Quad Cities Foot Doctor

Iowa Foot & Ankle Specialists, PLLCDr. Mindy Trotter is a quad cities foot doctor with Iowa Foot & Ankle Specialists, PLLC.  She recently opened her office to the Quad Cities Adult Type 1 Diabetes Group, where she shared a great deal of information about diabetic foot care.  I actually learned a great deal at this event.

If you’re like most diabetics, you’ve never gone to a foot doctor.  I know I haven’t.  After this visit, I will from now on.  Dr. Trotter kind of surprised me with the amount of knowledge she had about diabetes.  She was more knowledgeable than my last quad cities endocrinologist!  (My current nurse practitioner is amazing though.)  Dr. Trotter explained exactly HOW, diabetes causes peripheral neuropathy, which I am challenged with.  What the real dangers of it are, which I never connected the dots before.  How to properly care for your feet as a diabetic.  Lastly, she showed me x-rays of what can happen when you develop “charcot foot”.  Ever heard of that?  I hadn’t, until that night.  Trust me, you don’t want it to happen to you.

So here are some things I learned:

  1. I learned WHY it’s important not to walk barefoot, or with sandals on.  Because if you DO cut your foot, and you have neuropathy like I do, you may not know it.  It could get infected, and you won’t know, because you can’t feel the pain.  If you or a loved one doesn’t actually LOOK at your feet from time to time, you may never know that you have an infected wound.
  2. I learned that you should never test water temperature with your feet.  With neuropathy, you won’t sense the heat properly.  Always test water temperature with your hands or elbows.
  3. I learned what “proprioception” is, and how it’s different than losing the feeling in your feet and toes.  This is what affects balance.
  4. I learned that you should wear LOOSE socks, not tight socks like I do now.
  5. I learned that insurance companies often cover special shoes for diabetics with diagnosed peripheral neuropathy.
  6. I learned what Charcot Foot is.  I’m not even going to describe it, it’s so gross.  When they showed me x-rays, I cringed, and felt sick looking at them.  You don’t want it.  You know how a microwave cooks food from the inside out?  Imagine that happening to your foot.  Yeah.

I set an appointment for next Tuesday, just as a foot checkup, since I’ve never been to a foot doctor before.  If you’d like to learn more, click here to visit their website.

Quad Cities Chiropractor for Diabetes

Quad Cities ChiropractorsThe quad cities chiropractors at Elite Health Systems in Bettendorf, IA have an exciting  new treatment for peripheral neurapathy!  This treatment consists of a K-Laser which stimulates healing in affected areas where neuropathic pain is present.  Please see my previous article with more details about this K-Laser.

I have been receiving this K-Laser treatment for my neuropathy symptoms, and I’m very happy to say that I’m seeing significant results after only 3 treatments!  I’ve been type 1 diabetic for 45 years, and my neuropathy symptoms began to show up about 5 years ago.  I have constant tingling in my right foot, and minor tingling in my left foot, as well as “cold feet”, and sometimes minor pain in my right foot.  After only 3 treatments on my right foot, I can report that the tingling is subsiding, and sensation has definitely improved. As I walked around the house tonight in my bare feet, I actually felt excited because I could FEEL my feet.  I want to share this with diabetics everywhere!

The actual treatment is 100% painless.  They just wave this laser wand across the affected area for about 15 minutes.  They might treat more than 1 area depending on your unique situation.  Then you go out into the common room and stand on this machine that vibrates your entire body from feet to skull, which stimulates your entire nervous and circulatory system.  It’s like an E-ticket at Disneyland.  It’s kinda fun.  :)  I saw the most significant changes after my 3rd session.  I have 1 more to go.  They normally do sessions in blocks of 5 or 10 though.

Now yes, this is exciting, but it is NOT a cure for neuropathy.  The neuropathy is a complication of diabetes caused by excessive blood sugar for extended periods of time.  I don’t know the science of why I’m seeing results, but my guess is that it will not be permanent if I don’t keep my blood sugars in better control.  It may mean that periodic visits to Elite Health will be able to postpone serious neuropathy complications though.  What I do know, is that I have a smile on my face tonight because I can feel my feet again.  :)

So if you’re looking for a quad cities chiropractor, and to learn more about this exciting treatment for diabetics, call Dr. Scott, Dr. Jay, or Dr. Art at Elite Health Systems.  They’re looking forward to helping you.

