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Julie and Lesley, 2007

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Julie and Lesley, 2007 Julie around time of diagnosis, 1978 Julie as a teenager
Julie with husband and son after graduation, 2007 Julie in staff nurse`s uniform, 1990s Lesley Prichards, 2007
 
 
Interview 74 Lesley Prichards

Family member
Born in Worcester in 1942.


Overview: Lesley`s daughter, Julie, was diagnosed with diabetes in 1978, aged nearly five, and she was in hospital for three weeks. Parents were not allowed to stay with their children, but Julie enjoyed hospital and decided then that she wanted to become a nurse. (She is now a Diabetes Research Nurse.) Meal times were rigid at first and Lesley and her husband still keep to those rigid times, though Julie does not. Later, while Julie was pregnant, she stayed with her parents whenever her husband worked nights - and Lesley feels that she`ll always have some involvement in her daughter`s diabetes.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 07 September 2007

 Short samples

1 When Julie began to lose weight, Lesley suspected diabetes, but the locum doctor at the local surgery didn’t think that a child could have diabetes. Later that day, her own GP arrived at their home to say that Julie must go to hospital immediately. [ 55 secs ]

2 When Julie was in her teens, Lesley decided that she was nagging her daughter too much, either about her diet or about working for her GCSE exams - but she wonders if she was right to give up nagging. [ 60 secs ]

 
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01 Husband & I had similar backgrounds. Eldest daughter born 1967. Julie born1974.
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02 Julie nearly 5 when diagnosed. Locum didn`t realise urgency. Weren`t allowed to stay in hospital with her. She must have liked stay – decided to be nurse.
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03 Good dietitian - 10g rations. Information from Manor Hospital & BDA. Dietitian instructed school. Bread strike caused problems. Injections frightening. In hospital 3 weeks, but came home in daytime.
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04 Rations called lines. Urine testing – one tablet for glucose, one for ketones. Julie liked urine test & never refused injections – did them herself aged 8. 3-monthly hospital visit. GP`s role increased over time. (Locum didn`t think children had diabetes.) Hospital still does checks.
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05 Rigid meal times – we still keep them; Julie doesn`t. BDA published diet book. Weighed everything until Julie left home. Sweets at weekends. Sister said she`d have coped better. Easier at 4 than 11..
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06 School good – 1st diabetic pupil. Dietitian & I talked to them. Packed lunch. Friends & parents good. School nurse failed to give glucose – ended in hospital.
Secondary school not concerned, but friends knew what to do.
Hypo during 11 Plus exam. One coma.
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07 Panicked when GP said must go to hospital, but saw children more ill & was thankful. Joined BDA - met diabetologist, Dr. Harvey – took Julie aged 11. At time of coma, children`s ward said Dr. Harvey not allowed, but he came.
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08 Dr. Harvey suggested BDA camp for Julie, aged 8 or 9. Learnt to inject herself there. Later sister went as helper.
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09 Fought to send her to same secondary school as friends. In teens, battles over school work & diet. Stopped nagging re diet – perhaps wrongly. Did ballet, flute, sports. Trip to France – not enough food.
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10 Once friends gave her non-diet Coke – ketoacidosis.
Diagnosed with retinopathy, late teens. Laser treatment. Still drives.
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11 Aged 18, started nurses` training at Manor Hospital. Lived at home. Specialised in diabetes. Married. Moved to Solihull. Had son.
GP didn`t encourage nursing, Dr. Harvey did. Now research nurse.
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12 Son now 5. Suggestions she wouldn`t be able to have children. Caesarian at 32 weeks. Son had half lung removed, but now thriving. No more children - could lose sight. During pregnancy, came home when husband away.
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13 Whole family involved. I adapted recipes. I`m still involved.
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14 Diabetes part of our lives. Helped me understand problems at work - special school. Lucky she`s married to nurse. My colleagues understood re time off for medical appointments.
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15 Testing & syringes changed. BDA eventually got things on prescription. Julie fabricated test results.
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16 No longer need special diabetic foods. Adjust insulin to food rather than vice versa.
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Transcript
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Extras
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