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I just got back from the ER. I have a severe big toe infection that is scaring the living daylights out of me. I don’t know what caused it (nothing visible) but it got ugly crazy fast. I’m on an antibiotic and am hoping with everything I have that it works. You see, in addition to D2 I have great difficulty with antibiotic reactions. I’ve never had an infection remotely like this before.

D2 dx 10 years ago, I work hard to keep A1cs in low 6s, try to keep BG as close as I can to 140 at all times. I thought I was doing well. Now this! I don’t have neuropathy. I feel everything just fine.

How arrogant I was to think if I worked hard to do as many of the right things, something like this couldn’t happen to me. Now I’m just plain scared. 😭

Is this onset in just a few days common in anyone’s experience?

Bubbaloo
Dx approx 10 yrs ago T2
A1c 6.3-6.8
 

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It has more to do with being diabetic than keeping glucose levels close to normal.
I had a foot infection several years ago. It started with Athlete's Foot, then my foot swelled so I couldn't wear a shoe. I suspect it was caused by bad advice from my first doctor who told me not to be barefoot outside, but it was OK indoors. Wrong. Barefoot anywhere (except in the shower) is a bad idea. It quickly resolved after an oral antibiotic and an ointment from the foot Dr. I also had a bad reaction to the oral antibiotic; maybe not dangerous but really weird. First I got an itchy rash, then large fluid-filled blisters on the palms of my hands, then they turned into round brown spots, then they opened & new skin appeared after a couple of weeks without any treatment.

I told the doctor what was happening. His reply: "Keep taking them." From what I've since read about antibiotic reactions, I was lucky.

I kept the empty bottle so that if I ever needed antibiotics again, I could show the doctor what NOT to prescribe.
 

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Thx for sharing your experience, xring. Food for thought. That is an odd reaction!

I’m thinking of encasing my feet in concrete once healed. Regretfully, I was barefoot outside for a short while 2 days before. Yet, I did check my feet (I do daily) and there was nothing visible. Never again. Nononono. Yup, concrete’s the answer 😉
Bubbaloo
 

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Sadly, being diabetic does not exempt us from other things that can happen to us -- infections, cuts, joint diseases, coronary issues. Diabetes can make things worse, which is why it's so important to attend to it early rather than wait for serious symptoms to show up. But you could be perfectly healthy and still get an infection and a reaction to antibiotics. :sad2:

Good for you for staying on top of it!
 

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Update- oh boy. The toe got worse lightening fast. Here I was, in a podunk town in the adirondacks for a week. No way could it wait till I got home. I’m scared about the toe but even more terrified of the antibiotic they most assuredly will give me for it. If it’s intra-veinous and I have a bad reaction, can they handle full-on anaphylaxis? I’d lose the toe before I risk a pine box.

It was a rough time let me tell you. Luckily, they went with oral bactrim which I tolerated just fine and (phew!) my toe is improving.

Definitely... concrete shoes! That’s the take-away for me 😉
 

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I'm glad there was a happy ending to this!

I think all of us, at some time, disregard doing what has worked for us and do something some risky: eating too much of something we shouldn't, not monitoring our BG, going outdoors barefoot,... And then, faster than we think it can, that little "cheat" comes back to haunt us.

I hope this event serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to be vigilant and that, much as we all like to think we're exceptions to the rules, there are few exceptions to the rules.
 

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I've had two problems with my toes in the past three years.

First one was when I moved to the place Im in now. Apparently I dropped something on my big toe and never felt anything. Of course my feet hurt so bad and were so sore and going numb on me anyway from being on my feet all day and having to lug crap up and down stairs all day.

I never even noticed it for a few days. I happened to look down in the shower one day and saw my big toe was black and red. It wasn't puffed up or anything, and I really didn't feel it being sore. The discoloration was all under the nail so all I could think of was I dropped something on it. I waited a couple of days to see what was happening.

The blackness went away and it was just dark red and looking like the nail was starting to come away from the skin.

After a couple of weeks, the bruise went away, and the nail was pretty much gone....I cut almost the whole thing off.....but it grew back.


The second time.....once again, I happened to look down in the shower and saw my big toe was black and red and swollen. I really didn't feel anything, since I guess the neuropathy is pretty constant in my feet now, I just don't feel anything happening except the cramps I constantly have in my toes.

Anyway, I thought maybe I stubbed my toe in my sleep or something (it's happened before). I touched my big toe and puss just exploded all over the place. I cleaned it out the best I could and kept it soaked in alcohol every night.

