Diabetes Type 2

Pamela - Interview 08

Female
Age at interview: 54
Age at diagnosis: 50

Brief outline: Pamela was diagnosed with diabetes four years ago. She takes metformin and rosiglitazone.

Background: Pamela is the Director of a health-related organisation. She is divorced with one adult child aged 28. Ethnic background/Nationality: White British.

Audio & video

Pamela has a high-pressure job and commutes to work. Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed 4 years ago. She went to see her GP about something else and happen to mention that she had been feeling intensely thirsty. She now believes that she may have been developing diabetes for several years before the diagnosis, and that she had ignored the symptoms. Even after diagnosis, Pamela found it hard to accept her diabetes. She experienced many complex emotions which led her to deny her diabetic status. She did not want to be ill, so she decided that she wouldn't be. Also, she felt that she could do nothing to change her diabetes, for instance with her lifestyle or diet, and believed that ultimately it was not her but her body that was at fault. She felt that as a single woman, working long hours and having a stressful job, she couldn't afford to have the added burden of a chronic illness. 

It was only when after one of her retinopathy examinations, six months before the interview, when she was told she had an aneurysm in her eye, that her attitude to diabetes changed. With encouragement from her GP, Pamela decided to follow the GI (Gluco-glycemic Index) diet and became proactive about controlling her blood glucose levels. She still finds it hard to resist ice-cream and dark chocolate, but no longer goes to sandwich shops for lunch or snacks on the commute home. She makes large amounts of vegetable and bean soup at weekends and takes some to work everyday. 

Pamela is taking metformin and rosiglitazone, but hopes eventually that she may be able to come off medication completely if her blood glucose levels remain consistently low. Her diet has also helped her lose weight. She does have some pain in her feet, but overall feels much healthier and in control than she was before.

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