366 500 injections later

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 26 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:519
  1. William I Fraser, emeritus professor (
  1. University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff

    “They will find a tablet quite soon to replace the jab,” my friendly GP said when, in 1954, at 14, my juvenile diabetes was confirmed. I went home to look up the “family doctor book,” which happened to be Osler's 1906 edition, and read, “In childhood the disease is rapidly progressive and may prove fatal in a few days. The outlook is bad.”

    Having lived through a few days, and a few jabs, I returned to adolescent life—to the “Top 20” on Radio Luxemburg and “Rock Around the Clock”—while my parents settled down to reading Lawrence's The Diabetic Life and getting out the scales, to weigh everything according to the “10 gram exchange diet.”

    Resistance to change in routine is an obsessive attitude of many diabetics

    As I have now lived for 50 years with insulin dependent diabetes and without retinopathy or proteinuria, colleagues sometimes raise an eyebrow and …

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