Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Four blocks west and I’m out of my neighborhood. Two blocks north and I’m at a major east–west road. Another three blocks west and I’ll be at the restaurant to meet a friend for lunch. Except…

I’m not walking and I’m not driving. I’m riding a mobility scooter and the major east–west road is being repaved. Which is OK, since I ride my scooter on the sidewalk. Except…

The road crews have moved the barrels and barricades that were blocking the lanes on the road onto the sidewalk so the asphalt machine can do its thing. Carefully, I maneuver around the barricades and barrels, going onto grass/parking lots/anything I can to get to the first cross street. Which I would have crossed, except…

There was a ditch dug down the center of it.

Luckily, a nice man from the road crew came to my rescue, leading me onto the freshly rolled asphalt so I could get to the sidewalk on the other side.

The next two blocks weren’t as bad as the last, but my friend, who had come from west of our meeting place, had to park at a fast-food joint on the other side of the major east–west road from the restaurant, which she couldn’t figure out how to reach.

Lunch was great, filled with food cooked on the premises and filled with…OK, I’ll say it — gossip. The catching up on mutual friends type of gossip.

After lunch? Sigh. I needed to go to the wireless store, the bank, and the grocery store. The wireless store was another four blocks west. The crossroad beside the restaurant had a ditch dug down the center, the curb cut appeared to be blocked, and the sidewalk was, again, cluttered with barricades and barrels.

So I went to the next street north, which was in a, um, less prosperous neighborhood than those south of the major road. Sidewalks were cracked and, as I found out the hard way, just because there is a curb cut where you got onto the sidewalk doesn’t mean there is one at the next street.

Curb cuts were also few and far between when I headed south from the wireless store to get to the bank. And I really hate getting onto a sidewalk, only to have to turn around and get back off when I get to an alley or cross street and there is no corresponding curb cut. So I drove on the edge of the road. A very heavily traveled road. Praying, “please don’t hit me; please don’t hit me.”

There’s a reason you don’t see many of us out and about: We can’t find a bathroom and we can’t get from here to there.

What did people do before curb cuts, which first appeared about 40 years ago? Wait a minute. I know: People in wheelchairs were taught to go off a curb backwards. I had a good friend who was paralyzed in a swimming accident when we were teenagers. Several years later, he was on his way home from work one day and hit a pebble or something as he was going off the curb. His wheelchair tipped, he hit his head…and it killed him.

That happened just a couple of years after I stepped into a curb cut I wasn’t expecting, fell, tore up a pair of stockings, broke a camera — and cursed the blamed thing. Sometimes the lessons that life teaches you aren’t pleasant. For lack of a curb cut, I’m inconvenienced. For lack of a curb cut, a friend is dead.

I ride a mobility scooter because I have a below-the-knee amputation. It was because of a bone infection that kept spreading. I don’t wear a prosthetic because I get an itchy rash, plus I have really bad arthritis in my knees, so I couldn’t walk more than a few feet even before the infection and resultant amputation.

(I had a pin in a toe and lost part of my toe. I had a screw in my heel and lost part of a leg. I’m not about to have knee replacement surgery. I don’t believe my body takes kindly to metal being left in it for even short periods of time, much less for years.)

People with uncontrolled diabetes can lose limbs because of nerve damage and poor blood circulation problems. That makes it more likely for you to get sores (called ulcers) that are difficult to heal.

Something you probably don’t hear or see mentioned is that if you have nerve damage and poor circulation on one side, it’s probably present on the other side, too. Think about it.

I take very good care of my foot. It really hit hard when my endocrinologist said: “Take care of that foot. It’s the only one you have left.” I wash it every day; keep it from drying out as much as I can so that bacteria can’t get in through cracks in the skin; check it out for anything unusual such as blisters, sores or red spots; have my podiatrist check it and trim my nails (which are particularly difficult to cut); wear a shoe all of the time, even though I don’t walk. Stuff like that. And, needless to say, I keep my blood glucose in good range as much as I can. I used to smoke, but I quit. Smoking is not good for circulation.

My birthday is in a week and I’m supposed to meet some friends for lunch. Please let the major east–west road be ready for prime time by then. And let the street department dudes have their little “toys” off the sidewalks and put away.

POST A COMMENT       
  

Comments
  1. Wow, another Scorpio! From all you indicated, I wondered if your batteries held up as well?

    Excellent article from the correct perspective that those of us who are doing better always overlook when we plan for the disabled.

    Its early, but best happy birthday wishes, Jan.

    Posted by jim snell |
  2. Yep. Been a Scorpio since the day I was born. On Tuesday, I will officially be a senior citizen. As for batteries, I got a new scooter and had charged it all night long.

    Posted by Jan Chait |
  3. You quit smoking!!! Holy crap I am so proud of you Granny!! I love you so much and hate that you have all these EXTRA challenges…Here’s to curb cuts and NO construction zones for your birthday AND all your days. Love ya, SSP
    \

    Posted by SSP |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of R.A. Rapaport Publishing, Inc., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


Living With Diabetes
None of Us Is Alone (04/22/14)
Do You Feel Sexy? (04/15/14)
Spring Is Here (04/10/14)
In Sick Mode (04/03/14)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.


Carbohydrate Restriction: An Option for Diabetes Management
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.

Insulin Patch Pumps: A New Tool for Type 2
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.

How Much Do You Know About Vitamins?
Learn what these micronutrients can and can’t do for you.

Complete table of contents
Get a FREE ISSUE
Subscription questions