This could so very easily happen to anyone of us!.
IS IT A CASE OF SELF NEGLECT OR LACK OF PERSONAL SUPPORT?!
Many of my fellow practitioners will attest that this is neither an unusual sight nor an extreme example. Often times the individual is physically challenged to attend to their own feet, perhaps the nails just became too tough for the nail nippers they had previously employed. After a short period of time the nails became unsightly and embarrassing and they start concealing them from spouse, family and support workers, preferring to suffer in silence rather than to ask for help.
This condition can spiral quickly when complicated by peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, neuropathy, and possibly coupled with poor hygiene.
The real purpose of this post is to raise awareness of this possibility and to remind all of us to
gently make sure those we love and care for do not fall into this cycle. It can begin following something as simple as a fall, a hip surgery, an arthritis flare up, or death of a spouse.
In this instance the patient had gone with his wife to discuss the recent diabetes diagnosis with his general practitioner. Following identification of the nail abnormality he was sent home with a topical anti-fungal agent. His wife frightened by the discovery coaxed him to come and see us about the condition. After a fun 10 minutes of chatting whilst working he was smiling with relief and confidence. Now looking forward to returning in a couple of months for another tune up. He fortunately hadn’t had time to fill his prescription for the medication nor will he need to.
Looking after simple things can bring such great pleasure.