Diabetes Type 2

Malcolm - Interview 14

Age at interview: 54
Age at diagnosis: 39

Brief outline: Malcolm's diabetes was diagnosed 15 years ago after a routine eyesight test. Initially his diabetes was controlled by diet but now he takes metformin, gliclazide and pioglitazone.

Background: Malcolm is a sales manager and is married with two adult children aged 26 and 19. Ethnic background/Nationality: White British.

Audio & video

In 1992, when Malcolm was 39, he went to the optician for a checkup after a motorcycle accident. The optician found some evidence of retinopathy in Malcolm's eyes and referred him to the GP who diagnosed type 2 diabetes. 

Malcolm had no family history of diabetes and the news shocked him. Looking back he feels he may have had various diabetic symptoms for many years, including thirst and tiredness. He hardly saw his GP, partly because he was busy with a young family and partly because he had a stressful job. 

After his accident, Malcolm stopped doing sport. He settled down, married and realised he had started to gain weight. With hindsight, he wishes he hadn't put on the weight because he feels it probably contributed to the diabetes. Once Malcolm realised he had diabetes he started making regular trips to see the diabetic nurse, who gave him good advice about how to lose weight. So he feels in some ways that the diabetes was a good thing because it forced him to start to look after himself better. 

At first Malcolm managed his diabetes by changing his diet, but eventually he was prescribed oral medication because his blood glucose was too high. He takes gliclazide, metformin and pioglitazone. At the time of the interview Malcolm had been ill with four bouts of pneumonia, and was taking steroids which were pushing his blood glucose levels up. 

He feels quite relaxed about the possibility of being put on insulin in the future. He says that unlike tablets, insulin can be easier to manage because the dosage can be altered according to how much exercise and food you have taken. He is chairman of the local Diabetes UK support group which helps him keep up-to-date with new developments in the management and treatment of diabetes.


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