Dealing with the loss of a big toe

So two weeks ago I had to have most of my big toe amputated because of an infection
I was wondering how other people out there coped with similar siutations, and how you dealt with the challenges
Its not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but Ive had some issues with balance that I didnt expect

Sure was a wakeup call about maintaining tight control!


I’m really sorry to hear that Scott, I hope you heal fully and swiuftly.

@Roger212 lost at least one toe last year. He wrote about it here

he visits the chatroom on the home page a lot…he’s become a friend of mine, we both have a shared hobby — breadmaking :bread:

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Sorry to read about you losing your big toe to infection/amputation. I’ve heard that our toes help us balance, but like must people, I don’t fully appreciate their function.

I hope you can find a way to help with your balance. Would a walking stick or a cane help? I’m sure adding such a device takes some psychological adjustment; perhaps it’s worth a trial. Good luck!

Any ideas about how you want to maintain your glucose control?

There is an enormous tendency in medicine to try to blame the patient for everything that goes wrong, since this excuses the doctors, the medical profession, and the pharmaceutical industry for their role in the failures that occur. With respect to the complications of diabetes, it is important to remember the huge impact that genetics has on whether they develop at all, how fast they develop, which kind emerge, and how severe they are.

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Sorry for your loss of your toe. Have you gotten a referral to P T? They can help with balance. I would also have a podiatrist to do a shoe fitting so that your foot has proper support. Good luck. Nancy

Thanks for the supportive replies
Ive discovered there are odd times you miss it

My stride is altered a bit, so Im getting blisters
And the arch of my foot aches, I think its because of the protective temporary shoes they have me wearing
Sort of like overgrown slippers with rubber bumpers on them

Bending over to pick up something was fun - I didnt realize that was a moment when you need your toe to push back
I guess I will have to learn to lead more with the left foot!

The stitches came out - I hope I can get permission to drive again tomorrow

My podiatrist was originally going to send me to store that specializes in footwear (hanger), but I dont think he took as much of the toe as he thought he was going to, so I might get my more normal shoe back

Please update when you can. You will help others!

So sorry Scott! I am dealing with diabetic retinopathy right now. I understand the whole wake up call, and not understanding how important something is until it’s gone. The vision in my left eye is pretty poor right now. Just reminding myself it’s never too late to try to get back in control to lead the healthiest life possible
( which is hard when I can’t even see the biggest letter on an eye chart). I’ve been monitoring my CGM like a hawk, and slowing down on the carbohydrates . Have an appointment with a dietitian soon too. Time to relearn diabetes( it’s been 23 years). Being diabetic is tough. It’s a daily battle with food that we need and a disease that makes it harder. You aren’t alone in the struggles. We are here struggling with you! Will definitely be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. :heart:️:pray:

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Sorry to learn about the loss of yoy=ur big toe, Scott. I lost my second and third toe on my right foot. As the fourth and fifth toe are not functional, I have only one working toe on that foot, the big toe. I often walk with a stick because I have some balance issues, but that may not be entirely related to the loss of some toes. I had not much pain associated with the foot as it healed, but had to stay off my feet a lot. I can’t walk very far, and walk like a drunk, but I can drive and do most things I need to . I am thankful that I still have my big toe as it allows me to push back. I’m afraid that for us, maintaining tighter control will be a bit like locking the stable door after the horse has fled. Between you and me, I’m not convinced that tight control is a complete solution. I’ve known diabetics who lost limbs even though they followed all the rules.

I try to maintain a sense of humour about this, in public. In private, when I stagger across the room or fall against the wall or do a little dance to maintain my balance because I stepped back from the kitchen counter, it isn’t funny. It’s really wearying. Gone are the days when I could run faster than a speeding bowling ball, or leap over small fences at a single bound. It’s been a long (13years) painful odyssey to get to where I am, but for now I am not in pain, at least.

For me, the challenge is to work within the limitations that my body is imposing on me. I already use a wheelchair when negotiating an airport, or a convention or show or art gallery, etc. If I have to use one full-time, then OK, I’ll use one full time. Recently I had to have assistance from two strong men to get me into a small boat. It’s embarrassing, in some ways humiliating, but I’m stuck with it. As long as I can make people laugh, and not at me, I’ll be OK.

Lauren, I had diabetic retinopathy (still do, really, but it isn’t actively bleeding at this time). in 1984, after 17 years with this disease. I just want you to know that after at least 16 retinal coagularion laser treatments, new lenses, and a few other related issues, most recently glaucoma, I’m able to see more than well enough to drive. My last opt, ophak, opho, er, eye doctor said I could fly an airplane if I wanted. OH, I’m still a good shot! Grit your teeth, attend all the appointments and do what your ophthalmologist (whew!) ttells you. Chances are very good you’ll be OK.


Thanks for the connection, Marie. I’m happy to have the reference, even if I don’t need it yet!

I just had my great toe amputated on the left foot about 2 months ago. I am finding that I am walking a lot different now. The ball of my right foot aches, by toe next to th3 amputated toe has turned black and blue, and it is straight now, no longer a hammer toe. Thoughts on shoes/sneakers that would be the best? And should I be relying on my cane more?

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Ask for Physical Therapy referral. They can assist you with walking / gait. Then see how they can assist you with finding a podiatrist who has shoes. Nancy50