After a week or two, the puffiness went away and it could feel the soreness. It was still red, but not as dark as it was. It kept oozing puss a little every night, but I kept it cleaned out until it healed over.

Apparently I got an ingrown toenail I missed. I usually catch those and trim them off, but apparently I missed this one. I went to the foot doctor just in case, and he said it would be best to trim both big toe nails so they don't get ingrown again.

Other than that, the only toe problems I have are cramps.
 

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Thx for sharing your experience, xring. Food for thought. That is an odd reaction!

I’m thinking of encasing my feet in concrete once healed. Regretfully, I was barefoot outside for a short while 2 days before. Yet, I did check my feet (I do daily) and there was nothing visible. Never again. Nononono. Yup, concrete’s the answer 😉
Bubbaloo
You'll find (as I did) that after a few months of not being barefoot, your feet will feel weird if you walk a few steps barefoot indoors. And it will be very uncomfortable to even stand outdoors.

I have a procedure that may help avoid future foot problems. Every night before bed, I'll wash my feet in hot water & soap, then dry thoroughly, especially around the toenails with tissue paper. At the first sign of any red spots or itching or peeling, (that's how Athlete's Foot starts), I'll apply "Lotrimin" or any OTC fungal ointment. Then I'll apply some "Gold Bond For Diabetics" foot cream on the rough, callused areas. When they get too callused, I file them. That keeps your feet sensitive so you'll be able to feel when there's a problem before it gets too serious. It also prevents those painful cracks that can lead to infection. And when I do see a crack, it's Neosporin & a bandaid. Usually heals quickly.
 

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Omg, that’s a revelation for me. The location of my infection is just adjacent to a callous I have. Almost like the infection was underneath it and came out the side of it. Maybe that’s how I missed it happening. I file it when it’s really bad but I think softening would be safer. And I like the idea of greater awareness.thank you xring. Wonderful practical suggestions!
 

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When you do file calluses, use light pressure. You only want to keep rough areas smooth, not take off lots of dead skin with each pass. Remember to put some Diabetic foot cream every day, especially after filing; that prevents those cracks. The best time to file & apply cream is after a shower when skin is softest. That's also the best time to trim toe nails; they're less likely to crack then. Check toenails once/week. Only use a toe nail clipper & cut straight across, not curved like fingernails. You want the sides of toes covered by the nail. Toe nails should not be shorter than the tip of toes; otherwise bacteria can get in & cause trouble.

On my feet, I use a soap that contains Tea Tree Oil; it's a natural antibiotic.

We gotta be extra careful with our feet. When I'm using the string trimmer on weeds, NO sandals...only shoes. I tried it with sandals once. My feet had little specks of blood where high-speed debris was hitting them. It's those little things that can cause us the most trouble. Same with walking in the yard with sandals - I'll check my feet as soon as I get inside & wash them & also check the sandals for stickers, pebbles, thorns, etc. I found "Fisherman's" sandals that can get wet & I'll hose them off.
 

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When you do file calluses, use light pressure. You only want to keep rough areas smooth, not take off lots of dead skin with each pass. Remember to put some Diabetic foot cream every day, especially after filing; that prevents those cracks. The best time to file & apply cream is after a shower when skin is softest. That's also the best time to trim toe nails; they're less likely to crack then. Check toenails once/week. Only use a toe nail clipper & cut straight across, not curved like fingernails. You want the sides of toes covered by the nail. Toe nails should not be shorter than the tip of toes; otherwise bacteria can get in & cause trouble.

On my feet, I use a soap that contains Tea Tree Oil; it's a natural antibiotic.

We gotta be extra careful with our feet. When I'm using the string trimmer on weeds, NO sandals...only shoes. I tried it with sandals once. My feet had little specks of blood where high-speed debris was hitting them. It's those little things that can cause us the most trouble. Same with walking in the yard with sandals - I'll check my feet as soon as I get inside & wash them & also check the sandals for stickers, pebbles, thorns, etc. I found "Fisherman's" sandals that can get wet & I'll hose them off.

I've been told I need to soak my feet in warm sea salt water, then soak in tonic water, then soak in a warm foot tub of alcohol water.

Supposedly the salt will help dry up any fungus or bacteria that might be there. The tonic water is supposed to help with numbness and pain. the alcohol is to top it all off by sanitizing your feet.

