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|01 Born Vienna, 1931. Parents separated when aged 3. Father Jewish. Mother & I had to leave when Nazis invaded. Left after 8th birthday.|
|02 Went to Switzerland, then to England. Mother did domestic work for Oxford history professor. |
|03 Had been well-off, but not in England. I went to live with father & step-mother in refugee hostel in Surrey. When ill, they thought I was naughty.|
|04 Father & stepmother interned, so mother came to hostel. I drank 24 glasses of milk at party. Went to GP. Straight to East Surrey Hospital. Coma. In hospital 2 or 3 weeks. Accepted need for injections. |
|05 Not in bed. Lawrence Line diet. Extra wartime rations. |
Took scales to Guide camp but not used.
|06 Cake at Guide camp. Gradually abandoned strict diet during teens. Lots of exercise. |
At age 9, lost consciousness. Mother not warned re hypos.
In hospital, tested urine with Benedict`s solution. Later used tablets, but reluctant to test in teens.
Mother did injections until delayed by air raid…
|07 …& I did injections from then on. (Husband taught but doesn`t do them.) |
Stole cakes. Mother became matron of hostel for ill evacuees, so I didn`t feel different. (At previous school, before diagnosed, girls said I smelled.)
|08 Put on insulin twice daily. Before diagnosis, constantly went to loo. I look ill in photo on boat to England. Finally diagnosed 1940. |
After diagnosis, no problems at private school.
|09 2 years at grammar school in Reigate. Mother moved to run hostel in Croydon. I moved to Croydon grammar. |
|10 Mother moved back to Reigate. I moved to Reigate Grammar sixth-form. Often ill. Afraid of leaving mother alone to go to university, so got job.|
|11 At Reigate Grammar, diabetes no problem, but prevented spontaneity. (Another diabetic pupil attacked teachers during hypo.) |
At diagnosis, mother thought I`d die. People impressed she let me go to Guide camp. She was neurotic.
|12 Turned down for lab technician job at East Surrey Hospital on grounds of diabetes. Got job at King`s Hospital, London: long hours. (Had been treated at King`s since diagnosis. Met RD Lawrence. Appendix out later…|
|13 …in well-run diabetic ward. Blood testing long process. Did as I was told.)|
|14 When started work at King`s, put on long-lasting insulin once a day – bad idea. Unbalanced – beginning of current problems. |
Loved work in laboratories. Did final exam in haematology.
|15 After 5 or 6 years, moved to Hammersmith Hospital. Hated it. Resigned. Moved to small Ealing hospital. Exams in bacteriology. Became senior technician. Went out with artist husband-to-be for 7 years, then married in `68 & moved to Oxford.|
|16 Job in bacteriology at Radcliffe Hospital, then John Radcliffe. They made no allowances for diabetes & I fought to get lunch hour. |
|17 Became chief technologist. Taught staff. Specialised in fungi. |
Became breathless playing oboe and…
|18 …had heart attack in `84. Off work for 6 months. Difficult to persuade consultant to take me back.|
|19 Worked for 4 more years, despite angina. Arteries in legs furred up. Heel debrided. Retired aged 57. |
Colleagues always aware of diabetes, but not bothered.
Medical students didn`t want to marry diabetic…
|20 …part cause of late marriage. (Other cause, mother`s dependence.) Met husband through playing chamber music. Husband not bothered by diabetes.|
|21 Didn`t want children. In `68, told I`d have to spend 6 months in hospital before birth.|
|22 Retired in `88 because of feet. Nurse came to home. Moved house. Tried playing different musical instruments.|
|23 Played cello until broke shoulder.|
|24 Had physiotherapy, but had to give up playing – devastating. Developed Clostridium difficile. Began active gardening. Joined history society.|
|25 Good retirement. Podiatrist at diabetic clinic wonderful. Plastic surgeon operated on ankle. Feet much better since…|
|26 …operation. Clostridium difficile returned - in hospital for 3 weeks. Previously in hospital for heel & heart attack. Have also been in for angioplasties. Can still walk.|
|27 Neuropathy. Cataracts. Kidneys all right.|
|28 Have known more type 2 than type 1. Don`t know of any diabetes in family.|
|29 Skin not bad. Changed from testing in fingers to legs & arms. |
Never had diabetic nurse until about a year ago. Nurses more practical than doctors. Doctors vary greatly.
|30 More senior doctors willing to answer questions. |
Diabetes has affected life in many ways.
|31 Now harder to keep body active, but keep mind active. |
Began Glargine recently. Currently not well balanced. Asked for insulin pump…
|32 …told must go on course first. On waiting list. Already know a lot. Balance hard when out for meal. |
Advice: don`t pretend diabetes isn`t there. Not a normal life, but can lead full life.