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|01 London boy – evacuated during war. Father a butcher in Middx. I became butcher`s boy at 12. Left school at 15. 5-year apprenticeship, Meat Trades Council. Began National Service, 1958 – catering. Back to butchering.|
|02 Father got diabetes, aged 72: no other family history. Was athletic – represented county in running & football. Only later put on weight – caused diabetes. |
Little fruit in wartime diet. Good meat from butcher`s shop. Gradually gained weight.
|03 Mother was big. I had sweet tooth, especially when rationing stopped. Mother made cakes. Always ate meat-fat. Bread, jam, cakes for tea. Father grew vegetables. Didn`t like salad.|
|04 Trained as army cook – quantity not quality. Cooked breakfasts. Bought chocolate. |
After army, butchery for 16/17 years. Married, lived in accommodation tied to job, had child.
|05 Married 1962. Son born 2 years later. Had moved to Oxford. Daughter born 6 years later. Fellow butcher did crimes - business died. Went into radio control security. Got promoted – company health check, 1979 – told I`d got diabetes. Had no symptoms. Doctor said must lose weight.|
|06 Lost 1˝ stone. Thought I was cured! Doctor explained diabetes for life. Cheated on diet & didn`t feel ill. No blood readings. Only later realised damage done.|
|07 Had given up sport. Worked long hours as butcher – relaxed in cinema. Radio control work – sedentary shifts. Hard to exercise since stroke. Still must lose weight. (Wife used to cook fat meat from shop.)|
|08 Lost 1˝ stone - strict diet – frightened. Difficult with shift work. Doctors` advice makes sense.|
|09 Still have glass of beer daily: otherwise never cheat. Depressed at first, but clinic excellent. 1979/80, old Radcliffe – no parking, small rooms, fewer specialist nurses, but good treatment. New hospital marvellous, more specialist nurses. All staff good – never met a grumpy one.|
|10 1979, Glibenclamide tablet once daily – gradually increased - Metformin added – increased. 1994 – insulin.|
|11 Refused to inject orange. Injection painless – amazed. Best done quickly. Metformin added. Amounts increased. Sept. 2000, began pen - perfect.|
|12 Didn`t test at first, then with dipstick, then machine – good. |
|13 Cheating catches up with you: September 1998, had changed job to operating theatre orderly - had stroke in theatre... |
|14 …caused by diabetes. Year later, got angina. Because of hospital job, jumped queues. Consultant said heart fine, “pipework” bad…|
|15 …had quadruple bypass – best thing I`ve done. Caused by diabetes. |
Now eye problems caused by diabetes - 4 laser treatments - then operation – asked for local anaesthetic – feared stroke. Operation worked, but..
|16 …blood didn`t drain. Back to hospital for removal. Now must return for hole in retina. Earlier cheating wasn`t worth troubles caused. Kidneys fine. Laser under local anaesthetic wonderful.|
|17 Attend podiatrist. Test circulation. Toes clipped because any cut wouldn`t heal. After bypass, leg took 8 months to heal.|
|18 I`m well, all considered. Odd sensations – spiders & “Chinese burns” on face & legs. Sometimes shower hurts. No follow-up provided after stroke – GP suggests they`re too busy.|
|19 Diabetes staff excellent – agreed to take part in study, to repay them – tablet trial – increased, monitored. Can`t have been placebo – blood sugars brilliant. Trial ended…|
|20 …stopped tablet. Blood sugars went crazy. Increased insulin put weight on. Persuaded doctors to let me back on tablet – sugars back down. |
Now part of another study – drug to assist circulation – hope it does.
|21 1976, married 2nd time; had custody of my children – wife continued to give them normal food after my diagnosis. Wife has coeliac disease, so no cakes! |
Near to hypo 3 times, but OK.
|22 Colleagues have reacted well. 1979, at Securicor, company put up notice. Radio control for police – teased me, but knew how to help. Always carry sweet. As theatre orderly, staff good – loved job – nominated me for award. |
|23 Retired 98, aged 59. Can`t be very active, but try. Laughter keeps me going. Message: be good from day one: effects only apparent later.|