Long term health conditions

Jodie - Interview 18

Female
Age at interview: 21

Brief outline: Jodie has cystic fibrosis (CF) and was diagnosed with CF related type 1 diabetes in her early teens. Of the two conditions she finds her diabetes the harder to control particularly because she has a very active life. She finds that the specialist care she received is brilliant. She remains thankful for all the nagging she got from her Dad and her children's consultant.

Background: Jodie is in her final year at university and also works part-time for an insurance company. She plans to go on to do a PhD and wants to be a university lecturer. Jodie does lots of exercise and sports. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

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Jodie has Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and was diagnosed with CF related type 1 diabetes in her early teens. She injects Humalog insulin when she eats and the long acting insulin Lantus in the evening. Her diet is heavy on low GI carbohydrates and she avoids eating anything with a high fatty content. Since the age of 18 she has been progressively taking less medication for her CF. Until then she was taking around eighty tablets a day including vitamins, Creon, antibiotics, lansoprazole etc. Currently, she does not need to take Creon because her weight is stable and only takes courses of antibiotics as she needs them. At present, she takes insulin and lansoprazole daily. Of the two conditions, she finds her diabetes the harder to control particularly because she has a very active life. She pays particular attention to not getting 'highs' (hyperglycaemia) because these mean that her immune system is less able to fight infections. She finds the specialist care she received brilliant and she can contact her consultants or go to the clinic as and when she needs to.

Jodie has always done lots of exercise and sports. She has trained and participated in the Great North Run, she cycles everywhere and plays squash. She also does skiing but because the altitude affects her chest she tends to have antibiotics before she goes; while she is skiing, and when she comes back.

She does not do physiotherapy as she thinks it does not really benefit her because she never 'brings anything up' and instead prefers to run which is a good cardiovascular stimulating form of exercise. 

Says that she has had, what she termed, “hard love” from people like her Dad and her care health professionals who pushed and nagged her when she was a teenager. Jodie says that teen years are particularly difficult and she thinks that it is O.K. for the consultants to nag, bribe, and use threats and bets with their young patients. Her consultant at the children's clinic did all of these and she is thankful for it. She feels well looked after by all the specialist teams that have seen her all these years but she tries to avoid GP's and A&E departments because she finds they do not really understand the complexity of, or the treatment for, her conditions.

Jodie plans are to do a doctorate and to become a university lecturer. She keeps herself positive and remains thankful for all the nagging that her Dad and her children's consultant did when she was a teenager!

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