Dallas Cowboys

Diabetic Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Wilson fine after toe amputation

Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach Wade Wilson has type 1 diabetes.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach Wade Wilson has type 1 diabetes. Star-Telegram

When the story eventually gets told of things the Dallas Cowboys have had to overcome this season, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson's story will likely be a note at best.

Quarterback Tony Romo's fractured back and receiver Dez Bryant's fractured knee have been the headlines.

But when it comes to life and death, there's arguably nothing more important than the surgery Wilson had before the start of the season to amputate the second toe on his right foot.

The toe had been infected due to complications with his diabetes. It got so bad he had to be hospitalized for two days during training camp in August, when he received antibiotics and was forced to wear a walking boot for a week.

That was in early August.

He had another setback when the Cowboys returned to Dallas and found himself suffering again.

He didn't make the trip to Aug. 25 preseason game at the Seattle Seahawks because he was in the hospital.

So on the same weekend that it was announced that Romo would be out 8-10 weeks because of a broken bone in his back suffered against the Seahawks, Wilson underwent surgery to amputate his toe.

"I had an infection and it kept getting worse," Wilson said. "It was driving me crazy laying in the hospital bed. I said let's get rid of that thing. I'm good now. I'm doing everything I did before."

Wilson considers himself lucky and fortunate, as he should.

He has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years.

Per a 2014 Center for Disease Control Diabetes statistics report, 29.1 million people or 9.3 percent of the United States population have diabetes.

In 2010, about 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in adults aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes. About 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations among people aged 20 years or older occur in people with diagnosed diabetes.

Even more gloomy is that diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States in 2010 based on the 69,071 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. In 2010, diabetes was mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 234,051 certificates.

Wilson said he is appreciative that amputating a toe is all he had sacrifice.

"No doubt," Wilson said. "It could have been worse. It still can be. I'm on it now."

Wilson said he hasn't talked a lot about the amputation because of the role he played in the situation. He wasn't taken care of himself, thus letting the infection get worse.

"I've got to take care of myself better," Wilson said. "I try to be a positive role model. I don't want to be negative role model. I have to take better care of myself. It got infected. I waited to long to do something about it and it got too bad. I should have been better about it. Now I'm going to be better."

Wilson plans to continue to do better.

Per the CDC, people can prevent most of the complications with diabetes by keeping your blood glucose (blood sugar) under control, eating healthy, being physically active, working with your health care provider to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control, and getting necessary screening tests.

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