K-Laser Neuropathy Treatment?

k-laserLast week I went to Elite Health Systems in Bettendorf, IA with my local diabetes group,  where they gave a discussion on the k-laser as a possible form of treatment for peripheral neuropathy.  They explained a little about health lasers, and the different classes of lasers.  Basically, the k-laser is a “class 4” laser. I don’t know enough about lasers to be able to explain all the differences, but it’s not the “cold laser” you might have heard doctors talk about in the past.  One reason it can promote healing of peripheral neuropathy, is that it is designed to increase blood flow to damaged tissue.  When Dr. Scott showed us the video below to explain how it works and what it does, it led to lots of questions about other things it may be able to help with, like possibly psoriasis, and cysts, and scars, and scar tissue, and many others.  We got quite excited when we began to realize all the things it might help with.

What I was shocked to learn, is that results are sometimes noticed after just a couple of treatments.  Elite Health Systems doesn’t just wave this laser at you and let you leave though.  They go through a full health profile prior to treatment, with blood work, and provide supplement recommendations if your blood work shows any deficiencies.  Unlike most doctors, they troubleshoot your entire body.

The cost is very affordable too.  Since insurance doesn’t cover this sort of treatment, they’ve made the cost of treatments very affordable.  It’s $45 per treatment, and treatments are sold in blocks of 5 or 10.  So $225 or $450.  What if it only cost $225 to improve your peripheral neuropathy?

I’ve decided to go ahead with an initial treatment for my peripheral neuropathy, to see how it helps, and then I will report back here and provide my results.


Jammin 4 Justin Diabetes Benefit

Jammin 4 JustinJustin Lindstrom was only 11 years old when he lost his battle with type 1 diabetes last summer.  I didn’t know Justin, but I did recently meet his parents, which is how I got to know his story.  Jammin 4 Justin is a benefit and concert to honor his memory.  It is the brainchild of his parents, who now have a passion to do whatever they can to save other children from this terrible disease.  His father is a member of a Quad City area band that you might remember from the 90’s, called Crop Circle which is still performing today.

I have had type 1 diabetes since 1970, and as a child, there were far to many nights where my parents would awaken to me having seizures due to low blood sugar.  I was lucky, I survived.  Meeting Justin’s mom and dad, took me back to my childhood and those horrible nights, making me remember, and wondering how my own parents felt as I was growing up.  I know what it’s like from the child’s perspective, but I can’t imagine what it’s like from the parents perspective.  I’ve read articles, and seen stories, of kids and teens that leave us unexpectedly, but it’s never hit home like this for me.  I’ve never “felt” it so close like I do now.  I can’t make their pain go away, but when they told me about this concert, I couldn’t help but use my social network to do my best to get the word out for them.

Jammin 4 JustinI invite you to join Justin’s family & friends to celebrate his life on Saturday Jun 13th, 2015, while raising funds for a cure to type 1 diabetes.  This event is fully supported by JDRF Eastern Iowa Chapter.  ALL PROCEEDS from all ticket sales and all raffles, go to JDRF.

Speaking of raffles, there will be a raffle with some mind blowing prizes at this benefit.  Business supporters from across the Quad Cities region are donating amazing prizes to support this event.  The prizes just keep rolling in, but you’ll have to come to see what they are!  Now for the day’s schedule, which shapes up like this:

8:00AM Pancake Breakfast
9:00AM Jr. Bags Tournament
12:00PM Adult Bags Tournament
12:00PM Pretty Boy Floyd Meet & Greet
6:00PM Concert Begins

Jammin 4 JustinBands that are performing include Arianna Ferman featuring Shadow Stone, Canned Ham, Crop Circle, 9th Street Memory, Eleven Fifty Two, and 3 Years Hollow.  For those not in the music scene in the Quad Cities, those are the best bands in the area, and all are donating their time for this kickass show.  This is the going to the biggest event in the area this year!

Advanced Ticket’s are only $10, and you can get those by [CLICKING HERE].  The show will be located at a popular venue in Kewanee, IL called The Pioneer Club.  They are donating an incredible amount of time and resources to this event, so please show your support for them by liking their Facebook page [HERE]. Finally, if you use Facebook, we have a formal event with lots of pictures of raffle prizes and other news and info [AT THIS LINK].


