February 1st was “World Leprosy Day” and I confess, I did not have that on my calendar. I have actually seen a patient in the wound center with leprosy. It’s endemic in Texas and about 200 new cases are reported each year.
I thought the way that the leprosy awareness campaign was run was interesting (focusing on combating myths about a disease), and it occurred to me that we should do the same thing to raise awareness of diabetic foot ulcer amputation, chronic limb ischemia, pyoderma gangrenosum, and lots of problems that are more common that leprosy but about which there is still a high level of ignorance, even among physicians.
We learned most of what we know about off-loading diabetic foot ulcers from the neuropathy of leprosy and we learned much of what we know about both from the late Dr. Paul Brand. I still treasure a cassette tape series of his lectures, which made the long hours of my commute to the medical center joyful instead of frustrating.
I thought I’d share these two lectures of his which I found on You Tube. One is about The Gift of Pain. If you have not read his book by the same title, then you have missed a chance to be enlightened and uplifted.
Here’s “The Father of the diabetic foot: Dr. Paul Brand discusses the psychology of the person with diabetes.” This is a MUST for anyone who treats patients with diabetic neuropathy.
We may have missed World Leprosy Day, but listening to Dr. Brand is the cure for physician burnout any day.