Kathy - Interview 31

Age at interview: 71
Brief Outline: Kathy was diagnosed with diabetes just before the interview. She was controlling it with diet and exercise.
Background: Kathy is a retired nurse and sculptor, who is married with one adult son. Ethnic background/Nationality: White.

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Kathy was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when she was 71. She is married with children and has one adult son. Kathy is a trained nurse and now works as a sculptor.

Her diabetes was diagnosed when she went for a routine health check, though she had been feeling very tired for some time before that appointment. Kathy wonders whether the strain of her husband's illness may have triggered her diabetes. At the time of the interview, Kathy was not taking any medication and was managing to control her blood glucose levels with diet and exercise.

Kathy and her husband have an allotment and grow their own vegetables and she cares passionately about the quality of food she eats. She still occasionally eats fish and chips or Chinese takeaways but otherwise says her palate has been successfully 're-educated'.


Kathy does not take any medication for her diabetes and has found it quite easy to change her diet.

Kathy does not take any medication for her diabetes and has found it quite easy to change her diet.

I find if I just consume or eat the things which are good for me or avoid the things which I shouldn't have. I am not dogmatic about it. If I am somewhere invited or somebody wants to do something cooked for me for instance when I'm going to, going to work on a portrait of a person they always lay on a sumptuous tea with beautiful lace doilies and cream cake, cakes and that, a feast, a feast. I stick to the wholemeal bread, avoid the jam [laughs]. And all this kind of thing. And but then, then a little piece of chocolate just to please them. I'm not dogmatic about it because I know it doesn't harm me.

I had a little sheet what to eat - as I just say - more fruit, more vegetables, wholemeal cereals or fruit. I don't have cereals except I have porridge or wheat, shredded wheats. Re-educate my palate more or less. So cottage cheese, yoghurts, this kind of thing, baked potato with yoghurt, thick Greek yoghurt and herbs in it which is nice, which is really nice.

So to re-educate the palate, little things but I don't feel that I deprive myself in any way. If it does me good fine. Because I don't really feel 'I can't have this, I'm diabetic,' no, no.

They gave me enough information so far and to know more not how shall I say this, I know enough about it actually. And I feel the fabric of your body as such if you put in quality food, then it keeps the fabric whole. So it's, it's like a woven cloth, when you wear it out, it tears you see, so this sort of thing. And I think I'm going in the right direction. That's how I feel. I hope so.

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