Into the Story


Ep 32 Cilla's story - acingles

Episodio 32: Living with diabetes with Cilla

Nivel de inglés:  Intermedio Alto
Acento: Australiano

Today’s story is about living with diabetes. Cuando Cilla, nuestra protagonista, era muy joven, sus padres descubrieron que tenía diabetes, es decir, que su cuerpo no producía la insulina necesaria para digerir bien los alimentos. ¿Qué significa vivir con esta enfermedad? ¿Qué obstáculos y desafíos implica? Esto es lo que descubriremos en el episodio de hoy.

Mientras escuchas a Cilla contándonos sus experiencias, aprenderás vocabulario en inglés muy útil, como el significado de ‘hassle’, ‘work out’ y ‘back up’. Después de tantos años, vivir con diabetes es bastante normal para Cilla, pero a veces se complica. Escucha el episodio completo para saber qué pasó el día que perdió su bomba de insulina.

What’s my English level?

Take our level test and check your result immediately. This is one of the most accurate level tests you’ll find. Start the test!

Quote of the episode

‘What can happen is that sometimes you just have days where you've got a really high blood sugar and it makes you feel awful, but you just kind of get on with it, and live your normal life. I try my best, and I feel that even though I've had this illness now for 28 years, it's never stopped me doing anything’

Bree: Today’s story is about living with diabetes – vivir con diabetes. Our storyteller will be Cilla, from Australia. Cuando Cilla era muy joven, sus padres descubrieron que tenía diabetes, una enfermedad que significa que su cuerpo no produce los niveles de insulina necesarios para digerir bien los alimentos.

Cilla: Because I can’t remember life without it, it’s all I’ve ever known. So it has never been like I had to adjust to anything major. I think it was a much bigger adjustment for my parents. 

Bree: In today’s story you’ll hear Cilla explain stories from her childhood growing up with diabetes. She also shares her experiences living and travelling with an insulin pump – su bomba de insulina – a small medical device that she wears on her stomach to control her body’s hormone levels. After so many years, life with diabetes is pretty normal for Cilla but it does sometimes get complicated, like when she unexpectedly lost her pump. Keep listening to find out what happened that day… 

Before we talk about today’s vocabulary, could you do us a huge favour and share this episode with a friend who is improving their English? More listeners means we can continue producing more stories for you. Subscribing and leaving a positive review is also an excellent way to support the show. I’d like to give a personal thank you to Angeles who recently left us a 5 star review on Apple podcasts. She says “Bree hace excelentes podcasts que mejoran tu nivel de inglés”. Angeles, thank you so much for your kind words. I would like to say that even though it’s my voice you hear I cannot take all the credit for making this podcast! There’s a team of us working to produce Into the Story, and it takes us many hours to create each episode. So, from all of us at AC, thank you for your support, and for helping us continue doing what we’re doing.

Ok antes de escuchar la historia de hoy, veamos 5 palabras y expresiones interesantes que utiliza Cilla en este episodio: 

  1. Firstly, a hassle. The word hassle can be used as both a noun or a verb. If I hassle someone, it means that I annoy them. But if something ‘is a hassle’ then it means that it is an inconvenience. For example, driving to work in peak hour traffic can be a real hassle in the mornings. Hassle.
  2. Here’s another word that can be used as both a noun and a verb that you’ll hear Cilla use today: ‘back-up’. A ‘back up’ is a secure copy of something like a digital document or file that you make to avoid losing the information. Similarly, if someone ‘backs up’ their computer it means that they make a replacement or copy of the computer contents. In today’s episode, Cilla talks about carrying around back up supplies for her diabetes. Back up.
  3. Next, ‘to work out’. The phrasal verb to work out has a couple of interesting meanings in English. To work out can mean to exercise. But if I say that I need to work out my weekend plans. It means that I need to plan or organise them. But if I say that we need to work out this maths problem, it means that I need to solve the maths problem and find an answer. So to work out can mean, to exercise, to plan or organize, and to solve. To work out.
  4. The next expression is ‘to backtrack’. To backtrack in English means to review your steps or actions. In Cilla’s case, she needed to backtrack and visit all the places that she had been to earlier in the day to find her insulin pump. 
  5. And finally to be hard on oneself. If you are hard on someone or hard on yourself, it means that you criticise them in a way that is very strict or not very fair. For example, a teacher could be hard on the student’s work or parents can be hard on their children.

Si quieres la transcripción, la ficha de vocabulario, y un test de comprensión de este episodio, sigue el enlace en las notas del programa. OK, now, let’s get into the story…

Cilla: Hello my name is Cilla. It’s short for Priscilla. I’m 31 years old. I live currently in England, in Oxford. I’m originally from Australia and I’m going to go back to Australia. 

I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 3. I got very sick. My body wasn’t making insulin and my blood sugars went really high and very high is about, I think it was around 27. So that’s like five times over the normal reading. And the symptoms you have when are really unwell are things like, I got really really thirsty. I felt very tired. I wanted to go to the toilet a lot. I just felt very ill. So yeah that’s when it started. 

Bree: And just like that so is life with diabetes began she and her family had to learn a lot about the illness, its effects on the body and how best to manage it. 

Cilla: So type 1 is when your pancreas so that’s an organ in your body. It stops  making insulin, which is a hormone. Now what insulin does is help to regulate your blood sugar. So when you eat something, insulin is released and it then helps to keep the sugar in your blood very level and very even. So that’s type one. That’s what I have. 

Type 2, probably more known as the adult diabetes, it is generally to do with lifestyle. You still make insulin but you don’t make it as well. So, people might have to take tablets or change their diet. But my type, my body completely stopped making insulin. 

Because I can’t remember life without it, it’s all I’ve ever known. So it has never been like I had to adjust to anything major. I think it was a much bigger adjustment for my parents, particularly my mum. My mom had to learn how to do things like carbohydrate counts. So carbohydrates in food and you have to have… give yourself injections with the insulin in it. 

Bree: Besides the injections and carbohydrate counting, Cilla led a pretty normal life but there were a few challenges that came with being a kid with diabetes.

Cilla:  When I was younger the thing that I remember finding the hardest is that I’d go to parties and there would be all this food that all the kids could eat and I couldn’t eat as much of that food because you do have to be careful how much sugar you have. You had a much more restrictive diet. I could occasionally have sweet things but not much. But as a kid I found that really hard and there were often times I couldn’t go to sleepovers at friends’ houses because I would need an injection just before going to bed and an injection first thing in the morning and I remember finding that really hard. 

And then when I was 15, I went on what was called an insulin pump. So it’s a little machine that I wear on my outside like I clip it to my jeans or a belt and it has a little tube that sits under the skin and it constantly gives me little amounts of insulin. And since I got that when I was 15. It has definitely made life much much easier. 

Bree: Thanks to her insulin pump, life with diabetes became much smoother for Cilla! She didn’t have to give herself injections anymore, nor did she need to manually check her insulin levels. Cilla and her insulin pump have however encountered some complicated situations…

Cilla: I’m very used to it now. I think one thing that I found where it gets to be more of a hassle is when I travel ‘cos I love traveling. But as probably people can imagine, going through airport security, I have gone to some countries that don’t understand much about diabetes and I’ve gone through and they’ve tried to take my diabetes supplies off. Doha, when I went through, they were like, we need to take this off you and I said no I need to keep it with me and it was a bit of arguing with them having very limited English. 

I think I have tried to feel as relaxed as I can. I don’t get very anxious or stressed. I figure it’s all going to work out in the end. It’s just part of traveling as a diabetic ‘cos I have to carry all my supplies with me which include like my insulin, my pump and things for doing blood tests and checking my blood sugar and back up of everything and extra supplies. So I have got a lot to carry. So there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings and people just not sure what all this stuff is that I carry. But it’s never… it’s always worked out in the end and I think as time goes on, there is much more understanding about people carrying certain medical devices as they travel.

Bree: In order for the insulin pump to administer insulin and regulate her body’s blood sugar levels, Cilla needs to have the device attached to her stomach all day and night. If you can imagine, it’s like constantly wearing a small mobile phone on your belt. 

Cilla: I can take it off for up to 2 hours if I am like swimming or at the beach but I need it most of the time. So there was this one time I lost it and it was terrible. So I was at the gym there was these little kind of square open lockers that you just put me back in at the front of the gym and I went to that and put my bag in it and then I unclipped my pump so it’s clipped into the little site that sits on my stomach I unclipped and then I put it in my bag. So now I was probably already listening to music or just not concentrating but I put it in my bag and then did my workout. I probably worked out for like 45 minutes to an hour so went back to my bag at the end, picked it up then I walked out of the gym and I got in my car, drove back home, got in the shower, had my shower, got out of the shower, got dressed and then went to put my insulin pump back on. And I looked in my bag and searched my bag and realized it wasn’t in there. And when I first realized I think I felt quite like… I started to feel quite stressed and anxious and I was like oh my goodness where is it and I just searched and searched and what comes into my mind as well is that… this pump is worth about five thousand euros. I started to think, oh my goodness that’s a very expensive machine. Has someone stolen it out of my bag and known that it was an insulin pump or has it just dropped out of somewhere so I searched and searched. I was probably getting more and more stressed and then I thought ok I have to backtrack, I need to retrace my steps and then I thought ok well I was at the gym maybe somehow dropped out of my bag at the gym. So I went back. I think I must have had a little look and couldn’t find it and then I went back to the desk and it turns out that someone handed it in and I felt so relieved and what I think happened is that… when I took my pump off and put it in my bag it dropped into someone else’s bag. It had actually dropped out of my back and into someone else’s cos there was no crashing noise so it’s not like it crashed onto the ground but it probably hit like someone’s soft bag and they took it home with them and fortunately they obviously open their bag and saw this isn’t mine. Good, it’s still work hours for the gym so they took it back to the gym.  

I was so happy, so happy. A massive grin. I was just was like oh my goodness. 

Bree: After experiencing the stress of losing her pump, Cilla was clearly so relieved and pleased to find it back at the gym where she last saw it. Living with diabetes is something that Cilla is well-accustomed to by now but certain days can be more of a struggle than others.

Cilla: I can probably be a bit more critical and hard on myself than what  I should be. The doctors say that you are doing a really good job but I think what can happen is that sometimes you just have days where you’ve got a really high blood sugar and it makes you feel awful but you just kind of get on with it and live your normal life and I try my best and I still feel that now that like even though I’ve had this illness now for 28 years, it’s never stop me doing anything like I’ve been able to travel the world, I’m planning to go skydiving next month and I have also got to do different sports. I got to run a half marathon. It has never stopped me doing things I want. Sometimes I have to delay slightly but it has never stopped me. So I think we have a pretty good relationship now.

Bree: As she mentioned in the podcast, Cilla did in fact go skydiving with her pump and she continues to do a lot of sport. Everything from pilates to running! 

And since recording the podcast, Cilla and her insulin pump have made it home to Australia where she plans to stay for the next little while. Cilla, we wish her all the best on the next chapter of life with diabetes. 

Para escuchar los más de 30 episodios de Into the Story y no perderte los siguientes, suscríbete ahora en Spotify, Apple Podcasts, o en tu reproductor de podcasts favorito. Ok everyone, until next we hope you have a good time or at least a story to tell.

Complete these sentences with a word that you hear in the podcast.

When Cilla was 3, she experienced __________ like feeling thirsty and feeling tired that led doctors to diagnose her with Type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes means that your _________ stops producing insulin, a hormone that your body needs to maintain regular blood sugar levels.

Both Cilla and her parents needed to adapt to life with diabetes. Cilla’s mum in particular needed to learn how to do ________ counts and give insulin injections to her daughter.

As a child, Cilla was sometimes not able to go to _________ at her friends’ houses because of her injection schedule.

Cilla’s insulin pump is a small _________ that she wears on her belt that helps to regulate her insulin levels.

Wearing an insulin pump all day can sometimes be a __________ when she is travelling through international airports.

Cilla can remove her insulin pump when she goes ___________ or to the beach but needs it most of the time.

When Cilla realised that her pump was not in her bag, she felt quite __________ and anxious.

Cilla decided to __________ and go back to the places that she had been earlier in the day to try and find her insulin pump.

Cilla lives a pretty normal life with diabetes. She is even planning on __________ next month.

Work out” es un phrasal verb muy útil para añadir a tu vocabulario en inglés ya que es una expresión que muchos angloparlantes utilizan a menudo en su vida cotidiana. Repasemos algunos de sus usos principales! 

En primer lugar, “work out” se utiliza como sinónimo de las palabras “plan” o “elaborate” en inglés. Es posible que escuches a la gente utilizar “to work out” en una frase tal como “we need to work out what we will do with the children during the summer holidays” (“tenemos que planificar lo que haremos con los niños durante las vacaciones de verano”).

“To work out” también puede significar “resolver” en inglés, y se podría utilizar en muchos contextos diferentes, como por ejemplo, “in maths class, you need to work out the solution to the equations” (“en la clase de mates, hay que calcular la solución de las ecuaciones”) o en el trabajo “I need to work out how to solve the client’s problems” (“tengo que averiguar cómo resolver los problemas del cliente”). Un poco como con ‘resolver’ en castellano, ‘work out’ también se utiliza para indicar que algo ha salido bien. “Moving in with my girlfriend was complicated at first, but it worked out in the end. We are very happy now” (“Mudarme con mi novia fué difícil al principio, pero salió bien, ahora estamos muy contentos”).

En el podcast de hoy, escucharemos a Cilla usando la expresión “to work out” en dos contextos distintos. Debido a su diabetes, Cilla necesita llevar muchos medicamentos y utensilios médicos en el avión, lo que puede causarle algunos problemas al pasar por la seguridad del aeropuerto. Primero, veamos cómo Cilla usa el phrasal verb “to work out” para decir que a pesar de los malentendidos, todo suele acabar bien:

‘So there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings and people are just not sure what all this stuff is that I carry. But… it’s always worked out in the end and I think as time goes on, there is much more understanding about people carrying certain medical devices as they travel.

Finalmente, “work out” se usa para hablar de hacer ejercicio o entrenar de forma regular. Puede que oigas a alguien decir en inglés “I love to work out at the gym after work to release stress” (“Me encanta entrenar en el gimnasio después del trabajo para reducir el estrés”). En ocasiones este phrasal verb también se utiliza como nombre, en el cual caso se convierte en una sola palabra. “I worked out for two hours this morning” (“Entrené durante 2 horas esta mañana”)/”I didn’t do my workout this morning” (“No hice mi entrenamiento esta mañana”). Cilla también usa “to work out” para referirse a su entrenamiento, como vemos en esta frase:  

‘I probably worked out for like 45 minutes to an hour so then I went back to my bag at the end, picked it up and then I walked out of the gym’

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Into The Story. Si has disfrutado con la historia de Cilla, nos ayudaría muchísimo si nos dejaras un comentario o una buena puntuación en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita. 

Para mantenerte al día con todos nuestros podcasts y otras lecciones para mejorar tu fluidez,  suscríbete ahora a la newsletter. We can’t wait to see you there! 

Join the AC Family

Suscríbete a las clases semanales gratis de AC inglés

Tengo un nivel entre intermedio y avanzado y quiero apuntarme a la newsletter de AC para ir mejorando mi nivel de inglés GRATIS (no spam guaranteed!):

7 comentarios

  1. I love your podcasts! Every day I hear 2 or 3 to improve my English. I’m studying for B2 exam and these podcasts help me so much. Thank you for sharing them! I also shared them with my classmates in the English course

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *