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[IP] Re: insulin-pumpers-digest V6 #218

> Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 04:13:20 -0800
> From: Peggy A Oberg <email @ redacted>
> Subject: [IP] Re:Charcot
> I am interested in hearing from folks who have dealt with Charcot...what
> brought it on, how it was treated, how long it took to heal,
> etc...anything that might encourage me as I deal with this very slow
> process.

Hi Peggy

In 1992 I thought I had sprained my ankle and that's what the doctor in the
ER thought too. It didn't get better. The ankle stayed  painless, but
swollen red and hot. I saw my podiatrist and he did blood work to see if I
had an arthritic disorder.  The tests were negative.  I saw my endo and he
suspected Charcot so sent me to a rheumatologist who told me to stay off the
foot completely.  He aspirated the joint but there was no fluid. He sent me
to a physical therapist to learn to walk with a cane.  The navicular bone
broke. I saw an orthopedist who refused to do anything but tell me that I
would lose my leg within five years.  I left there in anger and tears.  My
podiatrist was furious with the orthopedist then put my leg in an aircast.
It saved my foot and my leg.  I then went to the diabetic foot clinic at
Staten Island University hospital, NY  where they praised my podiatrist's
response and added an orthotic to my aircast to protect the arch of my foot
which could have collapsed without it.  I wore the cast for about four
months.It took anti-inflammatory meds for  the swelling and heat to finally
come down about six months later.  More physical therapy to strengthen my
legs that had gotten weak from sitting in a wheelchair and finally custom
made shoes and later, boots to accommodate my now deformed foot. The worst
of the experience was the fear all the doctors had of Charcot, no hope given
except that is from the doctors at Staten Island who dealt with it all the
time.  God bless them. I am so glad you now have a knowledgeable doctor,
Peggy!!!  It will make all the difference in your foot getting better.

 Now the good part of my story :-)

Last March I slipped and broke the tibia and fibula of my other leg.  This
time I was on the pump so despite surgery and the insertion of a titanium
rod in my
leg, I healed perfectly.  I maintained close to perfect blood sugars and
that was the key.  But wait, there's more.
I had excellent physical therapy all last summer to get me walking again.
This time the physical therapist had me work out barefoot or in light
sneakers but watching me like a hawk, knowing that the neuropathy might
prevent me from feeling improper positioning.  The bones in the Charcot foot
started straightening out by themselves as I did exercises  to strengthen
the tendons and ligaments of my lower leg.  By August I gave up the custom
made orthopedic boots  entirely  and bought my first pair of regular shoes
in years.  <GRIN>  No recurrence of Charcot!!!

I wish you the very best, Peggy.  Write if you need to vent.  It is hard to
deal with wheelchairs and fear.  Been there, done that!

Denise Guerin
Type 1 47 years
Minimed 507 4 years
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