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'You will never change your life until you change something you do daily'

Posted on February 19, 2018
Archive : February 2018
Category : Blog

This can be applied to so many areas of your life whether it be to lose weight, become fitter, give up smoking or to reduce the level of stress in your life. To change the course in your life to one which you are aiming for, habits will have to change. In the case of reducing the levels of stress in your life it could be building in some ‘me time’ into your routine, but to be effective this should be daily. Over time, this half hour of reading or going for a walk, will soon become a habit. We are creatures of habit aren’t we?

If we think about brushing our teeth, we weren’t born brushing them twice a day, it took repetition and constant reminders from our parents to do it, until it is done without really thinking about it.

If any of these habits we want to change are very difficult like giving up smoking or losing weight, the feeling you get when you have managed to achieve what you want to achieve, is amazing! When you are now able to take control of part of your life, which you weren’t happy with previously, is very empowering. You are now in a position of control and authority. You have learnt the knowledge and skills to tackle and change direction – empowerment.

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Ultimately our daily routine will have the biggest impact on whether we succeed or not.We are all creatures of habit” was used by Robert S. Meyer in an interview by Janet L. Kuhnke. * entitled ‘Empowerment and Living with a Diabetic Foot’.

Robert lives with diabetes and a foot ulcer. He is very informed, asks questions and expects comprehensive answers that he can understand. Why? So that he can go on and use that information to be able to take control of his diabetes.

With this information and knowledge comes empowerment. In his mind empowerment in diabetes is defined as “helping patients enhance and use their own innate ability to gain mastery over their diabetes”.

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Ultimately our daily routine will have the biggest impact on whether we succeed or not. We are all creatures of habit” states John C. Maxwell in his book ‘Make Today Count’

This can be applied to so many areas of your life whether it be food, exercise and prevention of chronic diseases and their complications.

If you have diabetes, you have a 1 in 10 chance of developing a foot ulcer and these precede up to 80% of amputations in people with diabetes. If you have already had an amputation, you are twice as likely to have another one compared to those without diabetes.

Mortality rates are not good either – 70% of people die within 5 years of having an amputation and abut 50% die within 5 years of developing a diabetic foot ulcer.

Those statistics are very scary – the message is clear – try to avoid ulcers at all costs.

When Diabetes UK quote that 80% of the total number of amputations due to diabetic complications can be prevented, then questions need to be asked.

If 80% of the 160, lower limb amputations due to diabetic complications in England every week can be prevented what should be done?

I return to the quote “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Ultimately our daily routine will have the biggest impact on whether we succeed or not. We are all creatures of habit”

If 80% of lower limb amputations can be prevented, then how? Surely if any sign of damage is caught early enough, and help sought by your podiatrist/diabetic nurse or GP, the chances of this damage escalating to ulceration is greatly reduced?

How do you catch these early signs of damage?

If you don’t want to fall privy to these horrendous statistics, then empowering yourself to change something in your life could help steer you clear of the devastating area of foot ulcers and amputations. Change the way you view your feet and take active measures to ensure that you look after them as well as you can. After all the podiatrist only sees them once every 2-3 months whereas you see them every day.

Establishing a habit of a daily foot check, like brushing your teeth, empowers you to lower your risk of amputation. You are changing something daily i.e. looking at your feet every day and as such are more likely to succeed in protecting your feet from damage. The key is to immediately ask for help if you notice any changes, especially if you suffer from peripheral neuropathy. That could be a colour change, cut, blister or an area of dry skin or where a callous is getting larger or changing.

I remember an occasion where I met a customer who had bought a Solesee Foot Inspection mirror so that she could check her feet daily. Her mobility was limited, and her partner did everything for her in terms of managing her diabetes. When I asked how she was getting on with her foot checks, she told me how great it felt to be able to take control of one part of her life again. Using it daily gave her purpose and confidence that she was taking control of her foot health. As her mobility was limited she was able to see the soles of her feet due to the design of the mirror; previously this was not possible. She now felt empowered.

Whoever thought that a mirror could be so empowering…….

As Robert Meyer said, empowerment to him was ‘helping patients enhance and use their own innate ability to gain mastery over their diabetes’.

In terms of foot health, for people with diabetes, taking control of their feet by checking for early signs of damage and acting on that knowledge is the way forward, rather than letting their fate be decided by complications of the disease.

*Living with a #DiabeticFoot Ulcer http://bit.ly/2mQLpZapic.twitter.com/z4kMIxAW3r

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng19/chapter/introduction


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