Kara Sheridan's Blog
If the World Had Wheels

Understanding Diabetic Socks

July 9th, 2014by kara

Last time, I talked about getting diabetic socks for my dad.  Well, now after talking to doctors, I have a new healthy appreciation for what these hosiery do.  Diabetic socks are now becoming popular amongst people who don’t even have anything wrong with them. This may be difficult for some people to understand, mainly because people don’t know what they are or what they are used for. In order to actually understand why someone would want to wear them, we should look at why they’re good for someone who has diabetes to wear.

These socks were first produced specifically for people who had diabetes. While this is a disease that relates to the body’s ability to control blood levels and its sensitivity whenever it comes to high sugar intake. Of course, it does incur other problems. One of these problems is that diabetics are more prone to developing foot ulcers and other types of foot issues. For this reason, diabetic socks were first created.

Diabetic socks are designed to increase the circulation within your feet while also controlling the moisture levels there. This provides additional protection in case you start to get an infection, which is important because you could lose feeling there and then you wouldn’t even notice that you had a cut or a bruise on your foot.

Since people have been able to achieve great results by wearing diabetic socks other people have begun to purchase and wear them instead of regular socks. These socks can protect them from too much sweat and the possibility of developing blisters. This is great news for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet, is active at the gym or is a professional athlete.

These are great socks that have been designed to be quite similar to the compression socks that are also quite commonly found in stores today. The main difference is that compression socks are made mainly to increase the blood flow throughout your legs. Of course, this is also something that diabetic socks can do for you as well. These socks work by applying a lot more pressure to your ankles or calves, which is then relieved the further up your leg you go. This is because diabetics oftentimes find themselves suffering from circulatory problems in the lower parts of their body, which can cause them to become numb and thus they won’t notice that they have issues with their feet.

Whether you choose to wear diabetic socks or compression socks you’ll still be able to almost instantaneously take note of the difference with the circulation in your legs. Both types of socks will help your calf muscle to utilize its pumping action more frequently so as to pump the blood in and out of your feet, back to your heart. This action will help to put an end to things like blood clots and blood pooling too.

Regardless as to whether or not you’re actually suffering from diabetes and are at a higher risk of developing foot problems or you don’t have diabetes but oftentimes find yourself dealing with feet fungus (i.e. athlete’s foot, foot ulcers), you will find that diabetic socks are a great way in which to keep your feet healthy. If you don’t have diabetes, you should talk to your doctor to make sure that he doesn’t have any other suggestions for you though. On the other hand, if you are diabetic, then you should definitely invest in these socks.

Got My Dad Some Diabetic Socks for His Aching Feet

June 26th, 2014by kara

diabetic-socksSo my dad has been suffering from diabetes for the longest time.  I’m lucky that I didn’t get it myself.  Anyways, dad always has foot problems because of diabetes.  They are always swollen and never seem to get enough circulation.  That is why i got my dad a couple dozen diabetic socks from http://www.wholesalediabeticsocks.com.  Diabetics often wear diabetic socks that control moisture levels to keep the skin dry and clean.

Diabetes is commonly known as high blood sugar because of increased glucose levels in the blood, which damages nerves and blood vessels needed for a healthy body. Diabetics can develop severe complications from even a simple cut. If care is not taken immediately, an ulcer can develop from the injury that could eventually lead to a limb amputation.

The blood circulation in the lower extremities can be improved by wearing diabetic socks. These socks control moisture and allow the skin of the feet to breathe and remain dry, which speeds healing of breaks in the skin.

Wearing shoes for long periods without the special socks can be harmful to diabetics, since moisture usually accumulates around the feet. Diabetics may not feel discomfort or pain from skin breaks or blisters because their feet are often numb due to nerve damage from the disease. Even small wounds can become a major problem that may result in surgery or even amputation if the wound will not heal.

Diabetic socks do not place pressure on the feet or skin, which makes them ideal for diabetics. The socks help prevent moist conditions that cause bacteria to thrive. Keeping the feet dry is one way to keep cuts,  wounds or blisters from becoming infected. For these reasons, it is important to keep moisture away from the feet and keep air circulating around them by not wearing tightly knit socks.

Experts designed diabetic socks to overcome the pressure of tight ordinary socks and their tendency to retain moisture. They are made from materials that were clinically tested, such as cotton, nylon and elastic fibers. They are very comfortable because
they do not exert pressure on the feet or lower legs.

Because these socks are designed to fit loosely, they do not impede circulation to the feet and legs. This means the blood can flow more easily because they do not constrict the blood vessels. While anyone can benefit from the socks, sports people, fitness enthusiasts and construction workers may find them particularly helpful, although they can help people who are house bound as well.

