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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Filament Test/Tuning Fork Test? Feet Post - Viewer Discretion Advised (if feet gross you out)

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.

There are a couple 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 are instructed to 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 one end to your feet. You, with your eyes closed again, will respond when you can feel the touch and vibration.

Another common thing is to check you 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 to be sharp cornered 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.


Blogger Red (Aus) said...

Taylor is 5 years with d. Her ped does the filament testing every 3 monthly visit. They do the tuning fork probably twice a year and she started seeing a podiatrist this year and will continue yearly who did both of those and more including checking the pulses etc.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Z's ped endo performs both tests at every appointment too. I'm glad you brought this up because he'll soon start seeing an adult endo and I'll remind him to remind the endo to check. It'll be 17 years with diabetes this month.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Kerri. said...

My Joslin doctors have been tuning forking my feet for almost 20 years now. I have to fight the urge to hum every time.

I have a podiatrist that I see from time to time (damn those ingrown toenails from waitressing back in the day!) and he happens to be a Type 1 diabetic, too. Very odd coincidence. I trust him implicitly.

10:23 PM  
Blogger julia said...

I don't think Olivia's ever had the tuning fork thing done and she goes to Joslin. They do check her feet on every visit, though. I'd never heard of either of these tests until just now. I'll have to ask at her next appointment. I have to get a list going....

12:55 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

I just got forked at my last appointment. (No laughing) My new doctor said I was fine as soon as I took off my socks. I asked how he made that determination. He said the first thing that will occur when there is reduction of bloodflow in your feet is you will lose the hair that grows on your feet. I have hairy feet.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

My endo never wants to see my feet and it really pisses me off. I mean, sure they're ugly but...

5:13 PM  

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