Diabetes Type 2

Andy - Interview 04

Age at interview: 52
Age at diagnosis: 52

Brief outline: Andy has chronic pain as well as diabetes which was diagnosed six months ago. His medication includes Avandamet [rosiglitazone + metformin], simvastatin, Xenical, perindopril, amlodipine and doxazosin.

Background: Andy is a supply manager in IT and is married with two adult children (twins aged 24). Ethnic background/Nationality: White British.

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Andy realised something was wrong six months ago when he started to feel 'decidedly old' and was also thirsty all the time. His wife persuaded him to go to the GP who diagnosed diabetes. He was completely shocked and distressed by the diagnosis, even though everyone concerned with his care, including his local pharmacist, was extremely helpful and reassuring. Andy has had chronic pain since he was a teenager and had orthopaedic surgery. Since the diagnosis of diabetes he has also been told that his cholesterol and blood pressure are too high. 

Andy cannot understand why he has diabetes and what caused it. He feels it came on very quickly because six months before he saw the GP he had a medical at work and nothing had been picked up. Andy realises that his chronic pain has meant he leads quite a 'sedentary' lifestyle, however he points out that he is not particularly overweight and certainly not obese. He resents the way that diabetes is portrayed in the media as 'the disease of fat people' and he feels stigmatised - though not by health professionals.

Andy says that having diabetes has had a negative impact on his life. He very much dislikes the fact that his body no longer functions properly and that there is no cure for diabetes which means that he has to live with the condition for the rest of his life. He also dislikes having to take 23 tablets a day and that he is now having problems with his eyesight. Sometimes he is short-sighted and at other times long-sighted. The uncertainty about his eyesight can make it difficult for him to cope with his work in IT and he worries about his future prospects.

He talks about having depression - he has recently been prescribed Prozac [fluoxetine] - and discusses some of the causes including living with diabetes, loss of status at work and worries about erectile dysfunction. He values the support and straightforward advice he received from his GP. He also sees a diabetes specialist nurse who does her best to reassure him. Andy feels very well informed about diabetes and regularly checks the UK and US websites looking for the latest research about diabetes. He takes Avandamet [rosiglitazone + metformin] which suits him well at the moment. 

Andy has regular eye tests (he chose to go privately for treatment) and also sees a podiatrist though he has no problems with his feet. He was invited to join the Expert Patient Programme (now Self-management UK).


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