Scabs. Type 2 diabetes.

I was running down a hill on Thursday night, looking at the stunning forest ALIVE with flowers, laughing with friends.  First sunny day we’ve had in like 2,000 days.  Ok.  Maybe 200 days.  But it was feeling SOOOO GOOD to be outside in the sun, running!

Then I fell.

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I was running one moment – and on my face the next.  No sensation of falling, no chance to catch myself.

Kissing the dirt.

Hazard of our sport. And not my first fall.

My friends Mark and Sarah heard me crash and helped pick me up.  We pretty quickly figured out I’d tripped on seemingly thin air.  And had somehow — YET AGAIN — totally avoided all of the major land mines that I should have fallen on. Roots, rocks — I easily could have smashed my head, broken a wrist or shoulder or rib and should have had far greater body damage.  Nope.  I landed on one rock and a bunch of soft dirt.

I am one LUCKY fall-er.

I jammed a finger and tore up a knee.  It knocked the breathe out of me.  Minor damage.


I used to be Type 2 (T2) Diabetic.  I was a T2 for over 15 years that we can effectively piece together and explain.  And one of the things that alerted everyone to my T2 being OUT OF CONTROL – was lack of healing with sores.

Around the start of my T2 diagnosis, I got a blister on my foot and 6 months later I’m in with an infection specialist and we’re talking about cutting part of my foot off.  My T2 was newly diagnosed and  I had not bothered to change a SINGLE thing in my life; I was waiting for the medicine to do it’s work.  I didn’t want to change anything.  I wanted to take the drugs and still eat what I wanted.   And that wound stayed consistently infected and increasing doses of varied antibiotics weren’t working.  It stayed infected, never scabbed up.

It refused heal.

And then once I was diagnosed T2, got on meds — healing to extremities were still dicey and scary for the next decade.  I was Slllooooowwww at healing.  Better, but slow. And it was something I watched all the time…

In case you’re wondering about the connection…  The medical explanation is that high/uncontrolled glucose (T2)  impairs healing.

(‘Higher or poorly controlled glucose control means a wound cannot receive adequate nutrients or oxygen, resulting in slower and less effective wound healing. Nerves in the body of a diabetic patient are affected when blood glucose levels are uncontrolled, which leads to a loss of sensation or diabetic neuropathy.’ — diabetic advocacy website)

Regardless of the medical explanation — I can tell you from ‘field’ experience that when my sugars were high; healing from anything was slower if not nearly impossible.

The first year I was learning to run, 5ish years ago, I was still trying to get off of insulin and figure out how to use food and exercise instead of drugs. I was still T2.

I would carefully, compulsively check my feet after every run.  I have diabetic neuropathy in both feet, can’t feel significant portions of each foot to this day.  I have ripped an entire toenail off and never knew it until I took my shoe off. (Trail running friends are like ‘COOL, damn… That’s so lucky to not have feeling in your damn toes!’ My other friends are pissed I didn’t warn them about this gross description.)  But my feet could get hurt, I wouldn’t feel it and weeks could then go by with me having an open wound…

Fast forward.

I face planted on Thursday night during our weekly ‘franking’ run.

I’m off insulin (4+ years) and no longer T2 (3 years).

It’s Sunday and…  wait for it…  I HAVE SCABS!

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I’m healing so fast and well.  It stuns me.

 

I mean, I’m hella sore.  I tried to run yesterday and my body rebelled.  So I rested. Hard  🙂  It was the right thing to do.

But today — I’m like 100% better than yesterday.  I have bruising showing up in the normal patterns, I am forming scabs, the muscle soreness from coming to an abrupt and involuntary stop is already getting better.

My healthy body continues to amaze me.

She’s kind of badass sometimes. 🙂

The chance for me to have ruined major organs and really done a whole lot of damage to my body as a T2 diabetic were HUGE.  And yet here I am…  Self-inflicted trail-wound healing beautifully and fast.

I’m healing like a normal person.

I never thought a scab would be exciting.  But it’s such a sign of progress and health and healing for me…  In more ways than one.

Life is good.  Run happy. (Stay upright!)

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4 thoughts on “Scabs. Type 2 diabetes.

    1. Becky! Neuropathy… Are you at the ‘dead’ and ‘numb’ stage — or still prickly? I think my advice would be the same either way…. But want to ask just in case. Socks — what works for me are ultra-thin running socks. They don’t hold moisture. Balega’s are my preferred brand. They dry quick. I have friends who hike and swear by Darn Tough socks. They’re too thick for running. And for hiking… Have you heard of Altra brand? They have a hiking shoe that matches the format of their running shoes — and they are KNOWN for the wide/deep toe box. Feel a little like a clown shoe when you first put them on – but they don’t rub, cramp or poke at my toes AT ALL. Now if the damage to your feet is elsewhere — that could change what you do too. 🙂 I would really recommend you hit your local running/ hiking/outdoor store and tell them you want shoes and the situation – and see what they say! GOOD LUCK! Happy trails! (Altra shoe is the Women’s Lone Peak NeoShell Mid. They’re a cross between a trail running shoe and hiking shoe. I’ve seen a lot of them on the trails this year!)

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  1. Thanks for the advice. My left foot is mostly numb along the outside edge from mid-foot to my toes. I first noticed it about a month after chemo. It felt funny when I stepped on a rock in a parking lot. I was wearing Keen hiking shoes at the time because I was so unsteady on my feet. That was two years ago, I’d hoped that it would improve.

    I was just looking at Belaga socks online. I’ll definitely check out those shoes. I’m always looking for shoes with a roomy toe box.

    Do you wear compression socks or cuffs?

    Thanks again.

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    1. I really hope you can give the Altra shoes a try and see if they work. They work so well for me — I have high hopes they’l be comfy and protect your feet. 🙂 I wear compression sleeves. I want more control over my foot than to have it covered in a tight sock that comes up to my knee. I want to be able to leave the sleeves ON even if I have to fix something with my sock or shoe. If that makes sense…. I’m looking for a picture to post for you. I buy Zensah sleeves on Amazon. And I buy weird colors – so they’re cheaper. I LOVE sleeves and run in them all the time. 🙂 I love your questions and I hope you’ll keep me posted.

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