People with Diabetes
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Aged 10

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Aged 10 Philip at the age of diagnosis, with his cousin Aged 17, with his mother
Aged 18 Aged 27
 
 
Interview 10 Philip

Person with diabetes
Born in St. Alban's in 1938.
Diagnosed Type 1 in St. Alban's in 1947


Overview: Philip was diagnosed aged 9 and considers that it`s better to get diabetes young, when the body is more adaptable. He attended a grammar school, and regrets that he often used diabetes as an excuse to miss school. He left at 16, but acquired more qualifications later and became a successful accountant. His diabetes was well controlled and caused little trouble for most of his life, until he began to get early morning hypos a few years ago. (He finds the term `hypo` unhelpful, since it`s used to refer to anything from a mild sensation to complete unconsciousness.)

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 08 June 2004

 Short samples

1 He was diagnosed a year before the National Health Service was created in 1948, and remembers that it was hard for his mother to pay for his visits to the doctor, when she hadn’t got a job, and his father was on a low income [ 35 secs ]

2 Philip moved to Oxford in 1980 and remembers that, as diabetes became more common, the number of diabetic clinics increased. This has had one major drawback [ 53 secs ]

 
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01 Born 1938 & brought up Watford area. Father worked for brewery. Started school at 3 because advanced in reading & writing.
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02 Life normal until diabetes aged 9. GP, then hospital in St. Albans. Medical notes said diagnosis `46, but discovered was `47, from letter found years later.
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03 In hospital 3 weeks. Kept in bed: insulin dosage based on immobility, so had to be adjusted when left hospital.
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04 Nurse taught injections. Soluble insulin twice daily. Urine testing with Benedict`s solution. Food measure in carbohydrate units. (Later, calories & exchanges.) Weighed food, but later mother could judge without weighing.
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05 No deliberate hypo, but warnings of symptoms. Glucose water. At school came home for lunch. Sugar before sport. Teachers sympathetic. No problems with pupils
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06 Mother tested urine 3 times daily, kept strict diet, joined Diabetic Association, read books. No clinic in St Albans. GP suggested more insulin. Mother not happy: took me to UCH, London. In for 2 weeks. Re-stabilised on new insulin Globulin plus soluble.
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07 UCH seemed more expert than St. Alban`s.
Before NHS founded in `48, paid GP – hardship for family.
Strict regime seemed best at time.
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08 Adjust food intake from experience.
Went to St Albans grammar. Free bus pass. Took sandwiches. Not kept late for misbehaviour. Didn`t do energetic sports.
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09 Award for boy who`d progressed despite setbacks. GP advised no rugby. Didn`t mind different treatment.
Didn`t smoke or drink.
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10 Stayed off school too much.
Left before 6th form. Job as junior accounts clerk in local government.
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11 5 years in Rickmansworth Urban District Council. Diabetes well controlled. Did cycle speedway. Best not to tell people re diabetes. Never had serious hypo.
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12 Only unconscious 4 times. Dislike term ‘hypo` – means different things.
Few colleagues knew.
Went to Watford diabetic clinic. Didn`t see GP for about 30 years. Good control.
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13 6 years with Elstree local authority finance. Cycled to work . Table tennis. Stopped cycling `65 when moved job. Careful with diet. Worked Harrow then Watford. Married `68.
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14 Wife not bothered by diabetes. When first knew her, in `66, re-stabilised, 2 weeks at Watford Hospital. Soluble & PZI. Not kept in bed! Still measured calories, but less strict.
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15 Became auditor at Univ. College, London in `69 for 4 years. 1st child born `72. Became finance officer at Westminster Medical School `73. Saw consultants there. Problems with gums.
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16 All teeth out in my mid 30s – a shock. Only bad thing that has happened.
Left London `80.
Don`t need to test sugar levels: know what they are.
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17 Doctors say “you know more than I do.” Diabetes affects people differently. I never adjust diet. Rarely adjust insulin. Take glucose tablets for table tennis. Example of Steve Redgrave.
Better to get diabetes young because body adapts.
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18 Moved to Oxford. Radcliffe. Changed to Velosulin & Insulatard. Less interest in diet at hospital.
7 years ago, started hypos.
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19 My records showed increase in Insulatard. Problem just being sorted now. Changed insulins. Can become resistant to insulins & injection sites.
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20 After 1980, more diabetics & more clinic sessions. Disadvantage - different doctor every time. Specialist nurses good.
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21 Diabetes controlled, but other problems after age 60 – stomach, prostate, warts, blood pressure, eye problems unrelated to diabetes. Feet fine.
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22 Just changed to Lanthus & NovoRapid.
Retired.
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23 Adjusting to new insulins in daily life.
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24 More on adjusting to new insulins.
Major improvements – adjusting diet & insulin; medical staff expect you to cope without supervision.
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25 Patient is the expert. Medics have better attitude. Shorter waiting times.
Recent disagreement with doctor.
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26 I try to look after myself, but not mention diabetes. Diabetes a bit restrictive, but I`ve done what I want.
Advice – understand; follow advice; do what you want.
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Transcript
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