People with Diabetes
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Victor Warman, 2004

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Victor Warman, 2004
 
 
Interview 3 Victor Warman

Person with diabetes
Born in Southfield, Wimbledon in 1935.
Diagnosed Type 1 in Oxford in 1950


Overview: Victor Warman`s father had been a Sick Birth Attendant in the Navy during the Second World War, and was very protective of his son after his diagnosis, advising him to avoid competitive sport. Victor left school at 15, spent much of his life as a machine-fitter, and ended up teaching Design Technology. His glucose levels go `up and down like a yoyo` and he now advocates plenty of exercise: `don`t do as I do, do as I say`. He has had several complications, but feels that diabetes is `not the be-all and the end-all of your life`.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 16 March 2004

 Short samples

1 When he was diagnosed, he remembered that he’d heard about relatives who’d died of diabetes before the introduction of insulin [ 55 secs ]

2 He always felt that he knew better than the medical profession, and from 1967 gave himself four injections a day, long before doctors advised him to do so [ 49 secs ]

 
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01 Diabetic for 54 years. Born Wimbledon, one of 6 boys. Evacuated. After war, family moved to Waterperry.
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02 Diagnosed 4 years after war. (Heard that great aunt & uncle died of diabetes before insulin. 2 brothers & mother have diabetes.) Urinated a lot.
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03 Went to doctor in Thame, then Radcliffe, then Victoria Cottage Hospital, Thame.
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04 Backtrack – urine dripped between floorboards. Heard great aunt and uncle treated by starvation. Asked doctor if would die – told I`d live to 60. (Not much to look forward to now.)
Cottage hospital taught injections in thigh.
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05 For last 30 years, changed to stomach.
Control difficulties. Take advice from doctors, but then adapt it. Read that body produces insulin gradually. (Previous reactions could have caused problems when installing machinery & driving). So began multiple…
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06 …injections – for 30 years. Test 4 times – sugars up & down - Need to be around 7.
Lost sensation. Impotent from early 60s – no problem because divorced. Got 5 daughters. Energy went into teaching in last 5 years.
Told medical staff about multiple injections…
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07 …but no faith in medical profession. They must have common way of treatment, but individuals differ. (None of 5 daughters or 5 grandchildren diabetic.) Most people used 2 injections, but when I began to use 4, no more insulin reactions. Doctors not interested.
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08 Hospital taught about diet, injections, urine testing with Fehling`s solution.
Now I`ve got arthritis in hands, can`t do much. I don`t exercise – must try before too late.
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09 At first discouraged from sport. (Gave up swimming until recently. Now too expensive.) No media role models of diabetics in sport. Father discouraged me.
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10 Mum too busy to worry about me. Father trained in nursing in Navy, then treated me like patient – not good for me.
Always wanted to be carpenter…
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11 …but diagnosed around time left school. Liked to stay out – irregular life – diabetes didn`t settle for 2 or 3 years. Then trained as stone mason. Learnt metalwork on motorbikes. Then millwright`s apprenticeship until 22. Got married around 22. Needed money for children & began fitting machinery in car factories & elsewhere.
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12 Did that until 42. Then made guards for papermaking machine at Wolvercote Mill.
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13 Then in charge of engineering for 7 years, then mill taken over. Told old employers about diabetes, but not new employers at first. When travelling round country…
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14 …always had breakfast & always stopped for sandwich.
My regime now - I watch TV...
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15 …diet & injections.
How needles have changed.
Cataracts. Can`t afford new glasses.
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16 Advise others to get cataracts done.
How I care for feet.
No advice on impotence.
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17 Impotence doesn`t bother me. I don`t seek help.
NHS good – diabetic clinic arranged eye care, & GP personal friend.
Where to get information?
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18 Leaflets, books, newspapers – but they get it wrong. Wrongly thought I could be cured by injection of islets of Langerhans.
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19 Kinds of insulin used.
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20 How testing changed. Pricking finger hard at first. Can`t read results on new machine - good, but expensive.
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21 On blood pressure, cholesterol, & astringent tablets. Hate taking tablets.
Advice to new diabetic – you know best.
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22 In 1967, quit smoking & began 4 injections. Avoided reactions. Didn`t tell anyone, until later, when others doing it too.
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23 At same time, began drinking. Drunk 2 pints a day for 40 years.
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Transcript
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