Interview 05

Age at interview: 19
Age at diagnosis: 3
Brief Outline: She takes Humalog mix 25 twice a day. She finds injections a pain and does not want to change her insulin regime. Prior to Humalog mix 25 she was on another type of insulin call Human Mixtard 30-70 where she was required to have snacks in between meals. She finds her present insulin regime much easier to manage.
Background: She just finished an IT course. Lives with her mother. Her diabetes was diagnosed around Christmas time when she was constantly drinking water and also started vomiting. Ethnicity: African-British

More about me...


She dislikes vegetables and has the impression that healthy eating is expensive.

[Laughs] I think everyone is tempted by fast foods but I don't eat it that much, only socially, I never go in to like Macdonalds on my own and say I want a meal, I only go in there with friends, so if I'm out with them lunchtime, whatever, I've got money, do you want to go to Macdonalds, okay, it's not a regular thing. With normal foods, I don't, I don't eat what you're supposed to, in that, you're supposed to eat a lot of vegetables and fruit and everything I'm not a big vegetable fan so I don't eat a lot of vegetables don't know, eat chips and stuff, most things you're not supposed to have apart from I don't eat a load of sweets.

So would you say that you, your diet is okay or you need to improve your diet? What would you say?

The last time I was at hospital, I saw a dietician and she wanted me to eat more vegetables and I think I eat enough fruit already but as I said I'm not really keen [laughs] on vegetables but at the end of the day it's your choice what you eat, if you want to, want to keep your diabetes under control then eat more-more vegetables and fruit.

I'm trying to but you know, when you get into a routine of going your whole life not eating many vegetables and then [laughs] you come in, your nineteen years old and someone comes up to you and says eat more vegetables, it takes time, you can't just go in there.

I suppose what you just seeing what you can and can't eat I suppose that's kind of easy but it can be hard at the same time, if you're not extremely well off or not really, have a lot of money, it's difficult because of things that you're supposed to eat, for example, vegetables, they're not always cheap, you know you have to go out and buy them and it's very expensive, so that can be hard.

So one thing, one thing is for the doctors to say eat lots of vegetables but'?

It's another thing about the price of the food you buy.


For example, if you see going into health food shops, you see how much the stuff is in there and that's health food, so, you know.

And so the reason is sort of financial'?

Yeah, I think.

Describes an eye examination and indicates that the last time she had one done at her hospital...

It's best you go and have them checked [clears throat] about once a year but for some reason, I haven't had it checked. They haven't tested them because I've not had a proper eye test for about three years but my eyes are fine, I can see perfectly.

There is supposed to be an appointment for that, I'm supposed to have it every time I have my annual review but I haven't for some reason.

It's just like going to see your normal optician where they sit you down in the chair, they they let you read off the board with the numbers on, the letters sorry and then they stick this stuff in your eye which makes your pupils widen and then they ask you to sit down for half an hour and then someone else calls you in and they use this machine to check your eyes in your eyes, around the eyes, see if there's anything there and then after that's done, you [sighs] you possibly might need somebody with you because your eyes go blurry, you can't see very well after that [laughs] and it takes a couple of hours before your pupils get down to normal so you look like this really monstery [laughs] not really, you couldn't really see my eyes because they're dark brown but if you had blue eyes then you'd probably look quite scary.

She does not like the idea of injecting more than two times per day.

I mean luckily I'm one of the people who have, I only have to take it twice a day but I'm aware that it's in, some insulin's you have to take three, four times a day [Mmm] but I don't care who [laughs] I don't care I just I would not ever do that, when my doctor asked me whether I had to do that I go no way, two's enough, you know two's too much, it should be one, that's it.

What type of insulin are you taking?

Right now I'm on Humalog mix 25.

And what has been your doctor's response when you said only two, twice a day?

No he was fine with it, like whatever works for me, that's what he said, would I consider it and I said no [laughs].

I think because I was on another insulin before where I had to eat six times a day, you know, breakfast lunch and dinner. Plus three snacks after each meal and well not between not after each meal but you know in between, between your breakfast and lunch and. blah, blah now with this insulin that I'm on, I don't have to eat any snacks, so it's easier for me.

Her doctor would like her to do some blood glucose tests and told her about the potential...

What about your like sugar levels, how often do you test those a day?

I'll be honest and say that I don't do it [laughs] I know I go to hospital every three months and they say you know you should do your blood sugars but every time I go there they do some [HbA 1C] or something.


Which tests your, what the blood sugars were, average over the last month or something and it's been like below ten or and below nine the last couple of times so they're happy with it and that's without me doing blood sugars.

I mean you don't, you don't do it at all at home?



Well I did that a lot when I was younger but when I was I just got-got out of doing it for some reason.

You stopped doing it?


How old were you when you stopped doing it?

Probably sixteen.

Okay and what was your, what was the reason that made you stop?

Well when I was, [it just started my fingers] it just like when I was younger, when I was in primary school, I did it a lot and my fingers always had these like blotches on them where you could see where the needle's been and like you know I don't like that, I know that's not a really good [laughs] excuse but it's not nice, so.

I'm a very stubborn person so I doubt anyone would convince me but I don't know, when I go to the hospital they say oh do some blood sugars, I do it for like a week maybe and then I stop [laughs], it's just habit.

And what did they say about why it is important doing your-your blood sugar levels?

He said it's important because [clears throat] of the complications you can get later in life, you can have your foot amputated and your, you can go blind and so that, when you hear that it's quite scary and when you go to get your eyes tested and see all different kinds of types that you could things you can have wrong with your eyes, that's quite scary as well there are two that I saw though that can be cured but still it's not nice is it?

And despite these you?

I still don't [laughs].

I just got into a habit of not doing it [laughs] it's not really unpleasant it's just like I'll, the waiting and not wanting to look at the results because if that, you might think oh I feel like this and then your blood sugar's fifteen or something, you think [sighs] if there's about, it's like, it's like an exam, you know waiting for oh how well did I do and then you find out it's not as good, you've you're an A plus or you're a U or [laughs] you don't know. 

I told my doctor about it and he-he's happy because of the HbA1C and it's below-below ten so I could, the last one I think was seven point something which was perfect, he said your blood sugar's supposed to be between four and eight, which it's quite good so and then he told another woman that was in there in the room and that's without her doing blood sugars, so he was really impressed with that, so he's happy, I'm happy [laughs] so I continue to do it.

She feels she has missed out though she may go abroad for her twenty first birthday and says that...

I go through life, no I don't know what it's like not to have diabetes because when I was, before I was three obviously I didn't have it but I was very young, I didn't know life was like without it and I still don't because I'm older and I've had it all my life almost.

Do you feel that you have missed out on things that you could do, that you could have done because of your diabetes?

Yeah I haven't, I've never been on holiday you know never left England I know because there's a lot of organising you have to do as well as the money, it can, you know you have to go to your doctors to get a different kind of insulin if because of the time zones are around the world and the having diabetes doesn't stop you from going on holiday, it's a lot more organising you have to do that's all and you have to be extremely careful obviously with where you put your insulin because you know airports, you can lose your bags, so just make sure you've got it with you at all times.
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