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|01 Born Ireland, 1941. Arrived England 1948. Catholic school, Headington (Oxford) until 15. Worked University Press. Met husband there. Married at 18. Parents Irish. Father in army, then car works. Mother cleaner-cum-cook. Poor. No-one had car or TV, but free…|
|02 No muggers. Roamed with 4 brothers. Walk to church. Few buses. Couldn`t afford fare. School bus. More exercise than children today. Dad worked nights & cooked while Mum worked.|
|03 Boiled food. No additives. Organic. Cooked breakfasts fried in dripping. Nuns made us eat school dinners.|
|04 At home no sit-down lunch. Mum made cake-a-bread. Bacon, cabbage, colcannon. Catholic – but I`ve lapsed. Mum thought school should have fish on Fridays – at home, boiled eggs.|
|05 Joined University Press, 1957, folding & bundling paper. Operators were men. Met husband there. Started going out, aged 15.|
|06 Cinema. Little money. His father truck driver. We married 1960, rented flat.|
|07 I worked shifts, husband days, at Press. Moved to Press flat. Moved again before son born (40 now). 2nd son born 3 years later. I`d given up work: times hard. Moved here (Jericho), council house, 1970s.|
|08 Can`t leave door unlocked as before. Liked films. Returned to work when 2nd son started school. Cleaned St. Edwards School 31 years until blind.|
|09 Cleaning involved exercise. Husband redundant twice – retiring soon.|
|10 Diagnosis (Notes say 1997): accident, GP monitored, she noticed I`d lost weight - I`d thought due to dieting. After tests, said diabetes – I wasn`t bothered. Tried diet, then tablets. Increased tablets.|
|11 Went on insulin. (Notes say 2000). Apprehensive, but pen simple. Can`t see now: hear pen click. Blood test worse – diabetic brother feels same. |
Dieted all life.
|12 Always regained weight. Careful after diagnosis. Still can`t lose weight. Walk 2 miles daily. Fat people think differently. Marriage changed from Irish to English food – pies.|
|13 Weight Watchers, but couldn`t retain motivation. Then Rosemary Conley – exercise gruelling. Now Slimming World.|
|14 Classes didn`t tackle reasons. GP said eat healthily. No diet sheet. Hard to lose weight on insulin. Avoid processed foods. GP managed diabetes until insulin.|
|15 Nervous going to hospital for insulin, but painless. Avoid hidden sugar & diabetic products. At 1st, dropped blood on machine. Lost eyesight. New machine easy.|
|16 At 1st, didn`t monitor, then 4 times daily, now once. Old machine hard for eyesight. New Advantage machine easy. Insulin pen easy. |
No psychological help with dieting. Lost stone, but slow.
Went to hospital regularly while taking part in study…
|17 …yearly now. GP practice has diabetes nurse. |
No symptoms before diagnosis, except tired. No symptoms afterwards – less tired.
|18 Lost sight – forget about it at home, harder when out. |
Hypos. Adjust insulin. Afraid of hypo in sleep – take precautions. Constantly thinking about it.
|19 Always remember what I eat. |
Never unconscious with hypo. Ones in night frightening.
Sight loss began 3,4 years after diagnosis. Stronger glasses, then referred…
|20 …to hospital. Registered 2001, but sight lost before. Given large buttons on equipment, magnifying glasses. Need independence. Books for blind. Use stick when out.|
|21 Not depressed. Husband shops. I shop with friends. Remember route to town. Harder to exercise – walk with friends. |
Blood pressure & toe-nails cut.
|22 Some numbness, but feet fine. Oxford medical staff brilliant. Everything free. I`ve no pension.|
|23 Don`t mind waiting. |
Family history of diabetes.
When diagnosed, family wasn`t bothered, nor was I – ignorance. Now sympathetic to diabetics. Ignored warnings, like smokers & drinkers.
|24 Young don`t worry. Take people at risk to see diabetics? |
Advice: obey doctor. Brother ignores doctor, fine, losing weight. I follow doctor, blind, not losing weight.
I`m happy: others worse off.