More than one type of diabetic socks can be found on the market, and consumers need to choose carefully to find the one that is best for the individual. Anyone coping with diabetes may want to consult with his or her healthcare professionals for advice. They have information on this product and can help in making the right choice. Diabetic shoes are also available and work on the same principal as the socks. For those who live in warm climates or experience excessive sweating of the feet, diabetic shoes may add another layer of comfort and protection for diabetics.

Consumers will find a variety of sizes and colors from which to choose when shopping for diabetic socks. There are sizes and designs for men, women and children. Different designs can also be found to suit individual tastes. Choices include dress socks, casual socks, crew socks, knee highs, low cut socks and ankle socks.  Diabetic socks are a great choice for school, work and sporting activities. Women can also choose compression socks for more formal occasions.

How To Pick The Right Wine for Dinner

April 9th, 2014by kara

pinotThere are various types of wine. You may believe that wine isn’t your thing; however, it’s possible that you just haven’t discovered your favorite wine. This article will help you with the rudiments of choosing wine so that the next time you have to choose a bottle, you’ll be more informed.

Pinot Grigio goes beautifully with seafood. The wine brings out the amazing flavor of seafood and vice versa. There are other white wines you could have with seafood. White wine and seafood can be a perfect match.

Learn about your wine shop. As you can imagine, each location differs significantly. Each shop has a different selection, pricing structure, and overall focus. If you’re a wine rookie, you may not do too well with stores that have pricey labels. Find a wine shop that fits you well.

Get a wine cellar when you’re trying to keep wine good and valuable when you buy it. Wine cellars are especially good for expensive wines that can’t be stored in normal places. Wine cellars are great for wine preservation and quality.

Avoid letting labels talking about sulfites scare you. Every wine contains sulfites, but only those produced in America have the warning. There is the occasional individual that is allergic to sulfite, but the majority of people will be just fine.

Red and white wines have their own separate style of glassware. Whites need a more fragile glass, while red wine can be served in normal wine glasses. But as an opposite, red wine is better when it is drunk from a wider glass. This allows more air into your glass to let the wine warm and boost the flavor.

Prior to storing wine away for long time periods, keep in mind that certain wines do not age well. It is best to determine if the variety of wine you purchased will stay useful if you store it, even in ideal conditions. Bordeaux is one wine known for aging quite well.

Buy a large selection of wines to have on hand. It is useful to keep a wide assortment. Keep around white, red and sparkling wines in many varieties for all occasions.

If you like to save mementos from your bottles of wine, peeling off the label carefully is important. A simple approach is to set the wine bottle in a hot oven and, using oven mitts, begin at the corner to peel back the label.

Sparkling wines and champagnes should be poured very cold. Drinking them around room temperature impedes their full flavors. Chill the champagne in your fridge for an hour or so prior to drinking it.

Select the right stemware for the wine you are serving. You must use stemware that’s clean and crisp, because it really can make the wine experience more pleasurable. Chipped stemware can be dangerous and outdated stemware that is dingy will not enhance your enjoyment of wine.

Celebrate with wines you enjoy. Many restaurants and bars promote certain brands, especially if they are celebrity related. Restaurants can charge as much as 20 times over the price for these wines. Therefore, just because a wine is expensive doesn’t always mean it’s better tasting. Drink what you like.

There is lots of wine information online about things like the flavors, types, people that serve it, and the years. Don’t think twice about printing these pages out and taking them with you as a reference. Research the wines you are interested in and ask the store employees for their recommendations to find a wine you like.

As you now know, the types of wines you have to choose from is vast, and it will take some time to really discover what you like. If you use this info, you can eventually be an expert. Enjoy drinking wine, but remember to do so responsibly.

If you haven’t seen this

January 15th, 2008by kara

you need to! There are several versions on YouTube but this one is my favorite. This is a video of Aaron Fotherinham, 14, displaying his skate skills and pulling off the world’s first back flip in a wheelchair. While I like to keep all four wheels on the ground, I admire this young person’s leadership in a relatively undeveloped sport and…it’s fun to watch! With even more focus on the Oscar Pistoriusstory today, do you think there’s hope for a sport like this one?

