I am 35 years old and my parents came from Jamaica , but I was born and brought up in the UK . I only knew I had diabetes when I had a health check before a minor operation. My doctor told me not to worry as it was mild diabetes, but that I should try to lose a little weight. For a short time I worked at this, but soon stopped trying as I felt perfectly well and was very busy at work and with my family. I felt so good that I believed the diabetes was OK and never went to the Diabetic Clinic.
A few weeks ago I trod on a nail at work and it went into my foot through my trainers. It wasn’t painful so I didn’t worry. A few days later my wife noticed that my foot had changed colour and insisted that I go to the hospital. I had been feeling a little tired, but nothing to worry about. I was very busy at work.
At the hospital they said I had a very bad infection in my foot. They took me up to the ward and I had an operation the same evening and lost my toe. Now I have an ulcer on my foot where the wound has not healed. The Clinic say I should rest but I am an active man and my job as a School Caretaker means that I need to be on my feet from morning to night.
I wish I had known about the problems that diabetes can cause in the feet. If I had gone to the hospital earlier, maybe my toes would still be attached to my feet.
The late Ali Foster, former Chief Podiatrist Kings College Hospital London, UK