Family Members
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Bena and Terry, 1979

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Bena and Terry, 1979 Bena in Leicester, aged 25 Bena and Emma,1982
Bena, 2004 Bena and Emma, 2006 Emma, 2007
Terry, 2007
Interview 76 Terry

Family member
Born in Aylestone, Leicestershire in 1955.

Overview: Terry`s wife, Bena, was diagnosed with diabetes in Uganda in 1965 and came to England when her family was expelled by Idi Amin in 1972. Terry met her in a pub in Leicester in 1979 and did not at first realise that she was Asian. Neither of their families approved of their marriage, but it has been very successful. Terry learnt to cope with her frequent hypos and need for regular meals. Bena gave up being vegetarian and learnt to cook English food. They have two daughters who are also closely involved in helping Bena to manage her diabetes.

There are also interviews with Terry`s wife, Bena and their daughter, Emma.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording Thursday, September 13, 2007

 Short samples

1 Recently Bena’s diabetes has been better controlled, but she used to have frequent hypos and often became unconscious. Terry will never forget the first time he was there when that happened. [ 59 secs ]

2 When their children were small, Terry used to worry about what would happen if Bena became unconscious while he was at work. [ 56 secs ]

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01 Father died when I was 14. I had to work – wood trade then hosiery dyer. Met Bena 1979. Didn’t realise she was Asian. Her family didn’t think it would last & my family a bit racist, but accepted over years.
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02 Learnt re diabetes shortly before got married. Her family worried that I didn’t know re diabetes, but my niece is diabetic. First hypo alarming – no Glucagon, ambulance. Happened often. I learnt to spot signs. Tickled her feet & made her drink.
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03 Hadn’t learnt much from her family – taboo subject. They thought she ought to marry someone disabled. Her younger sister treated as older sister – thought she should get married & have child first. Diabetes erratic in Bena’s first pregnancy, better in second. Both children fine.
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04 At night she gets hot. If can’t wake her, do blood test, if low give Glucagon – haven’t had to call ambulance since 1996. Bena taught me how to do injections. No training from medical profession.
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05 I adjusted to her routine of regular meals. She changed from Asian to English diet & gave up being vegetarian. When children young, I phoned home often. If hypo, boss would let me go home, but not happy when frequent.
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06 Children recognised hypo symptoms. Gave her something or called ambulance. I came home. Few hypos now, but lots earlier – she had warnings, which she has lost now. She resists help – though less so now. Hasn’t affected social life. Occasional worry when her work calls ambulance unnecessarily.
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07 She goes to A & E – they inject glucose. No complaints about frequent calls for ambulance. Children have coped since aged 9 or 10. Diabetes no great problem. We’ve been married 28 years.
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