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|01 Born 1944, son of baker. Did sports. Disliked school. Left at 15. Apprenticeship – enjoyed education - became electromechanical engineer. |
Did sport until hip operation, 1997.
Sugar rationed. Later – father`s cakes.
|02 Thin until 20. Then put on weight. Around 1968, gave up sugar & smoking, married & became civil servant – midday lunch…|
|03 …light evening meal. |
After marriage, less sport – weight gain. As older, less sport, more weight, until diagnosis. 1994.
After marriage, good breakfast, canteen lunch, light tea. Gradually changed – now rise early…
|04 …light breakfast, grabbed sandwich, full evening meal – changed 1970/80s. |
Mother big. Father similar – diagnosed in his 50s – double vision - tablets, urine testing. Care wasn`t…
|05 …as good then – 1977 – died of heart attack, aged 64, 1980. Dad secretive re treatment. He had healthy diet, took my daughter for walks, seemed fit – diabetes a surprise. He saw illness as weakness.|
|06 I was diagnosed 1994. Hypertension from c.1985. Visits to loo 2/3 years before diagnosis. Went to doctor for hypertension – took urine sample – diabetes. Hadn`t known symptoms, so a shock. Upset because…|
|07 …had played sport, eaten sensibly. Given tablet. Felt ill. Saw doctor. Later realised it was hypo – tablet unnecessary – diet enough. Nothing explained. Didn`t go to clinic. Didn`t test blood. Bought “Balance”.|
|08 Relied on doctor`s blood test. |
On diet only when retina detached, 1995. Gradually back on tablets. Also blood pressure tablets. Hip replacement 1997 – gave up sport…
|09 …still mainly dietary control. From 1997, tablets increased. 1999 – angioplasty. I`d had pain, been admitted for week, and…|
|10 …discharged. Pain returned, saw GP, mentioned firm`s medical plan, admitted straightaway, angioplast next day. |
Stomach upsets. 2000 – insulin. Reduced tablets – stomach better.
|11 When diagnosed, hard to cope. Kept mostly secret until insulin. Told some colleagues.|
|12 Blood testing started about same time as insulin. Dreaded injection. Nurses injected themselves – encouraging – painless.|
|13 Blood testing hurts – arthritis in hands. |
Got 3-month contract with space agency in French Guiana…
|14 …took insulin supply, but didn`t need it! Reduced tablets, lost weight. Cooked breakfast & large lunch…|
|15 …suited me. Little food in evening – walked. Heat. Exercise around site in day. Hands & hip better. On return, amazed wife. Tried to retain lifestyle - couldn`t. |
Abroad 2002. Would return, but…
|16 …would miss family & UK. Similar to childhood eating pattern. Took part in Proactive research at clinic, but failed to retain lifestyle. Microwaved lunches. Back on insulin – heavily? - not explained – maybe hard for staff: I say little.|
|17 If I could re-live lifestyle, could drop insulin again. |
Proactive study looked after me – less since ended. I don`t talk readily re illness e.g. at last clinic, knew sugars up because missed lunchtime injection…
|18 …because work makes me forget diabetes. Now colleague reminds me. Grab sandwich. Don`t drink enough. Better in Kourou (French Guyana).|
|19 Study encouraging - don`t get that from doctor – rarely seen. Wife not always there. Recently told colleagues – now encouraging. Nurses at Proactive appointments good: ordinary clinic less good.|
|20 Ordinary clinic recently: after seeing nurse, only 5 mins with specialist - something lacking…|
|21 …I need prompting. Only talk to brother-in-law – recently diagnosed. Clinics should give encouragement & information - doesn`t check eyesight – treadmill – time wasted. Blood samples to local nurse – clinic didn`t give results…|
|22 I can`t talk to doctors & nurses. Except on Proactive, no check on eyes or feet. Brother-in-law was offered chiropody – should be everywhere.|
|23 …not enough on NHS. |
Typical day: early breakfast, 2-mile drive to work, arrive 8 am, work all day, often forget to take ½-hour break, may end at 6. Meal at 7 - if later, ill.
|24 If home early, walk or garden. TV, repair grandson`s toys. Work sedentary. |
Diabetes hasn`t changed life. Miss sport – stopped by hip. In Kourou, got exercise…
|25 …took lunch-break – unlike English. What`s diabetes like in other countries? Always felt better after proper lunch. |
Message to newly-diagnosed – inform yourself. Diet alone as long as possible.
|26 Can vary insulin, but haven`t learnt how. Danger of increasing doses – better done by diet. Keep active. Diet & lifestyle most important.|
|27 P.S. At work: I`ve kept quiet, but witnessed prejudice towards diabetic colleague. More women in present office - easier to be open. |