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|01 I`m 62. Brought up in Sheffield. Father professor. Grammar school; Oxford University; Sheffield steel industry; moved to Cotswolds with wife - short-term jobs; management consultancy. |
Older brother diagnosed 1945 – treated by RD Lawrence. Parents spotted my symptoms early.
|02 Lawrence taught self-management - parents learnt more from him than from my specialist. I was diagnosed 1954 – very early – only 4 units of Lente at first. Diagnosed after ‘flu.|
|03 Parents diagnosed. GP referred to hospital – adult ward - private room - nearly 2 weeks. Cycling machine daily.|
|04 Medical staff realised parents knowledgeable. When left hospital, I was afraid I wouldn`t cope at school, but did.|
|05 Injection once daily: glass syringe, surgical spirit, metal container. Steel needle – 17 gauge. Fat atrophy due to needle size & cow`s insulin. (Pig`s insulin came later.) Syringes lasted.|
|06 Brother had used Benedict`s solution. I used Clinitest – worked well, but…|
|07 …could get normal result on verge of hypo. |
Lawrence taught re portions, but 10 grams carbohydrate of some food more harmful than 10 grams of another…
|08 …mother realised, but dieticians made no distinction. Dieticians referred to black lines. Also red lines - protein & fat – parents didn`t bother with these. Broke rules in teens – Bounty bars.|
|09 Back to school. Unconscious with hypo. Happened 6 times. I didn`t talk re diabetes. Teachers became well-informed. Sent 3 times…|
|10 …for caning – surprised when let off! |
Special puddings – public. Cooks treated me differently – bad for diabetic children that…
|11 …adults fuss over them. Once interviewed by researcher re psychological effects. |
Only diabetic pupil - only 30 years after insulin introduced. More diabetes in gene pool now. (1st Sheffield person to receive insulin – Sir Stuart Goodwin.)
|12 In teens, discovered re later complications – when applied for insurance & when treasurer of local Diabetic Assoc. died young. Longevity due to luck & control. I`m lucky: when Jim Black examined eyes at Radcliffe…|
|13 …students thought I wasn`t diabetic. Have membranous nephropathy, unconnected with diabetes. Specialist says if eyes good, kidneys good. Others less fortunate – should research why. |
Hard-working teens. Never exercised much.
|14 School photos - tallest at time of diagnosis; following year, had stopped growing. Then grew over 6 ft. Voice broke late.|
|15 Teens - Didn`t drink much. Brother allowed smoking instead of sweets. I smoked until mid-30s. Girlfriends not involved in diabetes, but may have deterred some.|
|16 Worked for steel firm between school & Oxford University. Returned to firm at end of 1st year at university. Following summer, worked as coppersmith`s mate.|
|17 Parents had prepared me to manage diabetes away from home. Mother worried more than necessary – don`t hear of people dying from hypos. Few hypos at university…|
|18 …but one while driving – banned from driving for 1 month. |
No dietary problems at university.
|19 Managed Chinese meals. Always eat what`s given – just check re carbohydrate. Attended clinic at home. Only attended GP at university when broke nose.|
|20 Became graduate apprentice with steel company – managed shift-work OK – as when crossing time zones.|
|21 Haven`t talked re diabetes at work, but ensure someone knows. Nowadays people know someone diabetic – as indicated by Prof. Matthews (mentioned in Inspector Morse novel).|
|22 Mother-in-law worried re infertility – doctor said no problem & children might not have diabetes. Daughter diagnosed in early 30s…|
|23 …She became pregnant, 2003 – good medical treatment. Good control – normal sized baby. |
I don`t interfere, but helped with injecting at first.
|24 She copes better than me with disturbances in routine - & has hypo warnings. |
Problems when I started human insulin - packets not labelled - but still had hypo warnings .
|25 In 1950s, insulin from hospital. When charges began, put shilling in machine. Later prescription from GP. NHS sometimes unhelpful e.g. damage caused by coarse needles, or charge for disposables needles before outcry. I re-use disposables. |
|26 Used to get at least 3 months supplies from GP – now only 2 months. Some reports of pressure to use fewer test strips. I prefer large supply of insulin|
|27 Didn`t test until my 40s – guessed - urine testing inconvenient; blood-testing at first delayed. Began testing after ‘flu…|
|28 …halved dosage – high sugar – admitted to hospital. Got first BM test kit. 2 injections daily of mixed insulin – control not so good as now. Began 4 injections daily, early ‘90s – more flexible. Use pen – fine needle – easier than in past.|
|29 NHS good for diabetics – nobody prefers private treatment. Fewer hospitalised. Outpatients good. I prefer hospital to GPs` clinics. |
Now health professionals recognise diabetes – in past GPs didn`t.
|30 I`m 62 & still working as management consultant. Don`t exercise enough. Wife died 2 years ago. Recently married old friend – copes well with diabetes. Hard to live alone. |
|31 Can`t imagine life without diabetes. Mother found hard to say I`d always have to inject – I accepted it. Hasn`t prevented anything. Advice: trust advice, learn to control - can`t forget it, but worse diseases. Lawrence keen diabetics should lead normal life.|