The illness becomes a way of life
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. ● firstname.lastname@example.org @Shiva_friday