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|01 Born Sutton Coldfield, 1948. Father bank-manager, mother clerk. Private school. GP referred to Birmingham Children`s Hospital. Told re sweet things & urine test. Mother taught to inject – I didn`t want to. After 6 months, mother ill & I injected.|
|02 Taunted by friend because couldn`t eat sweets. Family members connected diabetes with mental problem. Aunt made custard without sugar! Insulin mixture once daily. 20-30 mins exercise twice daily.|
|03 Hated skipping. Urine test 3 times daily. Mother weighed food exactly. |
At school until 18. Worked at BHS.
|04 Enjoyed cooking. Sat 11+ underage: teacher accompanied me in case ill. Failed because missed work in hospital. Passed following year. LEA said diabetic not suitable for girls` grammar. Parents objected. Headteacher sorry because her sister diabetic.|
|05 Sat while other girls ate puddings. No prejudice. Didn`t swim. Only diabetic in school. Hid diabetes. Socialising hard because of equipment. Boyfriend dropped me because of diabetes.|
|06 1959, mother suggested future career as shop assistant – less stressful for diabetic. I wanted to be teacher. Parents studied diabetes. Great grandma died of it before insulin. Maybe mine brought on by trauma…|
|07 …nearly run over. |
Children`s Hospital encouraged ambition, when diabetics not expected to have profession. Very sad to leave hospital at 17.
|08 Syringe boiling on Saturday night. Didn`t go out for long. |
Expected prejudice re going to university, but none.
|09 Around 1965, developed eating disorder: low self-esteem after boyfriend dropped me. Better by 1968. Later, decided I wasn`t diabetic & ate what I liked. In hospital for 10 days in…|
|10 …1973. Fine at college: medical staff there good. After college, started teaching.|
|11 In 1970, difficulty in getting life insurance policy. |
Taught 8-9-year olds. Diabetes fitted well with timetable. Head teacher didn`t want diabetic pupil. Now pupils know about it from relatives & bring me sugary drinks.
|12 Recently showed insulin pen to class.|
|13 Head didn`t want diabetic pupil c. 1994. 4 years before, she`d tried to sack me after I`d had ambulance for hypo. I complained. Head apologised.|
|14 I`m “brittle”. Around 1990 changed to 2 injections Actrapid & Monotard. Plastic syringes a godsend. About 4 years go changed to 4 injections Humalog & Glargine. Glargine from USA eagerly anticipated. Now adjust insulin to eat what I want.|
|15 Confidence increased from college onwards. Told consultant. |
Bought early BM Test Glycaemie. Recently bought Accucheck: should have had it before. At first, GP unable to supply cartridges. Gives freedom.
On Actrapid no warnings of hypos: ambulance crews knew me well!
|16 Now Glucogen in fridge. Perspiration warns of hypo. |
Medical treatment always marvellous: Children`s Hospital; General Hospital; private consultants since 1976.
Diabetics were “special”…
|17 …now run of the mill. |
Allergy to animal insulin led to fat build-up – removed 1980.
Cataract operations 2001/2. Few problems. Well cared for.
|18 Diabetes didn`t stop teaching. Maybe stopped having children: in 1970s thought bad idea. In 1980s: “why haven`t you?” But worse things than diabetes.|
|19 Diabetes encourages responsibility. |
Former husband good re diabetes. Current partner marvellous. Sometimes hypo causes aggression: he copes.
|20 I lead normal life. Doctor promises medal – should be for younger people. |
Diabetic nurse and I both confessed we inject through trousers – made us laugh!