Monday, November 26, 2007

Diabetes

Its hard to believe that in less than 90 years, the treatment for diabetes has journeyed from palliative care of children in their teens from the result of keto-acidosis, to people living long and fulfilling lives with only some complications.

In my current rotation, I see the effects that long-term poorly controlled diabetes. I'm on a combined unit of orthopaedics and vascular surgery. Today I spent a day looking after people who had lost their limbs because the sugar in their blood eventually caused blockages in their arteries and veins.

I saw a woman, who at age 37 was blind, had both legs amputated, most of her fingers were gone, and was in renal failure.

I saw a man, who with type 2 diabetes, had already lost his right leg, and was on the way to losing the left.

I saw others for whom their wounds are not healing because they have poor blood flow to the area.

I see people who are fighting so hard to live. Where was this fight 20 years ago when they were first diagnosed? Is this their fault? Can we give blame to someone who is told they radically have to change their life, and be expected to comply EVERY DAY for the rest of their life? Are we not getting the word out about the complications of diabetes?

It makes you wonder.

1 comment:

mofo said...

My patient today had DKA, because she was using her syringes to support her cocaine habit, not for her insulin. She will be blind, or limbless in a few years. Sad.