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|01 Born Vienna, 1934. Father engineer. Mother`s mother & father`s sister diabetic - both affected by wartime shortage of insulin & needles - died of heart attacks. Mother had high sugar…|
|02 …later put on tablets – took extra pill to have extra cake - dieted week before blood test – smoking affected eyesight - died before feet amputated.|
|03 Education interrupted – army occupied school; sent to convent for nursing because underweight; evacuated to Hungary; returned – bomb scares; allied invasion; fled Russians – no education for 6 months.|
|04 Returned – father disappeared, house occupied. Stayed with aunt. Grammar school. Trained in fashion house. Met Rampton Hospital nurses – interested - English mental nursing better than Austrian. Came to England, 1955, to St. Margaret`s, Walsall.|
|05 Very good training – better than today.|
|06 We did everything for mentally-handicapped diabetics – weighed food; insulin 3 times daily; urine testing – ages to get blood result. Later Clinitest, Clinistix. Man had uremic fit – realised seriousness of type 1…|
|07 After retired, chaired Community Health Council – diabetic project – people not sufficiently informed. Later chaired Diabetic Advisory Group – failed to communicate improved services through GPs.|
|08 Met wife while training. She took years off to look after son, then returned. I became charge nurse, refractory ward. 1972…|
|09 …promoted night manager. Ate & smoked excessively. Eyesight problems. GP referral to General Hospital diabetic clinic. Diet – better than straight on tablets. Changed to day job. Stopped smoking…|
|10 …wife stopped too. |
Dieticians gave different advice.
Diet changed again after diverticulitis…
|11 Diabetes diagnosed 1979, diverticulitis 1992. Acarbose study, 1995. Lipid study, 2000 - & put on Atenolol for blood pressure. Metformin, 2002. Drug cocktail. Must reduce cholesterol.|
|12 Diet-only control for 23 years – grateful - tablets rule life. Not “diabetic diet” – just healthy – big change. |
Never thought I`d get diabetes.
|13 Never offered retinopathy test or chiropody. Arranged own retinopathy. Don`t need chiropody. Magnesium for cramp. Hospital & GP 6-monthly. GP`s diabetic clinic useless. Want lab blood test. Keep records…|
|14 …random test record close to HbA1c. Diabetics mislead doctors. |
When diagnosed, strips came, NHS paid.
GPs vary. Chairing Advisory Group…
|15 …tried to co-ordinate services - GPs didn`t attend. Whenever health service re-organised, diabetes work lost. Some GPs good. Information from “Balance” journal, not clinic. Test blood sugar & pressure weekly…|
|16 …plus random tests. No routine last year - wife`s illness & member of Employment Tribunals. Must now establish routine. |
Wife & son catered separately. On Metformin…
|17 …. & many other drugs. |
Get lots of exercise; computer course; involved in charitable committees.
|18 Wife just died. Must rearrange household. Each day as it comes. Diabetes not illness – way of life. Advice: assess lifestyle. Side effects can be serious, as in Vienna.|