The ill­ness be­comes a way of life

Friday - - Society Living Leisure -

In­jec­tions and testing have be­come the Mata­fonovs’ way of life. “Ear­lier, the plan­ning for both of them was dif­fer­ent, as they had dif­fer­ent doses of in­sulin, at dif­fer­ent times,” says Eve­lyn. “Now both are on in­sulin pumps, which I feel suits them both in dif­fer­ent ways. They still have to mon­i­tor their sugar lev­els ev­ery day, but only need to change the nee­dle ev­ery three days. With the pumps they have con­stant in­sulin flow­ing through their body, but when­ever they have food, they must ‘tell’ the pump the amount of car­bo­hy­drates they are eat­ing so it can cal­cu­late the amount of in­sulin it needs to in­ject. Not hav­ing to in­ject ev­ery day makes life a lit­tle eas­ier.

“Hav­ing a fe­male and male di­a­betic in the house makes man­ag­ing the con­di­tion even trick­ier – things that af­fect one may not af­fect the other be­cause hor­mones can play a huge part on di­a­betes man­age­ment.”

Both fam­i­lies keep tun­ing their meth­ods of cop­ing with T1DM. It’s tough, and hard work, but Gilly and Eve­lyn don’t com­plain.

“The fu­ture for Alexan­der and fel­low di­a­bet­ics is un­cer­tain,” says Gilly. “I’d like to wave a magic wand and find a cure overnight.

“Re­search is be­ing done and I am hope­ful that some­thing pos­i­tive is just around the cor­ner. In the mean­time, what is im­por­tant is to main­tain good health through good liv­ing. And for those yet to be di­ag­nosed, if you no­tice any­thing un­to­ward about your child – they start drink­ing co­pi­ous amounts of liq­uids, lose weight fairly rapidly, sud­denly start wet­ting the bed – please get it checked.”

Eve­lyn is op­ti­mistic and wants her chil­dren to do what­ever they want to do in life. “I feel there is a bright fu­ture for our chil­dren,” she says. “I just want them to know that hav­ing di­a­betes doesn’t stop them from want­ing cer­tain things in life. There might be some re­stric­tions, but I’m sure they’ll find a way to make good of all sit­u­a­tions.

“When any­one says to our chil­dren it can’t be done, they’ll try to do it. My kids have ac­cepted their con­di­tion and will not al­low di­a­betes to take over their lives. They have the steer­ing wheel, and di­a­betes can take a back seat.’’

The book­let, which will be avail­able early next year through the sup­port group web­site, will help oth­ers deal with di­a­betes. ● sthekkepat@gulfnews.com @Shiva_fri­day

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