Diabetic Feet – Filament Test/Tuning Fork Test?

How often do you guys & gals have your feet examined?

I’m just thinking back, and it’s been years for me. I think that most endo’s would make it part of the routine for someone like me (approaching 26 years of D in April), and I’m a bit concerned that I’ll have to actually ask to have them examined when I go in next.

Tuning ForkThere are a couple of ways that I know of for checking the level of feeling in the feet. One is to use a small filament, very much like a piece of thick fishing line. You close your eyes, then they touch your feet in various places with the line, and you are to respond when you feel it. The other is very similar, but it uses something kind of like a tuning fork (not sure what it’s really called). The doc will strike this thing on something to start it vibrating, then start touching the end to your feet. You, with your eyes closed again, will respond that yes, you can feel the vibration.

Another common thing is to check your pulse in some specific parts along your ankle and foot, which apparently gives some indication as to your blood flow down there.

I have not had any problems with my feet so far, but have learned to be very careful with them. Even growing up my mom always stressed wearing slippers in the house, and not going barefoot outside. I do check them myself fairly often, and apply lotion at least a few times a week. I wear hard bottom slippers at home, and the times where my feet are exposed are very limited.

One area that I don’t feel very confident though, is proper technique in trimming my nails. I’ve always heard “trim them straight across”. But what does that mean exactly? I don’t make it a habit to trim my toenails into a razor-sharp point, but at the same time I don’t like the edges sharp either (for when I play footsie with my wife or kick one of my kids in the butt).

I’ll ask about that when I’m in next too.

And no, I don’t really kick my kids.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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