People with Diabetes
Click to change to Family Members or Professionals
   
Before diagnosis

To view image in larger window click on desired thumbnail. Click again to enlarge further.

Before diagnosis Margaret Elliott, 2004
 
 
Interview 33 Margaret Elliott

Person with diabetes
Born in Sidley, Bexhill-on-Sea in 1925.
Diagnosed Type 1 in Sidley, Bexhill-on-Sea in 1930


Overview: Margaret Elliott`s newly-qualified local doctor diagnosed diabetes as soon as he walked through her front door - from the smell of acetone. Her family was poor but managed to pay for some medical care through a thrift club. Her parents did her injections for her and her husband did them after she married at 20. She was advised not to have children, but had 3 normal births and one caesarean. She attributes her good health to her husband`s care and a very strict diet. She has smoked 6 or 7 cigarettes a day since she was 14.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 07 December 2004

 Short samples

1 She remembers following R.D. Lawrence’s Line diet, and testing her urine on home-made equipment [ 59 secs ]

2 She strongly disagrees with modern ideas that diabetics can eat what they like by adjusting their insulin – and believes that people who do this are unlikely to survive diabetes as long as she has done [ 59 secs ]

 
 Available interview tracks
From here you can listen to any tracks that are of interest or read the transcript. If a track is highlighted this indicates it contains the subject you searched for. Clicking [Play On] will play the entire interview from that point onwards.

Where an interviewee refers to a particular item, there is sometimes a picture of that item among the thumbnails beneath the interviewee’s main photo and in the Extras section.
To play all interview tracks from the beginning, please click the [Play All] button here.
01 Father mechanic, mother housewife. Village. Diabetes caused by scarlet fever & accident? Brother later diagnosed. No bother at school – ignorance re diabetes.
Diagnosis: GP recognised smell. East Sussex Hospital, Hastings. Thrift club paid some medical care. Insulin from hospital monthly.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
02 In hospital, ate cheese. No blood tests. Urine tests. Mother did injections. Father made urine testing kit. Insulin twice daily. Hospitals better then. Moved from East Sussex to Bexhill cottage hospital…
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
03 …used more injection sites. R.D. Lawrence diet – weighed carbohydrate & protein. Abandoned diet at 16 - used own assessment. Still weigh carbohydrate. Father grew vegetables. Couldn`t afford fruit, but kept well.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
04 Bought sweets – coma – hospital. Mother warned people not to give sweets. Walked to school. Never ill at school. Excused PE. Started own injections aged 14…
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
05 …but not often. Parents did most. Injected self on way to Malta with husband.
Left school at 14. Worked in grocers during war. Family benefited from my extra rations. Married aged 20.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
06 Husband Royal Marine Commando. 3 years in Malta. He learned re hypos & injections & has done injections ever since.
Doctor said diabetics shouldn`t have children. I`ve had 4.
Returned from Malta to Kent.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
07 3rd child due - GP wouldn`t give glucose - coma. Hospital gave glucose, then son born. GPs didn`t understand diabetes. Children born ‘45, ‘48, ‘50, ‘52. Not big babies. 3 normal births. 4th caesarian, Guy`s Hospital.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
08 When son born, given too much insulin – coma in labour. Most hospitals good, but this consultant not. GPs don`t understand diabetes, except present one.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
09 Husband knew better than doctors re insulin & glucose.
Had TB when son born, 1952. Admitted to sanatorium.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
10 Husband disagreed with treatment - took me home. Part of lung removed. Children in different care homes. Husband worked in BP refinery & visited children & me for 2 years.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
11 Years to recover. Frequent hypos. No warnings. Husband had to fight me to give glucose. Children & neighbours well-informed. Now have warnings back.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
12 I`ve medals for diabetes – husband deserves them. Dr. Watson at King`s College Hospital said “triangle” of diabetes, pernicious anaemia and underactive thyroid would prevent complications – true. Recent high blood pressure.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
13 Current GP good. I don`t go to hospital. GP who diagnosed good. Most GPs useless. Nurses used to be ignorant.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
14 Liable to go hypo or hyper, but hasn`t affected life – good husband & children. 2 children diabetic.
Diabetes stopped me becoming nurse.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
15 GP gave 2 insulins didn`t mix. Kings College Hospital staff disgusted – they gave Actrapid & Insulatard. Can`t absorb Lantus.
At King`s smoked in waiting room. Smoked since 14.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
16 Long waits in local hospitals. Chiropodist at local hospital. Feet good.
Joslin medal, 1980 – doctor who diagnosed wrote letter. Diabetes UK sent 50 year medal again for 60 years – no 60-year medal made!
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
17 Advice: can`t escape diabetes. Weigh food. Don`t agree you can eat anything. Daughter-in-law takes insulin before evening meal…
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
18 …& gets bad hypos - eats sweet things. Wrong advice given to diabetics on insulin.
Advice to medics – care over food. Medics laughed at my experience. Dieticians say I know best – they should learn.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
19 New equipment makes travel easier. Travelled to Australia.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
20 Routine keeps me going – exact amounts at exact times. Never been great walker. Enjoy life in Morecambe.
[Listen] [Full Text]
[Play On]
Transcript
The full transcript of this interview is available to view.


You may download the full transcript from here.


Extras
There are no extra items for this interview

Oral History of Diabetes © 2005 - 2016 | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Built by Within