X-Wing Charity Tournament To Support Diabetes Hands Foundation

So any of my diabetic friends also Star Wars nerds?  You’re probably wondering what in the world I’m talking about with this X-Wing thing.  What is X-Wing?  A charity tournament?  Well, X-Wing Miniatures is a game that I play, based on Star Wars, and we fly little miniature Star Wars ships around on a table, trying to shoot down our opponent and destroy all their ships. Anyway, it’s great fun, and I started playing back in November. Since then I have kinda organized a little community of players here in the Quad Cities where I live.  The community has grown quickly.  We have a league now, and this tournament will be our first community tournament.  Since I’m the tournament organizer I suggested our first one be a charity tournament so I could raise funds for my favorite non-profit, the Diabetes Hands Foundation (#dhf), a global organization that’s based in San Francisco, CA.  The store owner that’s supporting us was as eager to do this as I was, so I ran with the idea.  I’ve been type 1 diabetic all my life.  I was diagnosed in 1970.  (That’s 45 years now.)  I discovered the Diabetes Hands Foundation about 4 years ago, and became a formal diabetes advocate about 3 years ago.  Continue reading to find out why I think the Diabetes Hands Foundation (#dhf) is “The Force” that binds the diabetes universe together.

Click Now!The Diabetes Hands Foundation believes that no one touched by diabetes should ever feel alone, because together we become stronger and have the power to generate positive change in ourselves and our community. They (DHF) provide platforms where people with diabetes and their loved ones can connect and have an open dialog about their experiences with this chronic condition. Instead of looking at the disease, Diabetes Hands Foundation seeks to understand, connect and energize the millions of people living with this condition.

DHF provides numerous programs in support of those touched by diabetes.  They provide padawan training for DiaJedi (Diabetes Advocates) so that we can be more effective diabetes advocates. They provide the largest online diabetes forum (TuDiabetes and EstuDiabetes) where you can connect with those touched by diabetes from all over the world.  They also organize the Big Blue Test every year, which is a program of perfect synergy for those touched by diabetes.  DHF is the mystical energy field that holds the diabetes universe together. For more information about Diabetes Hands Foundation, please click the following link:  http://diabeteshandsfoundation.org/our-programs/

shipsWon’t you please make a donation to the Diabetes Hands Foundation, so that they can continue to help those touched by diabetes?  Everyone knows someone touched by diabetes in this day and age.  If you think DHF may benefit someone you care for, please forward this page to them, so that they can learn more, and follow the links above.

The tournament will be held at Games Plus One at 4621 Cheyenne Ave in Davenport, IA [MAP] on 25 Jan 2015.  It will begin at 11:00AM and should end around 6:00PM.  If you’re curious about the game, feel free to stop by and check it out!





D&D and Diabetes

Dungeons & DragonsI’m a fanboy of Diabetic Danica, and she’s always posting about the interesting situations in which she encounters and makes friends with new type 1 diabetics.  Tonight I had such an encounter while playing Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) with a new group of people.

30 years ago I was very into role-playing and miniatures battles as a hobby.  There were a lot of different games that I played.  I was a teenager when I started, and I played through my mid twenties.  I grew out of it over time, and I hadn’t played in about 20 years, until this year.  I’ve been slowing re-entering the gaming world starting with Pathfinder 7 months ago, then tabletop board games and Vampire the Masquerade over the summer, and now X-Wing battles and D&D again this winter.  D&D is what got me started when I was 14.  Tonight was my first D&D game since I was oh, about 25.  I was stoked to play again, and I knew the dungeon master, but not the other 5  players.

If you’re not a gamer, you may not know that killing monsters makes you hungry.  So we’re all snacking around the table while we shoot arrows, cast spells, and clobber things.  I check my Dex as I’m eating some tasty barbecue chips, then look at the bag to get the carbs so I can bolus with my pump.  We were about half way through this dungeon crawl, hunting goblins and bugbears, when I look over at this young guy (early 20’s) who has a diabetic kit open with his insulin and syringes to bolus!  Instant bonding moment.  We forget about the goblins and start talking diabetes.  Then everyone else starts asking us questions about friends and family members who have diabetes.  The poor dungeon master (DM) didn’t know what to do.  LOL!  I pointed out that we could finish our diabetes talk at the end of the night, and got us back on track for the DM.  At the end of the night we had killed all the goblins, saved the hostage, and filled our pockets with loot.  We had a hell of time keeping our cleric alive, and he’s the one who’s suppose to heal the rest of us!

