Diabetes Type 2

Tina - Interview 17

Age at interview: 45
Age at diagnosis: 33

Brief outline: Tina was diagnosed 12 years ago. Initially she tried to control diabetes with diet alone, then transferred to metformin. In 2004 she changed to insulin and now takes Levimir at night.

Background: Tina is a development funding assistant who lives with her long-term partner and has 4 adult children. Ethnic background/Nationality: White British.

Audio & video

Tina found out that she had diabetes 12 years ago when she was 33. She had no particular symptoms, and decided to attend a voluntary screening clinic at her local hospital because she knew her grandmother and other members of her family had had diabetes. Initially she was advised to lose weight and change her diet and drinking habits, but she felt she was being talked down to and says she reacted 'defensively' to this advice. She lost control of her diabetes, and was put on metformin but became quite ill. More recently, since developing neuropathy she has started using insulin.

She has serious problems with eyesight and has had several sessions of laser surgery. She no longer sees out of her left eye and has limited vision in her right eye. In 2006 she was registered blind. She still works and has special sight aids on her computer to help. Tina finds it difficult to walk much because she has serious problems with her feet - her left foot particularly. She recently contracted MRSA and says that she lost almost 20% of her left foot as a result. She misses being able to walk her dog.

Tina says she has always had a positive attitude, though she feels she is largely to blame for the progress of her diabetes. She feels lucky that she has fantastic support from her partner who she describes as 'wonderful' for helping her cope.


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