For Dietrich Lacey, simple upgrades and support have made world of difference.
When a blister lingered on his toe, Dietrich Lacey called his doctor. Despite controlling his blood glucose and paying attention to foot care, he knew this could be a problem. “Both of my grandparents and my father had amputations due to diabetes. I didn’t want that to be me,” says Dietrich, 53, a professional gospel singer and former bus driver from Los Angeles.
At first, a fast-moving infection prompted doctors to recommend amputation for Dietrich, but a referral to a podiatrist who specializes in caring for those with diabetes saved the day. “I changed my diet, took antibiotics, and get daily foot care,” he says. “The results are amazing. I expect to be playing golf this summer and taking my grandsons to play basketball again.”
Dietrich’s blood glucose got even better when he made diet upgrades. “I have oatmeal for breakfast and eat lots of vegetables.” He enjoys turkey and chicken and approaches soul food and fast food more carefully. (Ask your diabetes healthcare provider for help creating a meal plan that includes your favorites.)
No matter what he chooses to eat, Dietrich knows that portion size is important. “You really have to measure, and you really have to know when to stop,” he says. “It’s a big diet change, but there’s no question that it’s worthwhile.”
“My faith is healing this foot,” says Dietrich, a church deacon. “Faith and family have helped me through a lot of pain and fear.” His wife also follows the new eating plan. And his great-grandson helps with chores.
Dietrich does exercises that don’t require standing up, such as seated leg lifts. And he’s found a new use for the backyard grill. “I used to cook all my T-bone steaks on it. Now it’s turkey burgers and chicken.”
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Dietrich had always made a point of taking excellent care of his feet, but he also knew that small foot sores can become big problems fast when you have diabetes. He didn’t hesitate to contact his doctor immediately when he found that small blister on his toe—and he didn’t hesitate to get a second opinion (and more) from other doctors. “When you’ve seen a lot of diabetes complications, as I have in my family, you know that getting medical help right away is really important,” he says. “I knew this was something I couldn’t handle on my own.”