People with Diabetes
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Before diagnosis

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Before diagnosis Joanne as chubby toddler At age of diagnosis
Aged 8 at diabetic camp Joanne starting secondary school Joanne in teens with Mum and Dad
The Pinfields` limousines Joanne Pinfield, 2004
 
 
Interview 30 Joanne Pinfield

Person with diabetes
Born in Worcester in 1972.
Diagnosed Type 1 in Worcester in 1978


Overview: Joanne Pinfield was only 5 when she had the frightening experience of waking from a coma in hospital and she has found diabetes frightening for much of her life. At school she felt isolated by being the only person with diabetes. She left at 16 to work in a pottery with a sympathetic boss who helped her not to feel ashamed of diabetes, but then reverted to hiding her condition during 12 years working in a factory. Her father`s death in 2001 prompted her to take better care of herself. She married in 2002 and runs a limousine business with her husband.

There are also interviews with Joanne`s mother, Mary Potter, and husband, Nick Pinfield.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 01 December 2004

 Short samples

1 As a teenager, she found it hard to combine diabetes with an active social life, but after the isolation she’d experienced at school she was delighted to join a group of friendly bikers [ 54 secs ]

2 When she was put on Glargine in December 2003, she attended an insulin workshop where she talked for the first time about what it’s like to live with diabetes. She feels that all medical staff would benefit from sitting in on such discussions [ 58 secs ]

 
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01 Born 1972. Dad owned furniture shop & brought us up while mother worked for Social Services. Sister has MS. Little money. Hard-working family.
Diagnosis: GP said “growing pains”. Coma. Hospital. Father suspected…
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02 …sister called ambulance. Blamed GP, but diabetes uncommon. Woke from coma – nosebleed, anxious parents. Drip revived me. Scared.
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03 Parents injected orange. I injected 2 yeas later. Parents` 1st injection hurt – glass syringe, big needle. Never got used to it. Parents sterilised. Urine tests, then painful blood tests. In hospital…
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04 ...daily blood test – frightening. Nurses taught urine testing. Father supervised.
In hospital for weeks being stabilised. Returned with cold. Often in hospital. Weighed food - wanted same as sister.
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05 Felt deprived. Disliked diabetic products. Fought with parents.
School didn`t want me. Mum persuaded them. Bad memories…
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06 …ostracised - children thought diabetes catching, resented my biscuits. Teachers dealt well with hypos. Felt ashamed. Extra food before P.E…
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07 …still had hypo. Never passed out, but serious. Symptoms always different – worrying.
Resented sister`s food, she resented my snacks. I became angry & unstable. In teens…
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08 …resented restrictions. Battle with parents. 2 injections daily, rigid diet, snacks when not hungry, ridiculed for weight. Improvement when started secondary school – human insulin, Novopen, 4 injections daily. But too blasé. Badly-behaved. Worried re diabetes, tried to ignore it.
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09 Irregular injections to cover sweet eating. Sugars see-sawed. Parents` battle hardest at secondary school. Friends good. Only diabetic. Teachers didn`t know – I was too ashamed to tell.
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10 Busy social life. At 16/17 rejected diabetes, didn`t attend clinic, worried deep-down. Test results frightened me to reform. Embarrassed by hypos with boyfriends.
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11 Aged 16, did youth training in pottery. Boss understanding – 1st time not ashamed. Became biker, ignored diabetes, made friends (after isolation at school).
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12 Happy. For 5/6 years, felt I had a life & diabetes didn`t fit in. (Always done 4-6 blood tests daily.) Aged 22, began to take care.
With boss, 1st time I`d felt proud.
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13 Older generation understanding. Workmate good too.
Moved to giftware factory. Returned to hiding diabetes, isolation, few friends.
At 22, told doctors how I felt…
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14 …& they changed insulin. Worked temporarily until started ignoring diabetes again.
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15 At factory 12 years. Met husband there. Married 2002. Year before, father died – worst time for diabetes. Clinic helped. Have made effort since. Husband supportive…
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16 …but I don`t involve him enough. Wish there were clinic discussion groups to include families, answer his questions…
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17 …he copes well with hypos, but frightened.
Made redundant 3 years ago. Started stretch limousine business with husband – boost to look after myself - new insulin a year ago…
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18 …frightened of change. Attended workshop with mother – also set in ways. Met other diabetics – less isolated. Feel healthier.
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19 I`d missed developments while ignoring diabetes. Realised I must keep up with changes. Condition improved.
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20 Glad tried Glargine.
Used to wait ages for one specialist. Now more specialists – reassuring. Prefer nurses – more time.
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21 Working from home good for diabetes. Work 1 day for photographer – staff understanding – know other diabetics.
Don`t want children. Doctors used to warn…
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22 …of dangers – frightened me. I want to do other things.
Father`s death made me realise others worse off.
Would have had happier childhood without diabetes.
Message: more help available now – can live normally.
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23 Medical staff good, but diabetics could teach them what it`s like to live with. Discussion group talked re impact, not insulin. Psychological effects important.
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24 Staff could learn…In discussion group, 5 of us experienced change – symptoms of high blood sugars when sugars low – new to nurses.
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25 Went on diabetic camp aged 8.
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Transcript
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Extras
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