Hyacinth - Interview 39

Age at interview: 63
Age at diagnosis: 30
Brief Outline: Hyacinth was diagnosed 33 years ago after a pregnancy. In 1997 she was also diagnosed with breast cancer and has had two mini strokes. She takes metformin and gliclazide.
Background: Hyacinth worked for the probation service before retirement and is married with 3 adult children. Ethnic background/Nationality: Jamaican.

More about me...

Hyacinth has been coping with diabetes for many years and feels that she now has established good control. In the early years following her diagnosis, Hyacinth says that she did not get enough helpful information about how to change her diet but has gradually found out for herself what works best for her which is eating little and often.

She takes metformin and gliclazide having discovered that rosiglitazone made her swell up and feel poorly. Ten years ago, Hyacinth was diagnosed with breast cancer and more recently she has had two mini strokes, so diabetes has not always been her main health concern. She knows she has not been doing enough exercise recently and wants to kick-start her exercise routine. She wonders why there is not a support group for diabetes in her locality.


Hyacinth would like to join a support group but says she hasn't been able to find one in her area.

Well they've always' Not really because I have always had a diabetic nurse and a specialist diabetic doctor, but to me I would like, like my friend who lives over in Ilford, they have got like a support centre that you could go in, like meet up, and discuss different ways of how, like this person is doing this with their diabetes, and you know advice, helping people along. In this block, I don't know of any.

When I rung UK - Diabetes UK they gave me a number and I've been ringing the person and nothing. I ring in the day, during the evening and I don't get any response. Mind you I haven't got back to them to find out, you know, have they given me the right number. But I think they should have like a set up, something, you know, not just the doctors, something that people form themselves. Yeah.

Hyacinth found that rosiglitazone didn't suit her and asked her GP for something else.

That's it, rosiglitazone. With Avandia, the reason I asked for this Avandia, when I was in America in the early part of this year, they had such a massive powerful write up about it that diabetics were on it. They have done so well - their diabetes is in check and all the rest of it, so I thought, go for it, and I went for it - my whole entire body swell. My diabetes was up there. It wasn't doing nothing for me. I was just like a pudding.

And I went back to him, after weeks or months of trying to get back to see the doctor, and the nurse, the receptionist was saying that there is no diabetic appointment. But I said, 'I need to see the doctor.' But it's not until I did go in and the doctor said that if at any time I feel anyway, and the receptionist are telling me that I can't see a doctor, just ask them to let the doctor call me and then that's a safer bet. So since I have learnt that. But they have taken me off of rosiglitazone and put me back on the metformin and gliclazide. And I have' So far so good. I'm okay.
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