In the fourth grade, this happened: in gym class, I constantly went down to the toilet and drank water from the tap because of a terrible thirst, then at home vomited for a day, then the ambulance took to the Morozov hospital. There they diagnosed «diabetes of the first type». Parents were worried, but I did not perceive the diagnosis in any way and then behaved as usual. Only all the time I was afraid that everyone would find out about diabetes and start pointing fingers at me. That’s what happened».
And Sergey has diabetes!
In the fifth grade English teacher, she is our class teacher as well, one day she announced: «Guys, the whole class is going on a tour next week, and Zakharov Seryozha is not going, Seryozha has diabetes!» And everyone started looking at me.
I didn’t know why she said that. My friend and I were really naughty guys and gave her a lot of trouble. But why did she say diabetes?
Against this background, I had a kind of psychological trauma in my head, although I did not formulate it at the time. Firstly, I didn’t feel it: well, point with the finger and show. Anyway. But then this injury began to progress in me. I didn’t rebel, but I gave an irregular shot of insulin. I would come home, inject and go for a walk. Or I would forget. There was one strong thought, and I said, it would pass. My mind was completely closed to the understanding of what was waiting for me.
I didn’t live my own life, but the life of my friends. To be honest, I studied until the sixth grade, then I lived by their interests. I wanted to be like them. Sometimes we played football, sometimes we went to see football match. Moreover, I think, cigarettes damaged me as well. I'd been smoking since first grade. Such a company I got. Then beer. Ate what I wanted. And so I lived and lived. And the fact that there may be problems with the eyes, I just did not know. How should I know? Yes, my mother wanted to sign me up for some lectures ... but then this idea was somehow forgotten”.
So I just lived and lived and then...
I lived and lived and lived until I was twenty-seven years old, and then I went out into the street at work, and I had before my eyes a swarm of black spots. The pressure jumped from 120 to 170. Right from work I was taken by the ambulance to the hospital. They thought that I could be the heart problem. But the heart was normal. The doctor said: “go to the ophthalmologist, and we’ll release you”. I went to the ophthalmologist, there was such a good old doctor, professor, and he said to me: “boy, you need to run to the doctors - you have so grown vases there, that it is terrible».
Going to doctors
“And that’s when I started to deal with the problem. In a big clinic, I underwent laser surgery: they burned my eyes nine times. Then the surgeons said that they had done everything for their part, now other specialists need to remove the vitreous body and seriously work on the retina. I went to another well-known clinic. And their leading surgeon said: yes, you go and normalize your sugars, and everything will go away for you. But I didn’t believe in it anymore, since they told me to “run urgently.” I left them in despair. I think maybe some injections can be done? That is, I created my treatment plan. A very good ophthalmologist in our clinic found a hospital in Khimki, where supposedly they could inject drugs into the eye. I come there, and just the whole department, all their employees and even students started watching me there. It scared me. I thought: now they would tell me that I can die. They said: what kind of injections should be done, only an operation, everything was very terrible there ... In this sense everything is just terrifying. But they would not make a surgery. I left in complete despair and realized that I was utterly helpless and utterly alone. Look: they kicked there, they kicked here ... But all of a sudden doctor came out behind me, he stopped me in the corridor and said ... "
God led me. There is no other explanation
“... he says: there is a surgeon Avanesov at the Central Clinical Hospital, I visited her during my residency. Sign up for a consultation, here's the phone number. I signed up and two weeks later I got an appointment, and Tatyana Andreevna said: I can take you without any problems, these are the documents you need.
God led me, I have no other explanations.
After the operation, I had a significant improvement, but Tatiana and I continue struggling. Now I keep the sugar normal, as Tatiana Andreyevna told me. I need to keep a stable level. I do not eat either sweet or flour. Vegetables, everything boiled. Already used. Control the sugar level by the system constantly monitoring Freestyle Libre. It hangs on my hand, at any moment I can check. You see, the sugar went up a bit. 7.7. But that’s because I’m worried now.
When I began to see, I began to understand a lot. Diabetes has its own schedule. It is very difficult to take control of it and then keep it under control. There is such a thing as insulin resistance. When you need to inject a dose of 4 units, and it does not work. You inject eight - does not work. You increase everything, and then it accumulates and sugar falls down. Or hypoglycemia, when sugar, for example, is 3. You shake, you are in panic. All you have to do is drink 0.2 juice and wait. But people who don’t know start eating bread, drink a liter of juice, and sugar goes up to 25, insulin won’t knock it down if you go too far with it once. And it wears out the vessels”.
Head is back to the right place
It is terrible to live with a problem when it is always before your eyes: whether you go, stand, wherever you look - everything is distorted in your eyes. I feel that I am taking the disease under control. But I am still in limbo. All the time I think: late or not late? I don’t mean the eyes, I mean the whole thing.
In life, I am a kind and gentle person, I can’t yell at someone, I easily give in, I like to listen. I can listen to a person for two or three hours, if I'm interested. But because of the disease, I became a little withdrawn ... The thought that you do not know what will happen to you is terrible. But also another thought: I have this problem, and it is very difficult to stop, but I have to deal with it.
How should you tell a person that he has to take control forever? That he has to keep sugar no higher than six and a half? Choose a food system. Constantly visit doctors, ophthalmologists. Find where the lectures on diabetes are given, and start going there. Learn to live with this disease, not waiting for you to be sent to one surgery, then to another one. Time is very important. How to inspire person?
My parents told me: go to the doctor. The family is good, wealthy. I wasn't beaten or anything. But I didn't go. And there was one, with no one to talk to me about this topic. And time went on and on.
... If I personally approached such a kid now, I could quickly explain everything to him. Would he understand? I don’t know. After all, I understood only when the head was back in place».
Interviewed by: Nina Chugunova
Photo: Eugene Stecko