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|01 7th child of 10. No family diabetes. Parents from Jamaica, 1950s. Dad builder, Mum auxiliary nurse. English lifestyle in white area…|
|02 …an advantage. Racism at school. Now I`m accepted. |
Felt thirsty – GP blood test – weeks in Dudley Road Hospital – awful. Taught injections, hypo warnings, diet – forbidden full bread slice…
|03 …only ¾ . Still use 10 gram portions. Forbidden family food – “Why me?” – still ask that. Mum strict. |
Injected orange. Steel needles, meths, urine testing. No other diabetic.
Told I`d got “sugar”.
|04 Mixtard, then Actrapid & Monotard. Ages to get sugars down. |
Everyone treated me differently.
I didn`t understand explanation – thought caused by eating sugar.
New school. Used diabetes as excuse.
|05 Took insulins on school trip – diabetes makes you mature. |
Angry teenager – resented restrictions
|06 “Why me?”. |
Little drink, no drugs.
Aged 17/18, abscesses, boils. Doctors blamed me for things I wasn`t doing. Tried to follow diet.
|07 Unconscious several times. |
One other diabetic pupil.
Boyfriends scared off.
|08 O Levels in hospital; ill at A Levels. Worked in old people`s home. Gallstones in pancreas – 4 years pain. Aged 22, most of pancreas removed. |
Hospital rules strict. When little, limited visits.
Lived with Mum after operation. Aged 20, had lived with boyfriend – coped with hypos, but not pancreatitis.
|09 Relieved pain had cause. |
Insist on seeing top doctor. Must relate to diabetic & renal nurses – or see someone else.
Specialist nurses started c. 10 years after diagnosis. Agree to do what told but don`t do it.
|10 Moved back with boyfriend. Wanted to live differently because nearly died. Lived with brother, then alone. Felt well. Nearly 27, met child`s father. In hospital for pregnancy. Hypos & pregnancy scared off boyfriend.|
|11 Mother & baby care good. |
Had worked as care assistant, then in admin. After hernia.
Since life shortened aged 11, lived to full.
Ill after son born. Son good re diabetes. Dialysis tiring.
|12 2000, CAPD dialysis at home. Didn`t suit. Nearly died - peritonitis. Haemodialysis. On 3 diets – for diabetes, pancreas & dialysis…|
|13 …to protect heart. Can`t do job & look after son. At first Mum helped, then childminder during dialysis. Son energetic.|
|14 Play with son 3 evenings. |
Hospital dialysis 2 eves & 1 afternoon. Wait for ambulance. Must do it to live.
|15 Moan, but want to live. Watch TV, read or sleep during dialysis. Patients become family. |
Carer takes son to school. Another carer checks I`m up. Too tired to do much. Son comes home…
|16 …walk to fetch him, Tuesdays, cook & play. |
Haven`t exercised since parathyroidectomy last year. Mild retinopathy. Malabsorption. Too tired to eat. Autonomic neuropathy. Medics don`t understand. Current doctor sympathetic.
|17 Without diabetes, I`d teach abroad. |
Son keeps me going.
Advice: enjoy life.
Rebuked for not testing sugars – easier now on computer.
|18 Month in hospital – infected toe. |
Wish I`d dared more. Travel difficult - must stay with good doctor & nurses. Some diabetics problem-free. I`m happy. Take one day at time.