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|01 Born Cheshire, 1954. Father baker, mother factory-worker. Family diabetes. |
Eyesight deteriorating, 1967, then too ill for school.
|02 GP said return after weekend. Called another doctor. In hospital, relatives thought I was dying. Ward sister rebuked parents for allowing coma. In for 2 weeks. Injected orange.|
|03 Mother practised injecting. People thought diabetics only adults. No more sweets. Told sight would return. Off school 6 weeks. Recommended Lawrence Line diet. No help given. Hated urine testing. Mother fabricated results.|
|04 For years only diabetic in school. Mother extreme re diet. Singled out - extra food before PE, separate lunch table. Moved to F.E. College at 16. Mother insisted I take snack to discos. Disobeyed.|
|05 Thought diabetes might go when periods started. While in FE & nurse training, disobeyed mother`s diet. Parents didn`t read Line diet book. GP threatened no school cruise, but consultant allowed. Battle with mother to see consultant alone. |
|06 Parents argued re diet expense. Hated diabetic products. Left home at 18. Took insulin, but no other control. Didn`t test urine. Hospital blood tests high. Took no notice. Put on weight.|
|07 Never unhealthy. Couldn`t join Navy. Thought “Why Me?”. Now think “Why not?”. Told boyfriends - no problem.|
|08 Trained to nurse mentally handicapped. At 19, travelled with boyfriend. Signed on – refused disabled classification. Hospital blood tests. Refused to do urine tests.|
|09 Married mid 1970s. Trained as podiatrist, Manchester. No attempt at control. Doctor threatened blindness or loss of feet. Consultant told of man who…|
|10 …had more problems after improving behaviour. Consultant said “You know most”. As podiatrist, treated diabetic amputees. Never bothered me until older. Should research how diabetes affects personality: no psychological help.|
|11 Now specialist nurses. Don`t know mine. Adults` evenings, adolescent clinics don`t work – staff don`t understand our lives.|
|12 Marriage broke up. Moved to Oxford `83 – medics listened more. Bought blood testing machine. More effort to control.|
|13 Doctor called me “naughty”. Plastic syringes. Told surgical swab unnecessary - I said not used one for 10 years. |
After move to Oxford, met present partner. Paid more attention to diabetes. With better control, more hypos…
|14 but without, long-term problems. Difficult to get provisional driving licence. Took disabled driving test.|
|15 With previous partner, no contraceptives, no pregnancy. With present partner got pregnant. Serious hypo. Partner learnt more re diabetes. My blood testing technique poor. In hospital 2 weeks before baby born 1985…|
|16 …tried induction. Emergency caesarean. Baby died. Good hospital support. Pregnant again 3 years later…|
|17 …hadn`t used contraception. Fertility drug. Made sure diabetes controlled. Hypos in pregnancy. Well supported. Elective caesarean. Daughter, now 16, born healthy. Afterwards ward staff ignorant re diabetes. Breastfeeding allowed. Wound healed.|
|18 3rd pregnancy unplanned. Good control. 2nd daughter born healthy. |
Admitted to A & E unconscious.
When baby 8 or 9 months, pregnant again. Termination…
|19 Supported by doctors. |
Once stopped breastfeeding, well controlled. 2 hypos observed by daughter.
|20 Educated daughters re diabetes. Partner great – injects me during hypo. Mother diagnosed 2 years ago. |
|21 Rebuked sister when wanted sterilisation partly to avoid diabetes. |
In past, ate what like without adjusting insulin. 4 or 5 years ago dietician helped me lose weight & taught re adjusting insulin. Avoid obsession.
|22 Dietician gave diet I could keep. Insulin 4 times daily helped - fewer snacks. Said I wouldn`t exercise. Lost over 2 stone in 2 years. Don`t diet now, but careful.|
|23 Dietician advised eat less, exercise more. Cycling, but no exercise regime – life regimented enough.|
|24 Keep to insulin regime, but hard when at work. Find bed-time injection intrusive.|
|25 75% of my patients diabetic. Told them re mine. Seen people worse off, despite my misspent youth. Fortunate – slight retinopathy, no kidney or circulation problems.|
|26 No neuropathy. Need to research why some people have fewer problems. Doctor who said “naughty” said carry on - blood sugars OK. |
Doctors less “us and them”: one said “you know more”…
|27 …So why come here?! |
Progress made in equipment etc. Still meet ill-informed diabetics. Now allowed sugar.
|28 More medics know re diabetes. Public unsure. Chemists offer tests. |
Diabetes made me less shy. Wouldn`t have rebelled so much without it?
|29 Have never worried re diabetes. Medics asked me to speak to others – difficult because every diabetic different. |
Advice: don`t stop doing anything – I`ve travelled. Give up smoking, unlike me,