After the game, I invited him to our local support group, told him about the diabetic online community (#doc), and we talked for a while about our common condition.  He mentioned that he doesn’t really know many type 1 diabetics, and he’s interested in advocacy too.  So I can’t wait to introduce him to the online community, and help him get involved.   Isn’t it always just the coolest when this sort of thing happens?  The one place I’d NEVER expect to meet a fellow T1 is in a room full of gamer geeks.  Wicked cool.  Where’s the most interesting place you’ve ever met a fellow T1D?  Leave a comment!

What Is Diabetes Awareness?

With November being diabetes awareness month, the online community is aflutter with “diabetes awareness” posts, but what IS diabetes awareness?  I think the meaning of that term lies in the eye of the beholder.  Some posts want you to be “aware” of diabetes, quoting statistics and such.  Some posts want you to understand what those with diabetes go through on a day to day basis.  Some posts pull at your heart strings with stories of people with diabetes battling to beat the disease.

What diabetes awareness means to ME is to make everyone, . . . I said EVERYONE, . . . A-W-A-R-E of the symptoms of diabetes. So you can save the life of a loved one that may not know they are diabetic. Even emergency room personnel, and even DOCTORS, don’t recognize diabetes symptoms. My goal with this diabetes awareness post, is to burn into your brain, these warning signs of diabetes. If you see any of these warning signs in a loved one, get them to a doctor, or an emergency room. Don’t screw around. It can save their life.


Urinating Often
Feeling Very Thirsty
Feeling Very Hungry (even though you are eating)
Extreme Fatigue
Blurry Vision
Cuts / Bruises That Are Slow to Heal
Rapid Unexplained Weight Loss (type 1)
Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Not another cure . . . . .

i-want-to-believeCure, schmure.  Not another cure.  I’m so sick of hearing about the “latest cure research” in diabetes.  I’ve been hearing about the latest cure research all my life.  We’ve been on the brink of a cure, all my life, and I’m still not cured.  This latest news story from Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, regarding creation of pancreatic insulin producing beta cells, from stem cells, is no different.  I’m just not excited about it.  I’ll be excited when I’m cured, not before.

Even IF there’s ever a cure, I don’t believe it will be offered to us.  Diabetes is the biggest recurring revenue source for big pharma, in the world.  A long lifetime of recurring revenue can be bled from nearly 30 million people, ever year, by multiple companies who supply diabetic supplies. Hell, if they cure diabetes, our economy will crash.

All of this hype about this latest cure news reminds me of the X-Files.  Fox Mulders basement office.  You remember the poster on his wall?  The UFO hovering with the quote “I want to believe”?  Basically, I desperately hope I”m 200% wrong, but I know better.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.  All my life, we’ve been on the brink of cure.  All my life, new research shows it’s right there, in sight, on the horizon.  I’m still not cured.  44 years as a T1D and I’m still not cured.  Seems a little insane to think this one is any different.  You can just call me Scully I guess.  She was always the sceptic, right?

Now many of my friends and family have personally sent me the link to the numerous news stories about this, and it took me forever to even go look at it, but I want you all to know how much I appreciate that you cared enough to share what you found.  I have read many articles now, and even tried to read the actual study, but it seems you need medical credentials to see that text.  Yes it looks hopeful, so thank you.

For those of you who have not yet seen this story, here is the direct link to the Harvard website:  http://hsci.harvard.edu/news/stem-cells-billions-human-insulin-producing-cells

You Don’t Look Sick?

richthediabetic-gazeI have been uninspired to blog for a little while now.  The Diabetes Hands Foundation asked me to help them on a project recently, which inspired me to write this blog.  Thanks DHF.  I needed a good kick in the ass.  I’d like to point out right away that I’m not writing this today because anyone has accused me of not being sick.  It’s because I realize, that to others I don’t look sick, yet inside, mentally and physically, I am.  I think that for the first time in MANY years, I am experiencing a form of diabetes burnout (I can’t believe I’m admitting that here), and it’s affecting my mental state too.  So I’m going to write this blog in the hopes that it motivates me and makes me understand myself, so that I can turn things around the way I always used to.

