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|01 Born 1938 & brought up Watford area. Father worked for brewery. Started school at 3 because advanced in reading & writing.|
|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.|
|03 In hospital 3 weeks. Kept in bed: insulin dosage based on immobility, so had to be adjusted when left hospital.|
|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.|
|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|
|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.|
|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.
|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.
|09 Award for boy who`d progressed despite setbacks. GP advised no rugby. Didn`t mind different treatment. |
Didn`t smoke or drink.
|10 Stayed off school too much. |
Left before 6th form. Job as junior accounts clerk in local government.
|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.|
|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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.
|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.
|18 Moved to Oxford. Radcliffe. Changed to Velosulin & Insulatard. Less interest in diet at hospital. |
7 years ago, started hypos.
|19 My records showed increase in Insulatard. Problem just being sorted now. Changed insulins. Can become resistant to insulins & injection sites.|
|20 After 1980, more diabetics & more clinic sessions. Disadvantage - different doctor every time. Specialist nurses good.|
|21 Diabetes controlled, but other problems after age 60 – stomach, prostate, warts, blood pressure, eye problems unrelated to diabetes. Feet fine.|
|22 Just changed to Lanthus & NovoRapid. |
|23 Adjusting to new insulins in daily life.|
|24 More on adjusting to new insulins. |
Major improvements – adjusting diet & insulin; medical staff expect you to cope without supervision.
|25 Patient is the expert. Medics have better attitude. Shorter waiting times. |
Recent disagreement with doctor.
|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.