My Diabetes story part 1: childhood – by Luci Talbot Clarke

What's it like to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in childhood? Operations Manager for CMR, Luci Talbot Clarke, shares her experience of growing up with this life-changing condition.

“The first memory I have of Diabetes is around the summer of ’85. I was on a school trip to Wimbledon and in the queue I experienced an unbelievable thirst. I was so parched it was unbearable and I remember asking my sister to get me loads of water. I also fainted while I was a bridesmaid at a family wedding. These incidents, combined with feeling tired and suffering extreme weight loss, prompted my medically minded Dad to say, “We’ll go to the doctor’s tomorrow. I think you have something called Diabetes.”

So off I went to the hospital where I had to stay for a week! Once I had received my diagnosis, I learned everything: how to test my blood, count carbs and to practice injecting on an orange.

Back then, there were no blood or finger pricking tests available outside of the hospital. I’d have to pee on a stick to measure my blood sugar level which was really inaccurate. I’d inject insulin twice a day: once in the morning, and once at night. It was a mix of long and short acting insulin called Mixtard which I had to balance with my intake of carbs and exercise daily. This meant eating the same amount of food at exactly the same time every day, and having regular snacks. There was little control but we managed, and it soon became a way of life.

When I went back to school, I told my friends that I was now ‘a Diabetic’. And when I said I’d have to inject myself, they thought I was making it up! Mum and Dad were adamant from the start that I would manage my own Diabetes and do all my testing and medication myself. They said, “This is your condition, it’s yours to manage and you control it, it doesn’t control you.” Of course, they were being cruel to be kind: this was a lifelong thing, and (with their constant support) I would have to learn to deal with it. I’m so glad they taught me that mentality as that is how I have lived with my diabetes from then on. It’s never stopped me doing anything.”

CMR: Our Diabetes experience

We believe we are the only Diabetes medical device specialist market research agency.

Although CMR started life covering all medical device types, Diabetes is our priority. Our first project in 2000 was a usability study for a blood glucose meter and now over 60% of our work is in the Diabetes sector.

Over the past 16 years we have worked on a multitude of Diabetes device types including insulin pens, lancets, blood glucose meters, DPN monitors, Hba1c monitors, continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps (including patch pumps). We’ve also covered user guides, med-ed, support services, advertising, sales aids, packaging and apps in the Diabetes field.

Having delivered Diabetes research in over 30 markets, we know Diabetes patients and HCPs intimately and enjoy helping our clients to make their lives easier. We have become passionate about the Diabetes sector and we are proud to have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry.

To learn how we could help you, please get in touch.