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|01 Born 1944. Cousin later died of undiagnosed diabetes at 18. Father later developed Type 2. After school, joined Inland Revenue for over 43 years – good about time off to look after sick parents and…|
|02 …when I`m ill. Ideal for fragile diabetic. |
Had fall, then became ill. Didn`t suspect diabetes, because ignorant. Even after diagnosis, didn`t understand. Hated insulin and old syringes.
|03 2 weeks in Selly Oak Hospital, 1973. Kept active, to balance exercise & insulin. Critical ward. Shortage of night nurses. Air bubbles in syringe. Hated glucose.|
|04 How sugar testing changed. Very strict diet – “green, black and red”.|
|05 Tried making diabetic pudding. Don`t like sweet food now. Lucky to live alone & not fit in with others. |
Mother ashamed of diabetes. Still don`t talk about it to family.
|06 Try to hide it at work, but ill recently & they were worried. They only know older relatives who don`t have hypos. Was fine until I changed to human insulin.|
|07 Very dramatic hypos. Better after changed back to pork insulin.|
|08 Have gone up from 1 to 4 injections. Due to poor control, back on human insulin a few months ago - supposed to be better nowadays.|
|09 Have a lot of hypos. Eat sugar, but don`t want people at work to notice. Out on a walk, behaved as though drunk.|
|10 Have been unconscious, but not in coma. Hard when nursing mother. Easier when living alone – doesn`t affect others.|
|11 Diet has changed. Eat more fruit & vegetables. Don`t like special diabetic foods. |
Feel well, apart from hypos. High cholesterol & blood pressure, but eyes good.
|12 No longer weigh food, but stick with “blacks” etc in my mind. Find it easy. Others find it hard. I`m afraid of getting ill, as I`m alone. Slight problems, but mainly well.|
|13 Nurse in ‘70s told me she was “brittle”. Perhaps I am too. |
Doctors don`t explain - different one every time. Don`t trust them. Nurses now more knowledgeable. One doctor rebuked me for increasing insulin with bronchitis – wrong.
|14 Only trust specialists, not GPs. Even some hospital doctors don`t know much. I know more. NHS in Birmingham good.|
|15 Do what doctors say if I agree. Nurse told me to put up human insulin. No point in consulting nurses to adjust insulin. Can do it myself.|
|16 Don`t like seeing medics. Nurse treated me like child. Improvements – treat you as equals now; shorter waiting times. |
Public know more about diabetes now, but don`t understand hypos.
Other diabetics less rigid about diet.
|17 People cater better for diabetics now. Diabetic food was awful. Now much more sugar-free in supermarkets - benefit from slimmers` foods.|
|18 Diabetes has made me healthier – diet & exercise. Learnt to cope with emergencies. Advice to others – shock at first, but not as bad as you think.|
|19 NovoPens wonderful but want return to plastic syringes - arthritis in hands. |
Don`t talk to other diabetics & no longer take DBA magazine – diabetes not interesting.