DC Recap and evidence of my productive weekend

July 17th, 2007by kara

I’m back from DC and readjusted to life-everything is unpacked, washed, and for the first time in *MONTHS* my e-mail inbox is completely cleared out and organized! It was a productive weekend. The NCIL conference was awesome! Wednesday was full of social gatherings topped off with the best steak house EVER-The Chop House in the Chinatown part of DC. It felt good to be in the presence of now longtime friends and around people working on the same goals. I roomed with my pal and chair of NYLN (National Youth Leadership Network) and her personal attendant, Sarah. We had a blast with our own “happy hours” complete with cheese, wine, and my new favorite food (thanks Sarah!) raw green beans! They are delicious-I was SO hooked-I had to rush out and get a bag yesterday and have been snacking here and there ever since! Other Wednesday highlights:

  • finally meeting longtime committee members and colleagues in the Disability Movement that I’ve been conversing with over the phone/email/IM/Internet for ages (like Joe and Everett-the two lucky fellas in this picture below).
  • And yet another highlight (which may seem a little stalker-like and non-important to the average folk)…as I pushed my suitcase into the hotel on Wednesday morning,

 greeted me and asked if I was leaving early. I could go on for days about Judy, but to keep it short and sweet, I consider her dedication to disability rights the primary reason I was admitted to public schools and able to receive a mainstreamed education. It’s a difficult feeling to put into words when you are in the presence of someone who doesn’t know your name, but who’s work directly allowed you to live the life you’ve led. On Thursday, I attended a leadership plenary and then geared up for my presentation. It’s still available for download below and I think the workshop went really well! I’m most excited by the insightful questions that were raised and even the communications after my presentation. THREE Independent Living Center employees have agreed to facilitate Sexability Trainings. So now the real fun begins! I’m going to work to standardize the training for the facilitators more carefully and meet with professors next week about potential research on these groups and their participants. Thursday night we celebrated the 25th anniversary of NCIL with a formal banquet and listening to the most amazing stories from Judy Huemann on the 504 sit-ins which were the longest takeover of a federal building in American history of ANY civil rights group. As the people with disabilities protested in the building for 27!!Disappointed days, the Black Panthers, Safeway, and McDonalds donated food (finally a reason to eat Chicken Nuggets!). After Judy, Marca Bristo shared her stories of the midnight march to the White House with hundreds of people with disabilities in their pajamas. This unspoken historical event marked a turning point for the passing of ADA. IT was such an honor to hear these parts of my history-straight from the mouths of the trail blazers themselves.The rest of the night was spent talking interspersed with some meager attempts at dancing. It was a little difficult to concentrate with the DJ’s seriousness as he led numerous line dances in his glittery-sequined vest and full-fledged mullet! Here’s one last pic of me and my friend Stacey. She sold the T-shirt I’m wearing for her NC youth organization. It says, “Disability is my culture.” Super cute, huh? This pic was shortly after our Photoshop party where I showed her how I used actions-she’s WAY better then me at on the creative side of Photoshoppin (yeah yeah I admit defeat in our year-long PS War)so I savored the moment to show her how I press a button!

One last bit for this entry…I’ve created not one but TWO layouts over the weekend. First, a calendar page to get my motivation rolling for 2008. Juliana Gordon was nice enough to entrust her awesome calendar brushes into my care for testing. They are available here. Here’s what I came up with…An added bonus was THE Shabby Princess even commented on my layout-SO honored bout that!

Credits HERE And last…I created the layout below for the GMD blog challenge. I had to use a picture of JUST me and at least one flower. So, I definitely met those requirements! This one is my favorite layout so far.

To home and back again

July 7th, 2007by kara

After another enlightening trip through the Ft. Lauderdale airport, I made it home and have officially caught up on life as I know it. Rather than ramble on about my trip, I thought it might be more fun to share it in pictures. I spent forever editing them…just a little wild and crazy Friday night fun! So~here’s the update!

On my first night in Kentucky, I went to visit Maxton…he’s only 5 days old here! Needless to say, he was/is adorable and fun to hold and watch sleep. Can’t say he did much else for the couple hours I was there, but that was quite enough!

The next day we picked up Maxton’s two big sisters for some gardening fun–Introducing Frankfort’s newest landscapers! I highly recommend them for their entertainment value, but they have an interesting stomping technique that is a little questionable! So far, the flower are still (barely) alive!

Friday was the big event-a celebration for my brother Nick’s new job and graduation with his Masters degree. We partied from sun up to sun down with over 6o people-I was a little frenzied to try and catch up with so many at once but it was a blast!

Mernie helped set up for the party, played a quick game of cornhole, and chatted in the backyard. Out of everyone in the world, I think I’m most like my Mernie…which is definitely a good thing!

Just thought these were pretty. I guess my mom did too because looking through her pic’s she took the same one (from her tall walker perspective of course). I “popped” the colors with Holly’s actions in Photoshop. 

