I think I've mentioned in the past that I have had type 1 diabetes for 47 years, and the wheels are beginning to fall off the wagon, quite literally. I suffer from several complications, including neuropathy and nephropathy in my extremities. Back about 2005 I was in serious danger of losing some toes or possibly a foot, but due to some very good care, I got everything back.
The morning after we landed at London, when we were getting ready to get on the plane for Paris, my daughter called to me that I might have hurt my foot, as there was blood on the bathroom floor. I discovered that my right big toe was bleeding, and that the nail had detached itself and was sliding around on my toe as I touched it. Jennifer had some bandaids in her travel bag, and tied it up.
In Paris the next day we went to a Pharmacy, and I had to explain to a pharmacist who didn't speak a word of English what the problem was, and that I needed some bandaging and antiseptic lotion. (I couldn't remember the word for 'toe', so I said 'doigts de mon pied,' (fingers of my foot) which the pharmacist nodded at, and turned out to be the right term.) She sold me some bandaging similar to the Elastoplast dressing strips, and a small antiseptic spray. We rebandaged my toes and soldiered on. The pharmacist was really cute, BTW. If I need medication in Paris again, I'm going back there.
I considered my options. I could fly back home, and ruin our trip, leaving Jennifer alone (not that that's a problem for her,) go to a French hospital, without out-of-country insurance (my retirement health benefits haven't come through yet,) wait to go to an English hospital as in the past I've gotten help in British hospitals without being charged other than for drugs, or tough it out, take care of it as best I can, and go to a hospital if my toes start to turn black.
I decided on the latter course, as my foot didn't hurt (and still doesn't.) We did a lot of walking, and subsequently I started to have a problem with my second toe, which I also bandaged.
We left England on Thursday, 12 days after the problem appeared, and on Friday I went to the local wound clinic, where I know the entire staff by their first names, and the doctor had a look, told me it was a mess, told me I wasn't flying to Seattle, put me on a strong dosage of antibiotics, bandaged my foot so I can't wear regular shoes and told me to lie back with my foot elevated and see him on Monday. He did say there was a slight chance I might lose the leg, but that it was very slight. Strangely, this didn't worry me.
Monday, he said the wound was much improved, had it rebandaged and told me to keep the same regimen at home as I already was. I'm seeing him tomorrow, and we'll see how this progresses.
I did everything right up to finding the problem. I wore my orthotics, diabetic socks, correct shoes, and didn't walk unusually far. It may have been a bit stupid to not seek medical attention, but I didn't want to be laid up, and in my own risk-benefit assessment, I figured the chance of losing a limb was low enough to go ahead with the trip. So far, so good.