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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…
|02 …sister called ambulance. Blamed GP, but diabetes uncommon. Woke from coma – nosebleed, anxious parents. Drip revived me. Scared.|
|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…|
|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.
|05 Felt deprived. Disliked diabetic products. Fought with parents. |
School didn’t want me. Mum persuaded them. Bad memories…
|06 …ostracised - children thought diabetes catching, resented my biscuits. Teachers dealt well with hypos. Felt ashamed. Extra food before P.E…|
|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…
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|11 Aged 16, did youth training in pottery. Boss understanding – 1st time not ashamed. Became biker, ignored diabetes, made friends (after isolation at school).|
|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.
|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…
|14 …& they changed insulin. Worked temporarily until started ignoring diabetes again. |
|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…|
|16 …but I don’t involve him enough. Wish there were clinic discussion groups to include families, answer his questions…|
|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…
|18 …frightened of change. Attended workshop with mother – also set in ways. Met other diabetics – less isolated. Feel healthier.|
|19 I’d missed developments while ignoring diabetes. Realised I must keep up with changes. Condition improved.|
|20 Glad tried Glargine. |
Used to wait ages for one specialist. Now more specialists – reassuring. Prefer nurses – more time.
|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…
|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.
|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.|
|24 Staff could learn…In discussion group, 5 of us experienced change – symptoms of high blood sugars when sugars low – new to nurses.|
|25 Went on diabetic camp aged 8.|