priority of the health professionals around you, and they are also deeply concerned about your overall health. Don’t be shy to ask them your questions. They will guide you to the resources available to help you.
You play a key role in preventing diabetic foot complications. There are many resources available. They often depend on your personal situation – for example, if you are on social assistance, if you are Aboriginal or a veteran, or if you have a private insurance policy. Get in touch with your health professionals for more information.
You can join a local diabetes association such as Diabète Mauricie, Diabétiques de Lanaudière, Diavie, etc., a provincial association such as Diabète Québec, or a Canadian association such as Diabetes Canada. These organizations can help educate you on diabetes and direct you to resources that will help you ensure the health of your feet, among other things. For example, Diabetes Canada has a free and confidential hotline where you can get advice about diabetes. You can call toll-free at 1-800-BANTING or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The service is available in English and French.
Since there is strength in teams, it is a good idea to take advantage of the unique qualities offered by the different health professionals in order to find the best recipe for your situation. Depending on your care setting and the severity of your situation, several professionals can help you.
You can benefit from the support of a whole team of health professionals working in the following specialties:
As you can see, this list includes several professionals with whom you will form a team. They will be your allies, working with you to help care for you, support you and provide you with follow-up. And don’t forget the people who are close to you – they are also your allies.
Remember that if you have already had a wound in the past, the most important thing is to prevent any other wounds from developing.