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Kay - Interview 32

Age at interview: 34
Age at diagnosis: 30
Brief Outline: Diagnosed 4 years ago. Kay took metformin for 2 years and now takes insulin.
Background: Kay is a single mother, with a daughter aged 12. Ethnic background/Nationality: White British.

More about me...

Kay was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 30. Diabetes runs in her family - her grandmother and sister have the condition. As well as coping with diabetes, she also has had depression for many years. She doesn't take any antidepressants at the moment.

After getting her diabetes diagnosis she was prescribed metformin and glicazide, but found it difficult to control her diabetes and blood glucose levels. Since 2006 she has been taking insulin twice a day which she feels she manages quite well though she feels it has made her put on a lot of weight. She would like to know why insulin has this effect. She also wonders why she can't get information about diabetes on DVD.

Kay has always had problems with her weight since she was young and has tried lots of special diets. Her weight problem is caused not by eating too much or too often, but to her love of fizzy drinks - Diet Coke in particular. She feels very aware of her weight and finds it difficult to swim in her local pool. She says that people can be quite unkind to her and she wishes there was a special swimming time for 'big people'. When she's on holiday she feels less self-conscious and enjoys swimming. She doesn't work at the moment because of depression, though she feels she is kept quite busy by her family.

 

Kay would find it easier to have information provided on a DVD because she is not a confident...

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Well just to help you manage your diabetes. Is there any support that you would like that you don't get?

No not really. Just a bit more information. It is, I mean, over the years I have learnt a little bit more, but then it would be great for a bit more information about it. The things that' What affect it, be later on in life. I know like from the book it has got like your feet go black and your hands go and your nails and that. But' I am not very good on. Even if they brought a DVD out and I listened to it that way, because I am not very good at reading properly. It would probably be, if they brought a DVD out or something.
 

Kay talks about her childhood, the abuse she experienced and the effect that had on her weight.

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A lot of people think that Mum used to feed us a lot. But it is the same, she was big. If you saw her now, she is slim as you, she is. She works nights, well a fortnight about at the factory. We grew up, well I grew up as my Dad was a chef and' he always did large meals, but it wasn't because of that. A lot of the family are big anyway because of our glands. It is something to do with the glands. But otherwise, Mum always brought us up healthy and whatever. I was always on the go. It wasn't the fact that I sat about. I am always on the go. Or with little 'un anyway, she likes doing things. And growing up, we grew up in a chip shops, because Dad was a chef up till I was about seven, and a lot of the time I was abused anyway when I was growing up by a friend of the family. So that was hard as well. Coping with that and coping with the weight issue because kids around, around where we lived, they could be cruel sometimes, but then most kids can be can't they?
 

Kay feels embarrassed in her local swimming pool and wishes there were special sessions for...

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Oh I love swimming. But I don't like going to the local one because they can be cruel. If I am out and I am away from home, I go swimming every day. It just, I don't know, it is a different atmosphere. When you are away, they don't care, but when you go to the local ones, the kids can be so cruel, it just upsets me more. I don't know why.

Would it help if there was a special session for sort of people over 30 or something?

Mmm' Or big people. I mean they say go to the women's one, but half the women that go there are slim. They are not as big as me. And I want to hide in the swimming pool and just, just like my sister can go, because she don't do nothing, and [daughter], and my auntie likes swimming and I just thought it was easier just to hire the swimming pool or whatever and friends and family can come along and I don't feel uncomfortable around them. I mean at one stage I couldn't even get a swimming pool, a swimming costume to fit me. And now I can and I feel like I can go swimming any time I want. But if I go to the local one it is cruel. And I don't like it.

That is a real shame I think. So what happens on holiday. Do you get away?

Yes. Occasionally we go away for a week, like once a year, or twice a week, just depends on the money, if we have got enough money. And I can just go till early in the morning till late at night. I could go all day long. It is just the different atmosphere, when you are away it is like I don't care. Well occasionally the kids can be cruel when you are on holiday but I just take it with a pinch of salt when I am away. I don't know why.
 

Kay taught her daughter what to do if she has a hypo. Being a single mum, she thinks her diabetes...

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I have learnt her to know what to do if I go into you know, like a hypo, she always gets me chocolate or she will get me a cup of tea with loads of sugar in it. With the pen she knows how to set it up and inject me, but she hasn't had, you know, the chance to inject me, but she knows where to do it and where the sites are. It is the belly, the back of the arm and toes. Or the inside leg. So she does know what to do.

Do you think it is quite a worry for her? Do you think she worries about your diabetes?

No. [Daughter] is older than what she is for a 12 year old. She's she has always been there for me, even though she hasn't lived with me, for six, seven years. She has lived with family members because I couldn't cope at the time. And then it took me five years to fight for her, to get her back. So it's' It can be hard for a child it don't matter what medication or what problems they have got, it is hard on any child. Not really grown up is hard enough for a child to cope with someone that is ill or someone that is dying, it wouldn't make any difference. It is hard on any child. So'

So she has had to grow up fast?

Yes.
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