I usually just soak my toes in alcohol once I'm out of the shower, if I start noticing anything out of the ordinary or after I cut my toe nails.
Aside from the other two episodes I've had, everything has been going ok with just the alcohol cleaning.
 

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I've been told I need to soak my feet in warm sea salt water, then soak in tonic water, then soak in a warm foot tub of alcohol water.

Supposedly the salt will help dry up any fungus or bacteria that might be there. The tonic water is supposed to help with numbness and pain. the alcohol is to top it all off by sanitizing your feet.

I usually just soak my toes in alcohol once I'm out of the shower, if I start noticing anything out of the ordinary or after I cut my toe nails.
Aside from the other two episodes I've had, everything has been going ok with just the alcohol cleaning.
That's interesting because I've read that diabetics should never soak their feet. Shows us what they really know, eh?
 

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I've been told I need to soak my feet in warm sea salt water, then soak in tonic water, then soak in a warm foot tub of alcohol water.

Supposedly the salt will help dry up any fungus or bacteria that might be there. The tonic water is supposed to help with numbness and pain. the alcohol is to top it all off by sanitizing your feet.

I usually just soak my toes in alcohol once I'm out of the shower, if I start noticing anything out of the ordinary or after I cut my toe nails.
Aside from the other two episodes I've had, everything has been going ok with just the alcohol cleaning.
I don't get calluses on my feet anymore - it stopped when I moved to the Island and ended up doing a lot of beach walking on the sand and the salt water.

Do you live near any salt water beaches? You would be surprised how well that works and you get a fair amount of exercise too.
 

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I don't get calluses on my feet anymore - it stopped when I moved to the Island and ended up doing a lot of beach walking on the sand and the salt water.

Do you live near any salt water beaches? You would be surprised how well that works and you get a fair amount of exercise too.
Nope, the nearest beach is like 420 miles.
 

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That's interesting because I've read that diabetics should never soak their feet. Shows us what they really know, eh?
Diabetes, like cancer, is different per individual. Which is also the reason there is no standard prescribed treatment. It's different for everybody.

I've noticed that it also is different per Doctor. This Dr will tell you something is ok, the next will tell you to never do it.

It's all a crap shoot.
 

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It's also a good idea to keep Neosporin in your medicine cabinet so it's ALWAYS available for those little injuries that are "minor" for non diabetics but not for us. It's not a good idea to just go buy it after an injury; you want to apply it immediately. We have lots of bacteria on our skin all the time & infection can start quickly.
I learned that after I had a dermatologist remove a harmless lump (fatty tumor) on my ear, the doctor suggested applying Neosporin 3 times/day to prevent wound infection - which is possible even in a sterile surgical procedure.
 

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Update- oh boy. The toe got worse lightening fast. Here I was, in a podunk town in the adirondacks for a week. No way could it wait till I got home. I’m scared about the toe but even more terrified of the antibiotic they most assuredly will give me for it. If it’s intra-veinous and I have a bad reaction, can they handle full-on anaphylaxis? I’d lose the toe before I risk a pine box.

It was a rough time let me tell you. Luckily, they went with oral bactrim which I tolerated just fine and (phew!) my toe is improving.

Definitely... concrete shoes! That’s the take-away for me 😉
I'm glad that your toe is healing :smile2:. That was scary just reading it!
 

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This afternoon, I had a foot issue that could have been serious. I'm sharing it to provide more useful info.

I was going out to do some errands. I put on my socks & sandals (it's 108 today). I'm walking out to my car & I feel a slight stinging pain in my right foot. Since I get this type of pain sometimes (as many of us do), I didn't think much of it but since it was worse when I put weight on the foot, I decided to check my foot, socks & sandals for a foreign object. Nothing on my foot or sandals, couldn't find anything in my sock...at first. I turned the sock inside out & after a few minutes, I could feel something sharp in the material. It's a rather thick sock, so it was hard to find. It was part of a thorn or sticker that got embedded in the material & didn't come out in the wash.
That's why I previously mentioned the importance of maintaining sensitivity in our feet by not allowing calluses to become too thick - filing callused areas & not going barefoot (which speeds up callus development).
On another forum, we were discussing diabetic foot care. One guy didn't want others to go through what he went through. He was walking barefoot in his house & he stepped on a kernel of cat litter. He didn't feel it due to neuropathy & it embedded itself into his foot & caused an infection that required removal of half his foot. The photos he posted were quite a reminder.....
 
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