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I am eagerly awaiting my 50 year medal.

Fifty years of living with diabetes and Sylvia looks back at her diagnosis.

In September 1963, aged 13 years, I was walking to college when I was attacked by a dog. I was absolutely petrified. Over the next two to three months I began to lose weight, had no energy, had an insatiable thirst and reached the stage where I collapsed into the chair when I came home from school. I was to and from the toilet all the time.

After 50 years with diabetes I am still going strong.


When I was admitted to hospital on 14 January 1964 I was seen by the consultant - I was skin and bones. I was started on two injections a day of unpurified bovine insulin and began to improve immediately. I learned how to inject by using an orange and my syringe was stainless steel,kept sterile by boiling in water.

Blood glucose strips had to be bought and to make them go further,each strip was cut in two. A set of kitchen scales was bought to weigh all the food I ate.

Life returned to “normal” for some 20 years until the new purified insulin was introduced. From then to now my life has been made an absolute nightmare with almost daily hypos, no warning symptons and a life of trying different insulins but with no warnings.

My dear husband, Harold,has been my rock and fortress this past forty plus years, together with my son, Paul, and daughter, Sharon. To all three of them a very big sincere thank you for making my life so much easier. My husband has vowed to write a book with all the various “hypos” both good, bad and indifferent which has led to a very interesting life.

I am eagerly awaiting my 50 years of living with diabetes medal.

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