People with Diabetes
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Around the time of diagnosis Shirley Jones, 2004
 
 
Interview 29 Shirley Jones

Person with diabetes
Born in Rochester, Kent in 1948.
Diagnosed Type 2 in Birmingham in 1980


Overview: Shirley Jones` parents had little money to spend on food and she remembers eating bread and jam `many, many times`. She married at 19, divorced, married again at 21, and then her second husband left her to bring up two small children alone before she was diagnosed with diabetes, aged 32. She was recruited into the UK Prospective trial for Type 2 diabetes, but rapidly became insulin-dependent. Until recently, she ran a pub with her current partner. She is now on kidney dialysis.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 25 November 2004

 Short samples

1 Her brother was diagnosed with diabetes before she was, and has kept to a strict diet ever since. But for Shirley, the “No sugar” instruction she received in 1980 proved impossible to follow [ 57 secs ]

2 She began Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) in her home 3 weeks before this interview was recorded in November 2004, and was gradually adjusting to it, with the help of her partner [ 50 secs ]

 
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01 Dad bus driver, then inspector. Mum housewife. No money. Enjoyed school. Good at athletics. No qualifications.
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02 Own entertainment – no TV. Worked in office until married at 19 – double wedding with sister. Little social life.
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03 Husband salesman. Moved. Divorced. Aged 21, married chef. Son now 33, daughter now 28. Daughter “diabetic baby” before I had diabetes.
Diagnosed aged 32 - knew because brother diabetic. No hospital admission. Learnt to inject once daily. (Now pen 4 times daily.)
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04 One day`s training at Birmingham Children`s Hospital. Blood monitoring. Adjusted insulin. Constant monitoring. Daughter aged 6 revived me with sugar. Hypos in public embarrassing: 2 weeks ago…
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05 …woman asked if diabetic. When diagnosed, people ignorant re diabetes – considered death sentence – now taken less seriously.
Hospital didn`t say adjust insulin.
Mother used to weigh brother`s food.
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06 Brother never adjusted insulin - I did it when single parent & doing decorating. Didn`t tell medics.
Dietary advice – no sugar.
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07 Disobeyed advice. Couldn`t accept diabetes. Brother “good” – no problems. I was “bad” – lots of problems. I had 6 pints, then adjusted insulin.
Husband left when children small – frightening…
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08 …afraid of hypos. Instructed children what to do.
Took children with me to cleaning job…
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09 …at a pub. Sometimes exhausted by walk to work. When son 14, he looked after daughter while I worked behind bar – enjoyable…
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10 Liked meeting people.
Deterioration began 11 years ago – foot problems & early cataracts. 6 years ago, 3 months in hospital – neuropathy…
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11 …diagnosis took ages. 6 years ago, fewer cleaners, but better nursing. (Got MRSA recently.) Hospital got diabetes under control. By then medics adjusting insulin.
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12 Told to adjust by Dr. Wright – met through UK Prospective trial. Never heard re free transport, despite foot ulcers – travelled on buses with children. Now transport free.
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13 Left bar work after ulcer. Hairdressing, then worked in pub, where met current partner. Tony & I took over pub, then took over current pub. Don`t say I`m diabetic. Eventually told Tony. Bad hypo…
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14 …frightened Tony. He feels guilty that I`ve so many problems. Sometimes rows, but usually caring. Last March, 1st holiday alone together…
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15 Before departure, fell over. A & E said just a sprain. Admitted to hospital in Tenerife - foot broken. Tony nursed me.
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16 In England admitted to hospital – foot infected. Infection wouldn`t clear. Re-operated on foot. Sickness due to neuropathy. In hospital 6 months. Even before Tenerife, told re dialysis.
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17 Thought dialysis terminal. Ill for 4 months. Thought I`d die. Since coming home recently, hard to get up stairs. Hospital different from 6 years before – nurses have no time to talk.
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18 Wanted Tony beside me. Nurses nice, but forced old ladies to get up. Wish doctors would confer – disagreed about when I could leave…
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19 …depressed – thought I`d never leave.
Sometimes knew better than doctors – diabetics differ. Unlike brother, I can`t walk or see well.
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20 Convalesced at sister`s. Felt ill. Her GP said dialysis needed. Went on CAPD dialysis at home a few weeks ago, 4 times daily…
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21 …not as bad as expected. Lots of hand-washing, antiseptic. Sit on bed, open stomach valve & drain; then let 2 litres of fluid in. Night-time dose feels painful. Bags collected.
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22 Took 1½ hours at first – now only 25 mins. Can`t have bath. Can`t eat things good for diabetes.
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23 Tubes embarrassing with partner. Now he does dressing, takes blood pressure.
Thought dialysis terminal when saw ill people in hospital. Now on CAPD, meet others on it – more cheerful.
Easy to get infected.
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24 Attended hospital for 5 days` training; now only weekly. Coping with diet. Tony supportive. 7 grandchildren…
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25 …very kind. Hope I see them reach teens. Remembering past year, wonder what next will bring. Tony manages pub well.
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26 He enjoys pub. Depressed by money shortages. Transport free, but tiring. Without diabetes…
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27 I`d help in pub. No life together – If I`m in pub, feel guilty, because can`t help. Don`t show depression – just alone at night.
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28 Son just diagnosed aged 32. Advice – stick to your diet.
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Transcript
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