People with Diabetes
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With her daughter a few months before diagnosis

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With her daughter a few months before diagnosis Jeanette, 2004
 
 
Interview 20 Jeanette

Person with diabetes
Born in Malvern in 1947.
Diagnosed Type 1 in Worcester in 1969


Overview: Jeanette left school at 15 and worked in one of the first supermarkets in Malvern, where she met her husband. They married when she was 17 and had two children. During her second pregnancy, she had high glucose levels, but it wasn`t until a year later that she was diagnosed with diabetes and admitted to hospital for 5 weeks. She continued to use a glass syringe until c.2002. She feels that diabetes has caused her few problems, but she had to give up work because of osteoarthritis at the age of 44.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 05 October 2004

 Short samples

1 When she was diagnosed, she found the hospital staff very helpful, but couldn’t face injecting herself with the glass syringe and large needle [ 57 secs ]

2 Neither she nor her husband earned very much and they couldn’t afford a child-minder, so they took it in turns to take care of their children – but that left little time to take care of Jeanette’s diabetes [ 43 secs ]

 
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01 Dad factory-worker. Parents worked for RRE, Malvern. I went to same schools as my children in Malvern. Left at nearly 15. Worked in one of 1st supermarkets.
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02 Aged 15, met husband. Did various jobs. Married at 17. Had son then daughter. During 2nd pregnancy sugar noted. Thought might go away, but still there 12 months later.
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03 Thirsty. Lost weight. GP called – surprised I hadn`t gone into coma.
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04 Admitted Ronkswood Hospital. Reluctant to inject, self-pity - only 21. Husband said selfish leaving family, so I injected.
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05 Glass syringes cracked when boiled. Huge painful needles. Still have scars from mistakes. Tested urine with strips. When 1st started doing blood tests, awful spring-loaded equipment.
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06 In hospital 5 weeks. Thought I`d learnt a lot, but learnt far more since – knowing own body. Hard to find time for diabetes with small children.
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07 Hospital dietician was diabetic. Advised no special diabetic foods. Didn`t weigh food, but counted grams & still do. Could tell by looking. Some foods regarded as “free”. Still got 1969 diet book.
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08 Medical staff said diet important. I don`t alter insulin amount except when ill.
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09 Did paid jobs in day, husband worked nights, shared childcare. Forgot to eat snacks. Twice forgot injections.
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10 Our parents worked, couldn`t afford child-minder: non-stop childcare, paid work, cooking & housework. Had 1st hypo cleaning floor…
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11 …had sugary tea.
Husband good. We grew up with children - lucky to be with them. Eventually bought TV.
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12 Husband calm re diabetes. Parents shocked – no family history. Niece & brother diagnosed since. Hospital said cause could be shock – hearing of grandmother`s death?
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13 Learnt energetic activity caused hypos. Worked in busy kitchen: took sugar cubes. Never unconscious. Better warnings on animal than human insulin.
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14 If blood tests not good, called back to hospital in 3 months; if good, only 6 months. Doctors good. Sometimes ticked me off – said test more often – too busy.
Test good now.
Nurses weren`t specialists: just did urine test & weighing.
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15 Aged 44, leg & back pains. Fell at work. Doctor said give up gym & stay off work. Returned to work. Fell again. Returned to GP…
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16 Stopped work aged 44. Devastated & lonely. Hadn`t let diabetes stop anything – had learnt to swim & drive – so determined not to let osteoarthritis stop me. Did voluntary work until had to stop driving.
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17 Helped at granddaughter`s school. Have lots of health problems – diabetes doesn`t mix well with them. Lucky no diabetic complications except numbness in feet.
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18 2 or 3 years ago, changed to Mixtard pen from glass syringe – nurse amazed I was still using it.
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19 Could kick myself for not using pen before – thought it wouldn`t work with mixture.
Only see diabetic doctors yearly. See GP more…
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20 …helpful. Go for things other than diabetes.
No bad medical experiences.
Love grandchildren, but life boring.
When children small they thought all grownups inject. Grandchildren take no notice.
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21 Diabetes hasn`t made difference. Other problems came later in life. Family keeps me going. Message: lead normal life. Medical help limited: control diabetes yourself.
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Transcript
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Extras
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