Katie is an awesome kid! Not only is she my cousin:-) and so pretty, but she amazes me with her sensitivity and reflectiveness! She spent alot of the night catching fireflies or rescuing them from the pool and making sure they could fly ok again before freeing them.

I can’t ever get enough of Livi~already miss these two girls very much:-( But no need to fear-there’s more Shannon fun to come…keep reading.

Before that though, Nick and my cousin Jerry laid some new carpet in the football fieldhouse…While they labored away, Jenna (Nick’s girlfriend), my mom, Jennifer (Jerry’s wife), baby Jerry, and me loaded up in a huge red truck and went shopping. Somewhere along the way, there was some confusion as to where we went….Nick straightened everyone out with the bare essential facts, “A bunch of women got in a truck and went shopping.” I guess that’s all anyone really needed to know! Here’s baby Jerry pumped after his meal at Longhorn. Just seconds earlier he was falling asleep eating a fry!

One more night with the huge Sheridan family gang minus just a few…We got together at Jane’s to say goodbye to my New York family members…Here’s my Dad, Nick, and me.

On my last night in Frankfort, I had dinner with Shannon and Amanda…good times had by all. For some reason, Shannon’s car brings out an urge for backseat picture-taking so here’s one of many.

Whew….little did I know uploading would take another century but I think that is a good visual tour of my trip EXCEPT for one special outing which I’m going to reserve for it’s own blog (because I have more to say about it AND I’m exhausted from all this retro blogging). My 4th pictures are nonexistent because I was flying that day…we celebrated with fireworks on the 2nd but my camera became noncompliant at times towards the end of the trip. I had such a great break from the chaos of Miami and a much needed dose of love from familiy and friends. Glad to be home but also still missing home…

Kara

Haven’t fallen off the blogging wagon

July 2nd, 2007by kara

…just making the most of my rest and relaxation with friends and family here in Kentucky. Since I got home, I’ve been SO busy that I haven’t even had a minute to check e-mail or catch up on ANY of my favorite blogs/disability news sites…The wheeler world could be forming a giant coup to overtake the planet and I’d be left in the dark because I’m truly THAT out of the loop. But I must admit-I’m kind of enjoying it! Summer is so much more summer-like here, complete with cookouts, corn hole games, and lightning bugs. I’ve been taking tons of pictures and saving several fun stories to share when I make my full return in a few short days!

Among the highlights that I’m planning to blog about:

  • how I commandeered a vehicle to transport me, a Smart Cart, my luggage, AND my service dog, Bailey, to our airport terminal after we were informed EVERY other transportation option “didn’t take wheelchairs”  I have written about this already, but it’s currently in secret limbo and I’ll disclose whether/where I will be blogging about it soon!
  • the world’s most frightening ramp: The Charlotte airport took a metal platform, balanced it on the door frame of the plane and to the ground and called it a “ramp”…it was humorous, dangerous, and impossible.
  • my brother, Nick’s, backyard extravaganza (not to be confused with a graduation party) to celebrate his first job as a teacher and assistant football coach). tomorrow’s Kentucky OI girls’ reunion! (I’m meeting some friends for dinner who also have  my condition, O.I. (Osteogenesis Imperfecta). We’ve known each other for life!
  • what happened when “a bunch of girls got in a truck and went shopping”
  • and whatever other adventures crop up between now and my dreaded exodus home to Miami.

I might pop in before I head home but no promises just yet. In case I miss you, Happy Fourth of July! It’s one of my favorite holidays:-)

Proud to be an American (even after watching the documentary Sicko),

Kara

Packing my blog for Kentucky

June 26th, 2007by kara

Despite my eager excitement and believe-it-or-not extensive planning for my trip to Kentucky-it never fails that I am extremely busy and somewhat frantic on the day before my flight. So, this will be short-very short hopefully. I leave in a few hours and still need to sleep! BUT I’ve spent tonight burning all my graphic files, important e-mails, and other goodies that I’ll need to keep up with blogging at home. OH! and yesterday I watched Sicko, the new Michael Moore movie. It’s amazing, quite depressing, but something we should all see. I’ll review it in length at home because I’m taking it to KY and will probably watch it again with the fam:-) Talk to you when I land in Bluegrass Country. Goodnight!

