When bad things happen to good people

Or when bad things happen to diabetics who have tried their best.
I had to go a large hospital about two hours from my home to have a clot removed from my leg. I started getting a cramp in my calf about two months ago. I first noticed it while riding my exercise bike. I had to get an angiogram and angioplasty after several other tests on my circulation. I was awake more or less during this process. The vascular surgeon couldn’t get through the vein in my lower leg. He mentioned by pass surgery but said that it is major surgery with a long recovery time.

I asked if he was being stopped by plaque and he informed me that I don’t have much plaque. I said then what is it and he said that he didn’t know. He said you told me that you can walk about 800 steps without cramping and I said about that. He thinks I should just keep walking as much as I can. Later I realized that he had made an appointment for me in early June to talk about by pass surgery. Luckily there are at least two people on this board who have had this surgery and I plan on asking them more about their experiences. We have the surgeries in order to avoid leg amputation.

I feel like I have been punched in the stomach as I try to come to terms with this. I only thought people who didn’t take care of their illnesses lost their legs. No, you can have perfect test results and end up facing serious surgery. Low carber, Low fat, Whole Foods eater, whoever life wants to pick on. .

Sure from 1959 until about 1980, my care was lousy, from the early 90’s my A1c’s were in the 6’s. During the last 20 years they have been in the 4’s and low 5’s. Maybe too much rolled coasting in earlier years? I know of many long term diabetics whose first couple of decades, ate way too much sugar. Doctors didn’t know enough about diabetes then. Anyway these folks seem to be doing fine. Up to two months ago I was doing just fine. I thought that I would hit 80 yrs of age without diabetic problems. I am 73 now. I have been a type 1 for 65 years. I do have two heart stents from 2010, but other than that diabetes has pretty much left me alone.

I have never seen circulation talked about much here. and I think it should be. Certainly not to discourage people from taking excellent care of themselves, but to realize that excellent care might not be enough. Sometimes life just doesn’t play fair. I really should have known that by now.

The nurses in the pre surgery area where I had to stay for several hours were just wonderful. I came in with a 73 glucose reading and they bumped it up to 83 and there is stayed all morning and afternoon. Two of the nurses thanked me for having taken such good care of my diabetes all these years. They said that they see lots of people with diabetes, but that they are all in horrible shape because they just ignored their illness.

Sorry this is so long. Please tell me what you think.


Sorry that you are now burdened by this health issue, Marilyn. Yeah, bad things do happen to people who really try to adopt good habits to better their health. So many people deny that their lifestyle may be the cause of their ill-health. It seems like those of us who try to be more careful should not be affected with bad outcomes.

One thing I’ve learned about long-term health outcomes and diabetes is this: good habits improve but do not eliminate the risks.

I wish you luck going forward. If anyone can successfully survive this challenge, it is you! Please keep us updated. You have the opportunity to teach many of us about circulation and diabetes.


Thanks Terry. I have been telling myself that all my hard work has kept me well until now which is good. I will do whatever I need to do to keep my leg. It seems a bit unreal to even say that. Another challenge!

@Marilyn6 I am so sorry for what you are going through. While as diabetics we can have more things happen more easily, it’s honestly not always about being a diabetic or even how well anyone takes care of themselves. Blood clots in the leg happen to non diabetics too. I remember the public service announcements really hitting the TV a few years. Unfortunately things happen and we look for reasons, but you won’t always be able to know why. Diseases, genetics, life events, who knows why, sometimes it’s just the way it is and getting older means more of these things can happen.

In my case with my back it started with a rear end car accident in the 80’s and after therapy thinking I was fine, but then years later issues came up in my back in the same spot, then inheriting bone issues, and then a fall down steps sealed the deal. Except for possibly the steps, I couldn’t have changed the other two circumstances.

But in the long run it’s how we take the punches that life gives us that make the biggest difference. The hard work you’ve done for your health will stand by you to help you to get through this! Hugs, well wishes and blessings that you and your leg are okay.


Thanks Marie20, the weirdest thing is that it isn’t a blood clot. It seems like the vascular surgeon doesn’t know what it is either. I will be happy to have the appointment with him in early June so that I hopefully get some answers. Yes, I mustn’t forget that this isn’t necessarily something that has been caused by diabetes, although chances are that it is. I roll with the punches as much as I can, but it takes me a few days to get over the shock of having another big problem to roll with.
I am sorry about your back. My DIL was in a car accident years ago and her back causes her so much pain. There was nothing she could do about being hurt, it was just very bad luck.
Thanks very much for wishing me good luck
with this. Time will tell how this all plays out. I am told that I am a very strong person, so I suspect that I will make the best of this. I am just dealing with the shock.

