Family Members
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Olive and Gordon`s wedding, 1956

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Olive and Gordon`s wedding, 1956 Gordon and bike Gordon and Olive, 2007
Olive, 2007 89. 01 1950s urine-sugar analysis set 89. 02 1960s blade for taking blood sample
89. 03 1981 complaint re hospital waiting 89. 04 1981 reply to complaint 89. 05 1982 letter to MP
89. 06 1982 reply from BDA 89. 07 1982 reply from Department of Health
 
 
Interview 89 Olive

Family member
Born in Claygate, Surrey in 1930.


Overview: Olive married Gordon in 1956 and the following year he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He received good treatment at Kings College Hospital in London from R.D. Lawrence, who founded the British Diabetic Association, but with some younger doctors, he felt he was `imparting more information to them than they were giving back to him.` Gordon had several hypos and their daughter said she hated hearing him groan in the night, but Olive thinks that her children became more caring people as a result of their father`s diabetes and that the whole family benefited from having a healthy diet.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 17 November 2007

 Short samples

1 Gordon was diagnosed in Guildford in 1947. The hospital kept him in bed for 2 weeks, so as soon as he came out and used energy, he had a hypo. Olive knew nothing about hypos and, failing to recognise what was happening, she left him to go to work [ 60 secs ]

2 Olive thinks she would have been a casual sort of person if Gordon had not developed diabetes; but he was diagnosed at a time when a very rigid regime was recommended and that has influenced their way of life through more than fifty years of marriage. [ 65 secs ]

 
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01 Born Claygate 1930. Village school, secondary, Kingston Day Commercial School left 1946. Hated war. Married at 26 met husband working in office, London.
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02 Married 1956. Husband developed diabetes 1957. I & my sister nurse - thought it might be diabetes. Doctor offered cigarette before telling him to go to St. Luke`s Hospital, Guildford.
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03 In bed 2 weeks. Strict diet 10 units. Semilente insulin. I was taught nothing; my husband not taught much.
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04 He injected in thigh - painful. (I now inject in his bottom.) I went from work to hospital, then home no furniture.
First morning at home, he looked strange. I went to work. Returned to find him semi-conscious. Found house with telephone. Doctor came said give jam sandwich.
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05 Had more hypos. Foamed at mouth. Neighbour had phone because pharmacist. Returned - husband on floor - damaged back.
Lady at work also diabetic had no sugar. After 1960s disablement act, he refused to be registered disabled.
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06 I gave some injections he didn`t have 4 then. Meals a problem wish husband cooked. Luncheon vouchers at work. At home, main meal lunchtime. Leaflets said measure food. Husband doesn`t recognise carbohydrate. I`ve gone off cooking.
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07 Rigid mealtimes. He eats between meals; I don`t. I don`t enjoy meals out worried when food will come.
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08 Children grew up in rigid household. I would have been casual person. All had healthy diet. Children learnt to care for others hypos. Daughter hated groaning. Grandchildren leant re blood sugars.
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09 Transferred from Guildford to King`s until retired long waits for appointments. After retirement, Guildford. I drove to eye appointments long waits had day out - go to cathedral Childrens` Chapel because lost 2 children.
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10 Never treated for diabetes by GP no clinic. Treated at Kings by Lawrence. With younger doctors, informing them more than vice-versa. Doctors denied insulin build-up caused fits don`t always know best.
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11 Humalog & Levemir changed fits. I still hate fits especially night-time. I spot symptoms - when meal delayed. Can`t cope without me.
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12 Eyes affected, but still sight in both eyes. I do foot-care good. Researcher talked to us re heart attacks. Had ischaemic attack TIA.
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13 Resulted in retirement. Always feared I`d be left with children saved money because insurance discriminates against diabetics.
When travelling, always take food. Strict diet medal for 50 years.
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Transcript
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