Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

Because of questions continually asked, it has become apparent we need to repeat some of our most popular postings. We hope they will be of interest and help to you. Bonnie’s story has been very informative and interesting, giving us another perspective on Charcot Foot and the complications that can come about because of it and diabetes. We really hope, we are able to help everyone understand more about Charcot Foot and seek a solution to this devastating foot problem

May 2012 bring health and happiness your way. Hopefully, we can help find answers to your questions. Please use the website email to contact us. If you would like to share your story contact us. Sharing really gives others encouragement. I really appreciate those of you that have talked to us. Living with foot pain, neuropathy and Charcot Foot can be treated so it is manageable.

You can make a difference. My husband and I were so excited last December when we were pleased to announce we had had 53,078 hits. He just informed me we had 225,216 hits as of this week. Our 122 countries are now 137 countries. Many of our new countries are from Africa. We welcome you all.

This is a tough time around the world economically, but there are many things you can do to help attain better health. Looking forward to another informative and exciting year. If you would like brochures on Charcot Foot, please contact us at: Charcot Awareness Education Foundation, P. O. 3902, Silverdale, WA 98383-3902. Thank you. Happy New Year!

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

What Makes A Perfect Gift

This is the time of year many people around the world celebrate religious events. Now, a time to reflect on the past year and give thanks for the blessings that have come along. A time to thank a higher power for guidance and assistance to achieve. If you have followed Bonnie and my stories over the past two years, I’m sure you have noticed we are both very thankful for the blessings we have been given as people with Charcot Foot.

I was raised on a farm in western Nebraska by Christian parents, though quite poor by today’s standards. I had no idea we were poor. It wasn’t an issue. We merely did with what we had and no one felt sorry for anyone. In fact they helped each other.

My mom made many of my clothes. We didn’t go hungry as we raised our own cattle, hogs and chickens and a large vegetable garden. She sold tomatoes, cabbage and lots of sweet corn. She saved this money for things we needed during winter and spring. Mom canned most of our food until the home freezer came to be. We did freeze beef, pork, chicken and corn, but that was kept at our local turkey processing plant that had wire cage storage boxes that people could rent to store their frozen food. That meant driving several miles to get it. Our refrigerator was an Ice box. Men in the area would cut ice on the river and store it in an ice house near the river. Those that helped harvest the ice could get the ice at the ice house to put in their ice box when they needed it.

I was just big enough to look over the edge of a table when my parents had butchered a hog. The meat was on a large table in our basement and my parents were wrapping the meat to take to the turkey plant to freeze. It was near Christmas and I was so excited every time I saw a present. I was told we didn’t have money to buy gifts for everyone, sooo… As I came down the long stairs to the basement, I saw all those packages. I wanted to give one of them to an elderly couple I had adopted as my grandma and grandpa. My parents tried to discourage me as they told me the package I had picked out had pork chops in it and it wouldn’t make a very good gift. Apparently I liked pork chops and wouldn’t agree. They finally gave in. We got into the car and drove to their home. I presented them with my gift. They were thrilled. However, I didn’t learn until later that was the first meat they had eaten in weeks. They had canned dandelion greens from their yard and were living primarily on that. Need I say when the word got out, the neighbors and friends saw to it that they were fine from then on.

As I look at our world at this time, I really wonder what has happened. Who or what has gotten in the way? I look at all the rules and regulations that have come about to “help or protect” us from ourselves. I wonder if the “Greatest good for the Greatest Number was really the answer to many probems. People afraid to say something for fear it will offend, or it will be taken “wrong”. Where is the trust and the true helping hand?

My dad told me a story about the time I was going out on my own to find a place to live. He told of a man searching for a place to relocate his family. He stopped a man on the street and asked, “What type of town is this? The man said, “What kind of a town did you come from?” The man replied, “The people were terrible, They were greedy, mean and unfriendly. The man then said, “That’s what they are like here too.” The man moved on. Soon another man came to the town looking for a place to move his family. He happened upon the same man on the street and asked, “What kind of a town is this?” Again the other man asked, “What type of town did you come from?” His reply. “Oh, the people were kind, helpful loving people.” The man said, “That’s the type of people you will find here.”

You make the difference! And the only way I can say it, as a Christian, is “Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year” to each of you.

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Care Of The CROW Boot

The CROW (Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker), or Clamshell boot protects the person’s Charcot Foot. It keeps the foot stable and prevents the foot and ankle from moving, thus avoiding ulcers, sores and bruises that create other issues for the foot.

This device can save the Charcot Foot from amputation. It’s care is relatively simple. Because it is hard plastic, it can be wiped down with a damp towel and anti-bacterial soap, or anti-bacterial moist towelettes. The purpose is to remove body oils and residue. You must wear the knee high, white preferably, diabetic type sock as your foot and leg will sweat even when wearing the socks. Bonnie has to use Lamish foot spray at times to keep the foot dry while wearing the CROW boot. This helps from getting red rub spots. Because one wears a cotton sock to the knee, when wearing the boot this should be minimal. Always remember to keep your feet clean and dry. Bonnie says one can’t stress cleaning the feet enough. It is very important and one needs to check the bottoms with a mirror once a week or more if having problems.

Bonnie wears the Clamshell boot. I have not, but I wear the walking boot when I have trouble with either of my feet. They both have Charcot. Though I have had major reconstructive surgery on my right foot and things are much much better there are times when I have had to go to the walking boot to let an area of the foot heal from pressure created by my shoe.

The Velcro straps are probably the biggest issue on these devices and the shoes. How do you clean the Velcro? My husband has found if you use duct tape to clean the Velcro grip or little hook side, it does quite well. Bonnie adds that the straps on the CROW boot can be replaced easily by the Orthotics personnel. If they get grundgy, or the Velcro wears out, just replace them. She has done this several times.

Continuing information from both Bonnie and Annita

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

My New Clam Shell Boot

For the past few months, I have been writing about my life since the amputation of my left foot/leg due to Charcot Foot. You have read of my ups and downs and all the decisions that I faced, the big one, moving from Alaska back to Nebraska. Finding a new home and learning I was capable of living alone was a blessing. Now it is time to tell how my life with Charcot is proceeding.

Early this summer my Podiatrist advised me to get a new Clam Shell Boot, (this brace is a Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker, C.R.O.W. or CROW Boot) for my right foot which also has Charcot. The boot, I was wearing, was not fitting properly due changes in my leg and foot. I was rubbing a callous on the bottom and out side of my right foot.

I set up an appointment with the prosthesis builder. A cast was made of my right foot and leg. In two weeks time, a new boot arrived. This would be the 3rd boot I have had since 2004. I never realized how much our bone structure or body changes, but it certainly does.

An ill fitting prosthesis can cause skin to break down and cause open sores which do not heal well, or possibly not at all. Being diabetic, I could not risk that happening with the Clam Shell Boot. The new clam shell boot fits very snug and the leg and foot do not move around in it causing sores, or calluses.

The new boot needed no adjustments, a perfect fit. As time goes by, I will be checked for any changes in my foot/leg. Small adjustments can be made at that time. If there is shrinkage to leg/foot, more padding would be added.

I have had the new boot for 3 months and no problems, or rubbing is occurring. I am very happy with the new boot.

The CROW boot or orthosis (brace) the proper name, however, is referred to as a clamshell (because of its design), or custom walking boot. This brace is padded so open sores, or Charcot foot deformity issues can have some relief and allows for healing. This brace is padded lessening shock absorption. It also limits movement, or rubbing of the problematic sight. If you do not get proper help for your condition, it can escalate. You could face amputation

Bonnie’s continuing story

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Educaation Foundation

Thanksgiving Memories

What Thanksgiving is to me. As a child and teenager it was a time for family to gather at grandparents’ homes, getting reunited with uncles, aunts and cousins after a long summer of farming. I would see my grandparents several times thru the summer, but the ultimate was Thanksgiving. Of course, the food was fantastic our grandmother, aunts and mom made all their special and traditional foods. Looking back on those times in the 40’s and 50’s (yes I am old, 70.) Everything was made from vegetables, meats and dairy grown by the entire family. What wonderful wonderful memories.

When I was 20, newly married, my husband had enlisted in the Air Force in November and was away at boot camp so began our holidays as a married couple separated the very first year. I was able to be home with my family and his that first year (1961). The next year (1962) would find us together in Anchorage, Alaska and no immediate family like we were both used to observing. Gary and I fixed dinner for a group of his Air Force squadron. It was quite an experience my first turkey dinner on my own – no help from mom. The guys brought some items, don’t really remember as it wasn’t so much the food, but the fellowship of being together on a great American Thanksgiving holiday. Great memories!

I was in Alaska for 46 years so there were many Thanksgivings not with immediate family, but our Alaskan family. After all, the first Thanksgiving in America was people arriving at a new destination and celebrating with new friends, foods, prayer and fellowship.

My prayer and hope for this Thanksgiving that everyone is with someone (hopefully lots of someones) to give thanks for all blessings and to give “God all the glory and praise for this great country and wonderful traditions.”

For me Thanksgiving is praising God for family – friends – blessings.

God be with each of you and your loved ones.

Bonnie

Bonnie’s continuing story

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation