chapter  FOUR
11 Pages

Avoiding the issues: the consequences of poorly managed diabetes

BySusan Berger

This chapter examines the case study of Mr M, a 33-year-old male suffering for most of his life from childhood-onset diabetes. He came into counselling with severe physical complications, including the beginnings of kidney failure and diabetic retinopathy. This resulted from his diabetes being poorly managed, necessitating ongoing and increasingly complicated medical intervention, culminating in a renal transplant. Mr M's primary attachment in childhood seemed not to be to his parents but more to the country he grew up in—the landscape and feel of Africa, the archetypal earth mother. A major theme of the work was Mr M's experience of medical intervention and his reactions and responses to them and to those in charge of his medical treatment. The therapeutic space became increasingly important as the one place where Mr M could experience himself as whole—both body and mind—and to give meaning to those experiences.