Archive for the ‘Other Health Issues’ Category

Give Of Your Time, Talent and Treasure

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I want to send our Best Wishes to all of you who read and support our Charcot Awareness Education Foundation, It is so exciting to know we have friends around the world. We hope those of you who are experiencing foot pain or are going through foot surgery find the awesome doctor and an answer to your problem.

Also take time to reach out to someone you haven’t touched base with in many many years, or someone who is alone much of the time. Your smile, presence and warmth will make a difference in their life.

A friend of mine who has worked with nonprofit organizations for years often says those who support foundations give of their time talent and treasure. This past year I really began to see this happening in our Charcot Foundation. It takes a lot of volunteer work, as many long hours were put in on the Mardi Gras float which brought in about $1500. This sparked us enough to work on the Great Give which brought in double what we got the year before.

This allowed us to purchase the Charcot Foundation’s own computer and printer. They have made life easier.

We were again selected to take part in the Mardi Gras nonprofit miniature float competition in February of 2017. Not far away. We are excited about an upcoming Charcot flier, curriculum development and some stories of Charcot patients to be published.

Thanks to our awesome donors making this possible. Please join us as a partner. Tell us your story if you are a care giver of a Charcot patient , or are a Charcot patient, or you just want to help the Charcot foundation make a difference in someone’s life.

Make a difference in 2017. May it be your most rewarding ever.

Happy New Year!

Please donate to help inform the public about the damage Charcot Bone Deterioration disease causes. Please send your donations to:
Charcot Awareness Education Foundation
P. O. Box 3902
Silverdale, WA 98383-3902
We are an approved IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and an approved Washington State Charities Program

Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Give Of Your Time, Talent, and Treasure

img_7558I want to send our Best Wishes to all of you who read and support our Charcot Awareness Education Foundation, It is so exciting to know we have friends around the world. We hope those of you who are experiencing foot pain or are going through foot surgery find the awesome doctor and answer to your problem.

Also take time to reach out to someone you haven’t touched base with in many many years, or someone who is alone much of the time. Your smile, presence and warmth will make a difference in their life.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Please donate to help inform the public about the damage this disease causes. Funding can be sent to:
Charcot Awareness Education Foundation
P. O. Box 3902
Silverdale, WA 98383-3902
We are an approved IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and an approved
Washington State Charities Program

Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

What Makes A Perfect Gift?

MAMC Christmas Tree

MAMC Christmas Tree

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 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, 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 in the winter 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.

Please donate to help inform the public about the damage this disease causes. Funding can be sent to:
Charcot Awareness Education Foundation
P. O. Box 3902
Silverdale, WA 98383-3902
We are an approved IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and an approved
Washington State Charities Program

Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Observe, Understand, Be Proactive

A friend of mine said she didn’t understand how her sister ended up with bloody blisters on her feet and didn’t feel them. Have you ever had the doctor check the sensation of your feet with a small monofilament line? Did he explain the test, or results, or the reason for the test? Mine may have, but it didn’t mean anything to me. I left feeling that everything was normal. It wasn’t. Like many with Neuropathy you don’t feel the pain, temperature (sensation) or trauma. So you really need to be proactive with your foot care.

The bloody blister thing happened to me. I didn’t feel anything either. We were in Vegas. It was incredibly hot. I was wearing socks in sandals. We decided to walk to he Mall and back to the RV. When I stepped up in to the RV, I looked down at my foot. It was bloody, so was the other one. Once inside, my husband helped me remove the sandal and socks to reveal bloody blisters. We carefully bathed and cleaned them. Did I go the doctor? No. Instead, we relied on some home remedies our parents used on us as kids and continued our trip. Healing went fine. Later upon reflection and after I was diagnosed with diabetes, I realized that this was a sign. I just didn’t know what it meant.

Keep your feet healthy. That means you do need to check your feet daily. Pay attention to the fact you may have stepped on something and check. Keep them clean and free from ulcers, calluses and infection. If you need medication to control blood sugar, or other conditions, take it correctly. Get regular check ups so your healing is at its maximum. If you have Charcot Foot, having a healthy foot is extremely important because that means you will be able to keep the foot and not likely have it amputated. It may mean orthotics, custom shoes, other type of bracing, but you will be able to walk.

Seek out a support group if you have diabetes, or look for others who may have Charcot. Keep in contact with them by phone, or meet with the organized group, or meet once a month for lunch, or breakfast as a social, or share happenings in your life. You could even see a movie together, go the local theatre for a play, concert, or musical. Stay active. Share your experiences, whether travels, things you’ve read, or your Charcot situation. Education helps one learn. This will improve your life, as well as, that of others. I have found seven people here in our small community that have Charcot just through observation and asking a few non-evasive questions. Don’t be a hermit, or shy, or be in denial. Talk to them show you are interested.

Even if walking is limited, you can maintain your independence and quality of life. Remember your feet are your foundation.

Please donate to help inform the public about the damage this disease causes. Funding can be sent to:
Charcot Awareness Education Foundation
P. O. Box 3902
Silverdale, WA 98383-3902
We are an approved IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and an approved
Washington State Charities Program

Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Charcot Symptoms (a Classification)

Often a person finds out they have Charcot Foot before they even know what the symptoms are. Unfortunately, in Bonnie’s case, she threw the covers back one morning and discovered blood all over the bed. A bone had gone through the bottom of her left foot. It was too late for her medical professionals to save her foot from amputation even though she had continually complained about her feet hurting her.
Even though you may have realized one foot was warmer than the other and that your foot was changing shape, maybe a bulge on the side, or the arch had fallen and the toes were now becoming hammer toes and you’ve had an x-ray. You may have been told you had arthritis. You most likely have had a trauma to the foot. If you have Neuropathy, you have a loss of sensation. Ask your doctor about Charcot.

This joint destruction process has a classification scheme of its order created by Eichenholtz decades ago called the Eichenholtz Classification.

Stage 0 – Clinically, there is joint edema, but radiographs (X-rays) are negative.

Stage 1 – Development stage (acute)

  • soft tissue edema (swelling, fluid in cells)
  • joint fragmentation
  • dislocation

Stage 2 – Coalescent ( merging ) phase

  • edema reduction
  • bone callus proliferation (growth)
  • fracture consolidation

Stage 3 – Reconstruction phase

  • osseous ankylosis (bony joint stiffening)
  • hypertrophic proliferation (abnormal enlargement of growth)

Charcot Foot (joint or bone) is serious for if this pathological process goes unchecked, it could result in joint deformity, ulceration, maybe infection and loss of function. The worst thing that could happen is amputation. Taking care of the feet and having a Charcot knowledgeable professional working with you will help stop further joint destruction.

If you have been told you have neuropathy. What type? Sensory-motor neuropathy? This is a loss of protective sensation, muscle weakness and also in the ankle. Autonomic neuropathy? Loss of vasomotor control, hyperemia and more.

Trauma can be another factor. They believe my being thrown from a horse when I was 10 led to my Charcot. Once I became a diabetic it became worse. Surgery and an incredible caring Surgeon saved my foot from amputation though it was nearly too late.

Early immobilization and staying off your feet are critical in the initial treatment of Charcot’s osteoathropathy. Take care of your feet. They are your foundation.

Please donate to help inform the public about the damage this disease causes. Funding can be sent to:
Charcot Awareness Education Foundation
P. O. Box 3902
Silverdale, WA 98383-3902
We are an approved IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and approved
Washington State Charities Program

Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

What is Charcot?

charcot footCharcot foot (neuropathic osteoarthropathy) deformity is a serious progressive and disfiguring condition often unrecognized because of loss of sensation. The area of the foot most commonly affected is the mid arch. It can also develop in the rearfoot and ankle.

Neuropathy often masks damage and pain from a trauma to the foot as one lacks feeling or sensation. This makes a diagnosis difficult. The trauma, however, could happen years before any sign of Charcot is present. It could be as severe as fractures in the foot from a fall to a seemingly minor incident as a can falling out of the cabinet hitting the foot, or walking, or jogging.

The end results are:

  • a severely deformed and disabling foot that is difficult to shoe and brace properly.
  • recurrent infections and ulcerations.
  • amputation
  • amputation

    Goni's right foot

    Goni’s right foot

    Charcot Joint was discovered in syphilis patients in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot in France. Charcot and Charles Féré published the first scientific investigation of this condition in 1883. It wasn’t discovered in the diabetic patient until W. R. Jordan made the link in 1936. It is believed Charcot was not discovered earlier because diabetic patients didn’t live long enough. Some 24 diseases causes Charcot Foot to emerge.

    Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

    Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

What is Charcot?

charcot footCharcot foot (neuropathic osteoarthropathy) deformity is a serious progressive and disfiguring condition often unrecognized because of loss of sensation. The area of the foot most commonly affected is the mid arch. It can also develop in the rearfoot and ankle.

Neuropathy often masks damage and pain from a trauma to the foot as one lacks feeling or sensation, neuropathy. This makes a diagnosis difficult. The trauma, however, could happen years before any sign of Charcot is present. It could be as severe as fractures in the foot from a fall to a seemingly minor incident as a can falling out of the cabinet hitting the foot, or walking, or jogging.

The end results are:

  • a severely deformed and disabling foot that is difficult to shoe and brace properly.
  • recurrent infections and ulcerations.
  • amputation
  • Boni's feet

    Boni’s feet

Boni's feet

Boni’s feet

Charcot Joint was discovered in syphilis patients in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot in France. Charcot and Charles Féré published the first scientific investigation of this condition in 1883. It wasn’t discovered in the diabetic patient until W. R. Jordan made the link in 1936. It is believed Charcot was not discovered earlier because diabetic patients didn’t live long enough. Some 2, or more, diseases causes Charcot Foot to emerge.
before-amputation
before-amputation

Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Charcot Foundation Moves Forward

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It is nearly time to Post my blog and prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. I seem to have too many things on my plate, but I really don’t mind. My real problem is giving everything the appropriate amount to time. Our first major blessing is the birth of our first grandchild, Spencer. He is a joy I never thought I would experience.
His awesome parents spoil him rotten and that’s OK.

I am still looking for some strong board members to help guide Our foundation (CAEF) to new heights. This has been a wonderful year. We took part in our local Casino’s Mardi Gras celebration. We were one of twenty selected to build a float on a child’s little red wagon representing the foundation using a Mardi Gras theme and colors.

2016 Mardi Gras Float

2016 Mardi Gras Float

Though we didn’t win one of the top three prizes, we were selected by the Queen of the parade and received a monetary award from her through the casino.
Close up of butterflies

Close up of butterflies

We also took part in the nation wide Great Give in May and am proud to say we have some wonderful, caring donors who helped us meet our goals. Our thanks go out to all of you who donated on May 3rd & 4th. We have been able to make our foundation more efficient and hopefully more effective.
Kick off gathering for Great Give event

Kick off gathering for Great Give event

We have attended some seminars and done several speaking engagements.

We were selected to take part in the Casino’s Mardi Gras event again this coming year. We have been in communication with Temple University concerning Charcot Foot Deformity curriculum and have created brochure concerning Charcot Foot Amputation and it’s effect on one of our board members. This should be available in January. We have also been gathering Charcot stories for a book that will help people deal with and understand what a Charcot patient could experience. If you have a experience Charcot Foot Deformity we would love to hear from you and possibly include your story in the book.

Again thanks to all of you who support CAEF with your TIME, TALENT, AND TREASURE. You are awesome. It is amazing what has happened since this website began in 2010. May your contributions come back to you 10 fold. Happy Thanksgiving!
Please send and continue sending your donations to:
Charcot Awareness Education Foundation
P. O. Box 3902
Silverdale, WA 98383

This weeks article was contributed by Founder Annita Shaw
Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Over 25 Diseases Make Charcot Worse

I often am asked,” What makes Charcot worse?” There are at least 24 diseases that cause Charcot to become worse and most recently I came across a gentleman that told me he was diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome and has Charcot.

I asked a specialist on steroids why Corticosteriod use was number two on my list of things that make Charcot worse? He said, “because it depletes calcium in ones system, thus weakening the bones”. My husband has COPD and Corticosteroids are used a lot with this condition.

Diabetes heads the list that causes Charcot to become worse. I often spend much of my time with it as I am also a diabetic. Now that the Diabetic association calls the foot deformity problem “Diabetic (Charcot) Foot.” This is quite a change after talking with them the first time when they asked me, “Who manufactured Charcot”.

The following list of diseases by Ali Nawaz Khan MBBS Riyadh, Saudi Arabia appeared in an article in e-medicine on Feb. 21, 2007. I added and Corticosteroid use and Restless Leg Syndrome.

  • Diabetes
  • Use of corticosteroids
  • Alcoholism
  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Amyloidosis
  • Prenicious anemia
  • Syphilis
  • Syringomyelia
  • Spina bifida
  • Myelomeningocele
  • Leprosy
  • Multiple scierosis
  • Congenital vascular disease
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Cord compression
  • Asymbolia
  • Connective disorders, such as rehumatoid arthritis and sclerodema
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Raynaud disease
  • Adrenal hypercorticism
  • Thalidomide embryopathy (congenital arthropathy in offspring of exposed mothers)
  • Paraneoplastic sensory neuropathy
  • Cauda equina lipoma
  • Restless Leg sSyndrome
  • Since diabetes heads the list, diabetics need to be aware that this article says15% of the diabetic population has Charcot foot and a 2004 University of Washington study states that 1/600-700 diabetics with diabetes mellitus neuropathy has Charcot Foot. Layolia University now says 4 million diabetics in the US have Charcot and will lose their feet to amputation because they will be misdiagnosed or not diagnosed in time to save their feet. A retired Diabetic nurse educator told me, “anyone with peripheral neuropathy long term, 10 years or more will have Charcot Foot Deformity. Their care, observation skills, and their willingness to seek Knowledgeable medical help, will determine whether or not they will be an amputee.”

    Charcot is, apparently, difficult to diagnose and is often miss diagnosed as arthritis. One needs to find a Charcot knowledgeable professional. A Podiatrist DPM, or a foot and ankle specialist (surgeon) DPM, FACFAS who is able to diagnose correctly.

    Since neuropathy is a loss of sensation, one is unable to detect pain or its source. A doctor once told me a patient came into her office unable to remove his shoe and couldn’t understand why. When she looked at the bottom of the shoe she found a nail. It had gone through the shoe and well into his foot. It was removed and the shoe taken off to reveal a traumatic situation. Because of Neuropathy much goes undetected that could save the foot. Pain is a warning sign, but those with neuropathy don’t get the message.

    If you don’t have someone to help you check your feet, place a mirror on the floor that can be used to check your feet daily. Also, avoid going bare foot.

    Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

    Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Diabetic (Charcot) Foot

It is only recently that I have read articles from the Diabetic association that refers to Diabetic (Charcot) Foot. My concern for anyone that has Charcot is the fact that if they aren’t aware an amputation will be in their future, but this can be avoided. The person must be very aware of the condition of their foot, its health, if it is changing shape in any way. Can they feel something if they step on it? No, this is neuropathy and many with neuropathy don’t realize they can’t feel. Also one foot is usually warmer to the touch than the other.

Lack of awareness and misdiagnosis are the two main reasons Charcot goes untreated.

Without treatment, Charcot can take away many of the basic functions of life: the ability to care for one’s self and family, hold a job and earn a living, exercise, and even live without pain.

Sadly, many people in general, and medical professionals will say this is not a life threatening disease. Yet, only within the past two years, one gentleman died because he underwent Charcot surgery more than once. Why? The doctors were not adequately prepared or trained to conduct this complicated surgery. They didn’t adequately prepare the patient to care for himself once home. Another was a woman who had a Charccot amputation, because of depression wouldn’t leave her home, spent much of her time on the couch, wouldn’t get dressed or answer the phone or door. She was found dead on the couch. Most recently a 60 year old man went to the hospital, had his foot amputated and lived only a few days after surgery. Yet had Charcot been discovered at an early stage, surgery could have been performed and recovery could have been only six weeks. They could have all walked again and lead a normal productive life with family and friends.

Hardware in Annita's right foot

Hardware in Annita’s right foot

How can I say this? I have Charcot and was fortunate to have had a young very knowledgeable surgeon who well prepared me for Charcot surgery. My right foot was in the last stage prior to amputation. He was able to save my foot from amputation. This was nearly a year of recovery much of it non weight bearing and in a wheel chair. My left foot also had Charcot but was in the very early stages. He preformed minor surgery (in my opinion) and recovery was six weeks and I was walking. Most who know me find it hard to believe as I had so much difficulty walking and now walk quite normally.

Message from Annita Shaw Founder

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation