Long term health conditions

Lucy - Interview 05

Age at interview: 17
Age at diagnosis: 6

Brief outline: Lucy has had type 1 diabetes for 11 years. Two years ago her mother was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. There was a period when her diabetes control overall wasn't very good. Lucy has been working with her consultant at improving her overall control by setting an action plan, like for instance 'losing weight'. She is feeling much better now.

Background: Lucy is doing her AS levels, plans to do A-levels and wants to go to university. She lives with her parents and younger sister. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

Audio & video

Lucy is 17 years old and has had Type 1 Diabetes for eleven years. She started to do her own injections a few months after her diagnosis because her parents found it difficult to do the injections for her. She says that her diabetes hasn't really been a problem except when she had highs and lows (high or low blood sugars).

There was a period, around the age of thirteen when she experienced lots of highs and her control of diabetes overall wasn't that good. Her insulin regime at that time consisted of injecting short-acting insulin every time she ate, plus a long-acting insulin that she had at night time. Her control began to slip when she began to forget her lunch time insulin at school but later on she was also forgetting to inject at other mealtimes. She thinks that short-acting insulin gives you lots of flexibility but in her view it might not be the right one to have when you are a teenager because it is easy to get out of the routine of injecting. This is because when you are growing up you are busy doing activities and wanting to be with friends. In retrospect, she says that her doctors should have asked more questions than they did about why she was having problems in controlling her diabetes. She also thinks that it would have helped to have attended clinic more often than every three to six months. 

Soon she will be moving from her children's clinic to a 'transition clinic'. She has been working with her consultant at improving her overall control by setting action plans; like for instance 'losing weight'. She is feeling much better now and her HbA1c (a way of seeing whether the diabetes is well controlled) is usually between eight and nine, although she is working towards 7.5.

Her diabetes nurse provided her with information about drinking alcohol and diabetes when she was around twelve years old. She considers that this information is very important and, as a result, she is not inclined to drink more than one glass of alcohol at any one time. However, she also sees it as a social limitation because teenagers are likely to drink and get drunk when going out.


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