1 Like

Will some kind person clean up the above post. I did something to cause the repetition but I haven’t a clue.

1 Like

I have an inkling of how you must feel. Despite good A1c, lipid panels, cholesterol, etc, my kidneys have ungood numbers. The renal specialist tells me that statistically, it’s not the diabetes - I happened to draw another short straw.

On a more positive note, when we’ve had good diabetes self-care, these additional medical issues tend to be less severe…


Oh Buck, that doesn’t seem at all fair! Yes, we are healthier because we have taken care of our diabetes, but It is just too bad that diabetes wasn’t enough. No more short straws!

1 Like

Post edited to delete the duplicated quotation.

1 Like

I know how you feel. Besides Type 1_at age 5, I have had cancer, broken hip, and recently early Alz. And now waiting for results for MRI for a another potential issue.

I have 2 sisters that had fertility issues, and both ended up adopting. I know they struggled many years trying, which is ironic since my Mom had 8 kids in 10 years. Life is not always fair.

However, I retired early, and enjoying family and doing things I enjoy, including travel and visiting with family and friends.


MMI, I am sorry to hear that you have gone through so much and continue to do so. No, life doesn’t play fair because there are always folks who live long lives without any of those things happening to them, and others who live extremely short lives. My husband and I have both had cancer, but mine was caught extremely early only because of kidney stones.

I think what shocked me the most about my new problem is the fact that I had no idea this could happen to me since I have taken such good care of my diabetes.

Do you think your early Alz is connected to your diabetes? I am so sorry. I hope that it advances extremely slowly. I am glad that you continue to enjoy your life even when life is very hard.

I hope that your MRI only gives you good news!

There are some studies that suggest there is a connection.

The threat of dementia because of diabetes is always in the back of my mind.

Another reference Type 3 Diabetes

1 Like

I am hoping for your sake that this isn’t as bad as it sounds. You said the doctor didn’t really know what it was, maybe it will go away. :+1: I always try to think positive in these situations. It doesn’t mean you have to worry about losing a leg. Worry doesn’t help anything. Try to stay positive.
I have had diabetes for over 50 years and found out I have Dysautonomia. I never even heard of that before and yes, it can be from diabetes. :crazy_face:


Terri, it scares me because I am scared of any type of surgery since I have had so little of it. Also I worry since I am 73 and of course diabetic.

I think it will come to having surgery. I need to talk to a couple of people here who have had it and get more info from them.

It must have taken you some time to deal with Dysautomia. I am so sorry that you have to deal with it. I had to goggle it and it sounds quite serious.

I promise I will try to be more positive in the future. I only realized I wasn’t a perfectly healthy diabetic until several weeks ago.

I am supposed to keep walking to keep the blood flowing in that leg. I am trying to but my statin caused neuropathy is making my feet burn at night when I walk a lot. Thanks Terry2

Hi Marilyn. I know it’s easier said than done to be positive, but worrying about anything is never really helpful and most of what we worry about never happens, so it robs us of happiness.
Thank you for your concern on my Dysautonomia and yes I’m still figuring it out myself. But I’m staying positive. I don’t like wasting time worrying.


@Marilyn6 Hang in there. I haven’t had clots in my legs, but I’ve had numerous clots in my heart. I’ve received stents and had a CABGx2 (also known as a double bypass in my heart) in 2015. I’ve had t1d for 56 years, good control in recent years. The bypass was done because the clots were located at junctions of vessels and they could not be stented. If they’re telling you that this is not a clot, definitely push for more information. Whatever it is, they should be able to explain it in layman’s terms.
Facing a bypass is frightening, and it took a couple months to heal completely, but I would absolutely do it again. I felt so much better after healing. You can do this.


I appreciate that you have shared your story with me SheilaW. You must have been very worried knowing that you had clots in your heart. I know that I do have a clot in my leg, but I would like to know exactly what that means. Hopefully I will find that out when I talk to the surgeon again in June. I want to know why he couldn’t go through the clot and I want to know more about the clot. If I don’t have much plaque, then why do I have the problems that I have?

For now I am walking as much as I can, because that might be enough. I walk as many steps as I can before my leg cramps making me stop. I sit until my leg no longer hurts, and then I repeat the process as much as I can. I might be able to keep the vessels open this way. Although if I find I need the surgery it seems like the sooner the better, because I am not getting any younger.

I am glad that you have had such a wonderful outcome to bypass surgery.

Please don’t take this as a personal criticism, @Marilyn6, because it’s not meant to be. But whenever anyone remarks how it’s “not fair” for someone who takes good care of themself to develop chronic health problems, I cringe. Unfair means that others do indeed deserve their poor health. We don’t know what challenges another has faced or how privilege might have played a part in overall good health. I wish you good health but I wish everyone that, no reservations.