Wheels of shopping 101

June 11th, 2007by kara

As a little person and someone who prefers the seated position in life, shopping for clothes can definitely be challenging…Recently, it’s been most difficult to find professional attire that is mature, yet not frumpy. I work with children and adolescents, so whether I like it or not-appearance does matter! And I actually do like it~I generally enjoy shopping (mostly looking) and I like creating an image that at least somewhat matches my personality. I’ve accepted the fact that to get some hard-to-find items to fit, I might have to make the additional investment and test my patience by getting dress slacks or pantsuits altered. Even with that realization-it’s tricky! But alas, that shall not be the topic of today’s wheeler shopping ramblings. Did you note the 101 reference? Saturday’s goals for my shopping excursion at Target were slighly less lofty than the ever-pressing search for professional attire. Then again, an adventure was to be had because I was on the hunt for a swim suit-a 2 piece at that! Surprisingly -I found one! Here it is:

Getting a one-piece that works for me is really pretty easy-or else I might’ve had to find another sport! Two-pieces are another story but I’ve found a few approaches that work when trying to track down certain pieces of clothing for my not-so-average body:

1. Go at it alone!I have to try on at least 10 to 1 before anything even somewhat works. I tend to feel so rushed, that I’m a little more patient with the process if I’m the only one suffering.

2. Look with the intention to alter, change, snip, sew.This suit’s halter doesn’t limit me to the “normal” measurements of other clasps or pre-sewn ties. The little bows on the bottom are deceiving because you can’t really adjust them. But, if I need to sew the sides-these will cover that up.

3. Price matters: With some clothing purchases, I can rationalize something that is pricey because it’s SO hard for me to find…but I just don’t wear a two-piece that often anymore and I’m pretty rough on them when I do with my river/boat/general pool frolics! Also, alteration always has to be considered as an additional price.

4. Venture outside the usual sections.I can’t count how many years my mom begged me to at least try the petites section and I vehemently refused because I felt like that part of the store was so dated! Just recently, I’ve ventured into the section. Still only a few times, but I’m getting there! I always look in the kids’ section, sometimes in the juniors, and rarely in the women’s…I found this lil skirt in Target’s girls’ section. It’s actual the right length for my height and kids’ clothes are always cheaper:-)

5. Remember you can wear something completely different than how others might! My friend, Angel (a fellow little person and one my all-time favorite shopping partners), introduced me to this concept when she showed me several of her adorable dresses that were actually made/sold as the long shirts that are really popular right now. Try to disregard the advertisement’s or model’s portrayal of how the item will look and give it a chance on you. This new green dress from Target’s women’s department (definitely a rare place for me to find anything other than a purse!) actually worked for me! The length is different on me (longer). The print is bigger since I’m pretty small, so I had beware of the tablecloth effect-but it was a success! I’m planning to wear it to a party on Friday to celebrate the end of a successful school year with the treatment program I’ve worked on since August AND it shall debut to my Frankfort folk at my brother’s graduation party in a couple weeks.

Why did I decide to write about my random trip to Target over the weekend? Well, I think issues like fashion, shopping, budgeting, and appearance have a genuinely important place in the disability world…Yeah I totally get that our most talented advocates are super busy taking on issues like employment, healthcare, and the right to independent living. Inclusion into society has to do with more than policies, protests, and harsh criticisms of everything that is wrong. Sometimes, we need to stop and take a moment to realize that we can learn a great deal from each other that can help make the little things in life more enjoyable. I’d love to know what approaches other people with similar/different disabilities take when dealing with the sometimes daunting task of shopping. Maybe some walker friends have ideas for what might work too!  Feel free to share:-) Happy shopping!

Dear Mr. President

June 4th, 2007by kara

Have you heard this song before? It’s by Pink-very fitting for my feminist romping in the last few days I think:-) It’s about taking a walk with good ole George W himself and talking with him about issues like the war in Iraq, education, prisons, homelessness, and women’s rights. I think it would actually be really helpful if our President did get a chance to take a walk stroll with young people today and just listen to their thoughts, concerns, dreams, and fears. Even better would be if somehow he could attend things-like social justice events-but not as himself because then everyone would have an agenda, they’d definitely be uptight and all overly concerned, but just as a regular fella and just hear people’s sincerity about the challenges in the world for women, minorities, children, families, etc. There was a fair bit of Bush-bashing going on over the conference. I’m definitely no fan, but it got me thinking about how it’s unfortunate that our leader can’t see more of what I feel like are Americans at their best-either passionately expressing their beliefs of loving their families and getting by day to day. I guess the closest we can come to this would be to ensure that our President ALREADY got a large dose of these experiences before he or she is elected. Just a little political pondering since I was flying home tonight during the political debate.

Oh my flight was good. A note to the not-so-wise walkers of the world: Your approach to exiting a plane is completely inefficient! Take a hint from the wheelers in tight places and traveling in groups: wait your turn, be patient, help those around you, keep moving once you’ve started, and don’t push!

Goodnight all! I’m a bit saddened as I feel I missed my weekend-tomorrow is my catch-up day so hopefully I’ll recover.