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|01 Dad bus driver, then inspector. Mum housewife. No money. Enjoyed school. Good at athletics. No qualifications.|
|02 Own entertainment – no TV. Worked in office until married at 19 – double wedding with sister. Little social life.|
|03 Husband salesman. Moved. Divorced. Aged 21, married chef. Son now 33, daughter now 28. Daughter “diabetic baby” before I had diabetes. |
Diagnosed aged 32 - knew because brother diabetic. No hospital admission. Learnt to inject once daily. (Now pen 4 times daily.)
|04 One day`s training at Birmingham Children`s Hospital. Blood monitoring. Adjusted insulin. Constant monitoring. Daughter aged 6 revived me with sugar. Hypos in public embarrassing: 2 weeks ago…|
|05 …woman asked if diabetic. When diagnosed, people ignorant re diabetes – considered death sentence – now taken less seriously. |
Hospital didn`t say adjust insulin.
Mother used to weigh brother`s food.
|06 Brother never adjusted insulin - I did it when single parent & doing decorating. Didn`t tell medics. |
Dietary advice – no sugar.
|07 Disobeyed advice. Couldn`t accept diabetes. Brother “good” – no problems. I was “bad” – lots of problems. I had 6 pints, then adjusted insulin. |
Husband left when children small – frightening…
|08 …afraid of hypos. Instructed children what to do. |
Took children with me to cleaning job…
|09 …at a pub. Sometimes exhausted by walk to work. When son 14, he looked after daughter while I worked behind bar – enjoyable…|
|10 Liked meeting people. |
Deterioration began 11 years ago – foot problems & early cataracts. 6 years ago, 3 months in hospital – neuropathy…
|11 …diagnosis took ages. 6 years ago, fewer cleaners, but better nursing. (Got MRSA recently.) Hospital got diabetes under control. By then medics adjusting insulin.|
|12 Told to adjust by Dr. Wright – met through UK Prospective trial. Never heard re free transport, despite foot ulcers – travelled on buses with children. Now transport free.|
|13 Left bar work after ulcer. Hairdressing, then worked in pub, where met current partner. Tony & I took over pub, then took over current pub. Don`t say I`m diabetic. Eventually told Tony. Bad hypo…|
|14 …frightened Tony. He feels guilty that I`ve so many problems. Sometimes rows, but usually caring. Last March, 1st holiday alone together…|
|15 Before departure, fell over. A & E said just a sprain. Admitted to hospital in Tenerife - foot broken. Tony nursed me.|
|16 In England admitted to hospital – foot infected. Infection wouldn`t clear. Re-operated on foot. Sickness due to neuropathy. In hospital 6 months. Even before Tenerife, told re dialysis.|
|17 Thought dialysis terminal. Ill for 4 months. Thought I`d die. Since coming home recently, hard to get up stairs. Hospital different from 6 years before – nurses have no time to talk.|
|18 Wanted Tony beside me. Nurses nice, but forced old ladies to get up. Wish doctors would confer – disagreed about when I could leave…|
|19 …depressed – thought I`d never leave. |
Sometimes knew better than doctors – diabetics differ. Unlike brother, I can`t walk or see well.
|20 Convalesced at sister`s. Felt ill. Her GP said dialysis needed. Went on CAPD dialysis at home a few weeks ago, 4 times daily…|
|21 …not as bad as expected. Lots of hand-washing, antiseptic. Sit on bed, open stomach valve & drain; then let 2 litres of fluid in. Night-time dose feels painful. Bags collected.|
|22 Took 1½ hours at first – now only 25 mins. Can`t have bath. Can`t eat things good for diabetes. |
|23 Tubes embarrassing with partner. Now he does dressing, takes blood pressure. |
Thought dialysis terminal when saw ill people in hospital. Now on CAPD, meet others on it – more cheerful.
Easy to get infected.
|24 Attended hospital for 5 days` training; now only weekly. Coping with diet. Tony supportive. 7 grandchildren…|
|25 …very kind. Hope I see them reach teens. Remembering past year, wonder what next will bring. Tony manages pub well.|
|26 He enjoys pub. Depressed by money shortages. Transport free, but tiring. Without diabetes…|
|27 I`d help in pub. No life together – If I`m in pub, feel guilty, because can`t help. Don`t show depression – just alone at night.|
|28 Son just diagnosed aged 32. Advice – stick to your diet.|