Norwich diabetic in warning after toe amputations

PUBLISHED: 15:23 15 February 2011

Diabetic Nigel Simpson had three toes amputated after a pastry cutter was embedded in one of his toes. Photo by Adrian Judd.

Diabetic Nigel Simpson had three toes amputated after a pastry cutter was embedded in one of his toes. Photo by Adrian Judd.

Archant Norfolk 2011

A diabetic from Norwich is urging people with his condition to look after their feet after he ended up having three toes amputated.

Tips on looking after feet

Be aware of any numbness, tingling or ‘pins and needles’.

Wash feet daily and dry them thoroughly.

Inspect every day for redness, cuts and injuries and seek help if there is no improvement within three days.

Avoid going barefoot.

Wear well-fitting shoes and keep feet warm in soft, comfortable socks.

Stop smoking, because this is known to make healing more difficult.

Nigel Simpson’s undiagnosed diabetes led to him losing feeling in his fingers and in his feet, so he did not notice when a pastry cutter accidentally fell into his boot and he ended up walking around with the kitchen implement embedded in his foot.

Mr Simpson, 58, a retired senior master who taught French at Beeston Hall School in West Runton, had all the symptoms of diabetes, but put off going to the doctor.

It was at the end of 2009, that he really started to feel unwell and in early 2010, he took his Scottish deer hound Ileugh for a walk.

Mr Simpson, who lives in Lady Mary Road off Grove Walk, said: “Unbeknownst to me this pastry cutter was in my boots.

Mr Simpson at his Norwich home.

“I have absolutely no feeling in my legs and in the tips of my fingers too.

“When I took the boots off I saw my sock was damp, but I thought the boots had leaked.

“When I took the sock off I noticed a cut so I bathed it and put a plaster on it.

“Forty-eight hours later it was black and then 24 hours after that I was found in the hall in a coma.”

Many patients with diabetes have damaged nerves in their feet, leading to numbness (neuropathy), ulcers and eventually, if the wounds fail to heal, to amputation. Catherine Gooday, principal podiatrist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “A lack of pain and discomfort is a serious problem because small cuts and sores may go unnoticed and the feet can become seriously neglected.”

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