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Messages - tbrbeast

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General Discussion / Re: Change your thinking...
« on: July 03, 2008, 03:32:41 PM »
OBL - I have to agree with Ann. 

I was talking with a LBK last evening at an amputee support group meeting.  He had recently visited with a recent amputee approximately 100 miles west of here.  He indicated that he wasn't sure about what he was doing or the value but came away essentially energized by the visit.  His comments mirrored my reasons for becoming a peer visitor and trying to help others get through a very trying time and process.  Your story mirrors those sentiments beautifully.

General Discussion / Re: Phantom Pain
« on: June 26, 2008, 05:33:24 PM »
I have never had phantom pain.  But I do have neuropathy, which in hindsight, I remember as being quite obnoxious prior to my initial amputation.  It was bad enough that it made it difficult to walk and I absolutely hated to wear my work boots.  Since my original amputation 4 1/2 years ago, I have walked quite a bit which has resulted in an obvious improvement in my neuropathy.  The down side is that I now have pains that I didn't notice before.  They aren't as bad as pre-amp but they do tend to be more annoying than anything else.  But they are phantom as they occur in the residual portion of each foot. 

General Discussion / Re: Orthotics
« on: June 18, 2008, 05:58:05 PM »
Jack - I agree that something needs to be done to cover footwear for anyone who is prescribed to have special footwear.  However, most diabetics don't need the footwear that is commonly advertised for diabetics.  Because the concern is for injury to the toes and/or foot, diabetics should be buying shoes that have wide and tall toeboxes and which are comfortable.  Somehow this sounds exactly like what podiatrists are telling everyone else.  Unfortunately, people seem to want to buy narrow shoes with short toeboxes.  Women scarf up high highs and pointed toes.  I buy footwear off-the-shelf and not the stuff advertised and sold to diabetics.  My primary criteria beyond size is that my inserts fit in them and that they have a wide and tall toebox.  Beyond that, it is open to negotiation.  There are quite a range of brands and styles of quality footwear - men's and women's - in the marketplace that meet those criteria; more than I thought but less than there can or should be.  The change really needs to come in how people in general treat their feet and buy their footwear.  In that case, there would be no need to worry about insurance to cover it.  For me, what I do wish insurance would cover is the modifications - wedges, etc. - and the replacement soles I need to correct the biomechanical issues (supination).  For the pair of hiking boots I bought late last year, the cost of the wedges and replacement soles was almost the same as the cost of the boots.  I don't mind spending $150 on a quality pair of footwear but another $150 per pair to have them wedged etc.  starts to get ridiculous.  Gets expensive in a hurry.

General Discussion / Re: Orthotics
« on: June 17, 2008, 05:04:59 PM »
Oops.  Need to clarify something.  My insurance will cover orthoses but not orthotics (don't ask me to explain the difference as I still barely understand what is going on anyway). When I got my current pair, my orthotist had to code them differently for the insurance to cover at least part of them.  I still had to pay almost $600 out of the $1600 dollar cost (not like going down and buying a pair of Dr. Scholls!).  I suspect that my guy is/was playing the system but I agree, especially for diabetics, stuff like this should be covered.  But as we all know, this seems to be the situation for any amputee regardless of other medical issues.  Fortunately, I may be able to get 7 years out of this pair whereas most need replacement after a year or so.

I totally agree with your comment about amputees taking care of their feet, regardless.  Now that I think about it, it is a topic of conversation that I have rarely seen discussed (at least since I have been on) on amp forums. 

General Discussion / Re: Orthotics
« on: June 16, 2008, 04:53:26 PM »
I am a bilat TMA and also a T2 diabetic so footcare is an everyday issue.  I use a prescribed orthosis in each shoe.  My insurance will not cover orthotics, even for diabetics.  Obviously, as a diabetic, sandals, flipflops, or any other open toed shoes are out.  Being a TMA also eliminates anything like flipflops or sandals with straps between toes ( a bit difficult with only a rounded end on the foot!).  I wear a pair of Montrail hiking boots which I have had to have wedged to reduce the supination of both feet.  When I buy footwear, I not only have to buy something with wide and tall toeboxes but also something that will fit my inserts.  Real pain to say the least.

Something else that contributes to good foot care/health is wearing good socks.  I wear ragg wool socks essentially every day.  They are very good at wicking away moisture, help control the edema in both legs, and don't contribute to ulcers or other foot damage.

One thing diabetics are told to do with their feet is to regularly use lotion on them to keep them soft and prevent damage.  I was introduced to 2 products - O'Keeffe's Working Hands and O'Keeffe's Work Feet - that I have found to be quite good for both hands and feet.  I use Working Hands (Working Feet for some reason is harder to find) on both hands and feet.  Coupled with my orthoses, modifications to my shoes, and my socks, I rarely have foot issues.  I have every hope that this combination will greatly reduce the risk of losing the rest of my feet or my legs.

Health and Fitness / Re: growing end of finger back
« on: May 09, 2008, 09:43:13 PM »
Saw this on another site.  Turns out none of the information has been peer reviewed or duplicated so I would tend to view it as a definite hoax.  There is research occurring in this area but nothing I have seen or heard is anywhere near this.

Like most, I was not given an option or told of other options.  I was just told someone was coming in to mold my foot.  Wasn't Hanger but was another large firm.  They never completed the work but still charged me and the insurance company.  I ended up at Hanger where I had a good prosthetist.  He did a very good job and was very supportive - helped that he was an amp.  I have since moved on to another company, a small local firm which has since been merged into a somewhat larger local firm.  The guy that did my current orthoses, although not an amp, is really good and knowledgeable.  So, I have to agree that people make the company not the other way around. 

I didn't realize that Hanger was a franchise business.  Obviously the franchiser isn't paying too much attention to what at least some of their franchisees are doing given the number of complaints.   

General Discussion / Re: I need advice on running shoes
« on: April 21, 2008, 05:24:19 PM »
As a diabetic, I was told to look for shoes that had a wide and tall toe box.  Turns out that there aren't a lot out there that fit that criteria, especially if you avoid the diabetic shoes.  I buy off-the-shelf so it takes a bit longer to find good shoes.  But if you go to a good shoe store - one that specializes in shoes - and has a good selection, you will have better luck.  I have always had wide feet so I can appreciate your problem.  Now that I have a pair of orthoses that I need to fit into shoes, it is a much bigger problem. 

One thing you might want to look into is a store that specializes in wide shoes.  They aren't everywhere but I suspect that larger cities will likely have one or two.  Another option would be to look for custom-made shoes.  Expensive but you're more apt to get what you want.  I learned that spending more for a good quality shoe saves you more money over the long term and is more likely to better protect your feet. 

General Discussion / Re: I need advice on running shoes
« on: April 18, 2008, 04:38:32 PM »
Hi Anne.  You might check out running shoes by Brooks.  I don't run but I have wide feet.  I am also a bilateral TMA so, like you, I have a tendency to walk out of shoes.  My shoes need to fit my toe inserts and orthoses.  I found that Brooks makes atheletic shoes that do a good job of meeting my needs.  I find them at better quality shoe stores as well as stores that sell orthotics and specialty footwear for diabetics and others with foot problems.  The word I usually hear is that Brooks are a high quality, durable shoe.


General Discussion / Re: Arrgghh! Ahoy Mateys
« on: February 25, 2008, 05:49:21 PM »
Welcome Todd.  Like you, I am diabetic.  Lost the toes on both feet.  Can empathize with the ulcer on your good foot.  Had the first blisters on my right foot in over 3 years.  Doctor has to put me in a cast to get my wounds to heal - as you say, it takes awhile to heal but hope to be out next Monday and back walking.



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