Diabetes Type 2

Zoe - Interview 34

Female
Age at interview: 32
Age at diagnosis: 20

Brief outline: Zoe was diagnosed 12 years ago. She also has polycystic ovary syndrome. She takes insulin.

Background: Zoe is a hairdresser who lives with her partner and has no children. Ethnic background/Nationality: White British.

Audio & video

Zoe found out that she had type 2 diabetes when she was only 20 years old. She has had weight problems since being a child and has tried many different ways of losing weight including bulimia. When she was 16 she suddenly lost a lot of weight which she puts down to the onset of diabetes, though she finds it extremely difficult to separate the effects on her of diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome and hyperthyroidism.

Zoe was prescribed metformin at first and then gliclazide but both made her feel sick and ill. She finds insulin better for her. For about 9 years Zoe acted as if she didn't have diabetes and attempted to control the condition with dieting. Eventually she became very ill and couldn't continue working as a hairdresser. With the support of her new partner, she decided to tackle her diabetes and for the last year she has felt more 'grounded' about her life.

Zoe has coped with depression and serious mood swings throughout her adulthood, but hopes she will soon be turning a corner and starting a new life. These days she mostly feels positive and strong and believes that diabetes can be managed 'alongside' the other parts of her life.

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