When you meet me, I look like any other average 45 year old.  What you can’t see is the scar on my chest from emergency open heart surgery, that was caused by my diabetes.  You can’t see the 3 weeks of recovery it took to be able to walk again.  You can’t see the 3 months of cardiac rehab.  You can’t see YEARS of re-education it took to try to prevent that from ever happening again.  You can’t see the sweat from all the workouts to get myself healthy.  Most importantly, you can’t see the emotions I feel every time I look in the mirror at my broken body.

When you meet me, what you can’t see is the tingling and pain I feel in my feet and toes. The neuropathy caused by over 40 years of high blood sugars.  You weren’t there the first time I got out of bed, and fell down because I couldn’t feel my feet.  You can’t see the self doubt I feel, and the depression it causes, because if I had been more diligent, I may not have this complication of diabetes yet. You can’t see the fear that fills my mind every day that I will someday be “disabled”, and unable to walk.

When you meet me, you can’t see the burning I feel in my body when my blood sugar is high, or the inability to think that I get when my blood sugar is low.  You can’t see the seizures I’ve had as a child from hypoglycemia, or see the memories I have of seizures that should have killed me as an adult.  You can’t feel the burning of lactic acid that I have RIGHT NOW in my muscles because of the acidosis caused by high blood sugar.  (Don’t worry, I’ve got it under control . . . now.)

When you meet me, you can’t see that when I look at food, I don’t see food, I see math. The math of ((carbs – fiber / carb ratio) * fat grams = units of bolus insulin + (superbolus of basal insulin * number of hours basal is disabled)) When you look at pizza or cheesecake, you see pleasure.  What I see is guilt, because it’s nearly impossible for me to get that diabetic algebra calculation correct so that in 3 hours my blood isn’t 400 or 40, and 400 I can live with for a little while, where 40 will make me unconcious, but I know that 400  leads to more numbness in my feet, or future blindness, or possible kidney failure a few years down the road.

When you meet me, you can’t see the underlying depression I experience.  Knowing that my death will be a long slow death of multiple complications.  Knowing that eventually, I won’t be able to feel my feet at all.  Knowing that the only way to postpone this fate, is to get back on the wagon and become diligent again, but being completely uninspired to.

Yeah, I don’t look sick, but  . . . . .  live a lifetime in my shoes, and you’ll understand.

mySugr Challenge Group Recap

frankLast week I led 4 type 1 diabetic friends in a mySugr challenge group on Facebook.  [Click here to learn more.]  I did this because “I” needed motivation, and it’s seemed to cause many in the #doc to want to run challenges of their own.  That’s so cool.  It definitely did the trick for me.  It got me focusing my attention on everything I needed to.

For me, what participating in the challenge did was it made me feel like I wanted to provide a good example, so I was more diligent in checking my blood sugar, and doing correction bolus’s.  It allowed me to see how much insulin I was dosing for all those carbs I was eating!  Holy cow!  That caused me to eat fewer carbs, leveling out that trend line in the app.  It let me see first hand how many hypers/hypos I had in the last 7 days, which was kinda upsetting.  It made me try harder to keep them to a minumum for the second half of the week, which worked!  These are just some of things that helped me.  Now I’d like to share what other challengers have said about being in the challenge group.

“It helped me focus for 3 straight days. It made me focus on what I’m doing in a more structured way. It confirmed how long my digestion is often taking to kick in which helps me have more confidence in what I’m trying . . . “

gerald“It’s very difficult to give constructive criticism on something that seems so perfect, so fun and so exciting! I only have the free version so I have not been able to experience the awesomeness of the full app. I do plan on purchasing this app and recommending it to EVERY pwd that I know.”

“What I like about the challenge group is the feeling of “I need to stay on top of things”. Whether it’s making sure to check BG before meals or when I felt high/low, lasering in on carb-counting, or simply just checking in with my moods and extra-curricular activities, I was able to keep track of trends a little better.”

I’ve been asked to try to think of recommendations for the mySugr team, but like one of my friends above said, it’s hard to find constructive criticism for mySugr when it’s so perfect the way it is.  I too plan on purchasing the full version of the app.  The only thing I can really suggest is perhaps adding a couple more free challenges so that we advocates can have options for running more challenges to get people excited about using mySugr, and improving their diabetes control.  Maybe a 3 day and a 5 day challenge.  Oh yeah, and if you wanted to name them after famous vampires, that would be totally cool.  😉




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