Children and Diabetes

The pudgy-cheeked pup on the photo was born in Lugansk already during the war. Sasha very recently found herself in a hospital. They found diabetes, before that she was in emergency rooms three times.
Unfortunately, LPR diabetes problems have gotten much worse. The number of insulin-dependent patients is growing rapidly. What can one say. It all comes down to–“war”.
Now the kid has to take insulin shots. It’s issued for free (though they say there might be problems with deliveries of certain kinds before the New Year). But test strips or glucose meters are another story–parents have to buy those themselves. The girl can’t survive if her sugar can’t be monitored.
Initially one needs lots of strips. Usually a diabetic uses two packets a month. But newly diagnosed ones four or five…Test strips cost 1100 rubles per packet in Lugansk. Often much more.
And one must remember that the average LPR salary is about 5,000. Which is the entire income of Sasha’s family.
The girl’s mom is panicking, since she has no idea where to get the money. But they must find them–that’s the new reality. And in addition to the test strips, they have to buy food, pay for utilities.
We got them a glucose meter and some test strips, our friends delivered them to the hospital where Sasha is a patient.


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Our Vika

We’ve been helping Vika for over three years now. We’re helping her and her mom. They live in Lugansk, LPR.
She has diabetes and lost her eyesight. Had TB. Lost a brother, also a diabetic.
That’s the short version.
Why did she lose her eyesight?
Sometime ago I wrote a post about how my nephew asked about her and her eyesight, why she lost it, I curtly replied “war”.
It’s probably the most accurate answer and it’s hard to add anything to it. Even though my posts about Vika are visited by the “all-knowing” who tell me the war had nothing to do with it, it’s Vika own fault and her mom’s too. That they inject insulin improperly, monitor blood sugar improperly, etc. I even stopped getting angry reading these comments. Although initially I would try, with shaking hands, explain how difficult it was to get insulin in LPR in ’14 and ’15. Explain what it’s like to live with no money and ability to buy even test strips. When you are alone, without a husband, with a bedridden mother, and your son is dying. When there is bombing, when you are sitting in a cellar. But I stopped.
You read a post about Vika about once a month on this blog. We’ve been through a lot in these three years. If you want to know more, click on the “Vika” tag at the bottom of this post.

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Oksana

Oksana’s husband went off to the militia almost at once, in ’14. He died on May 9, 2015. This was too much to bear for Oksana, she cut herself away from the outside world. No, she did not go insane. She feeds her kids, talks. But it’s as if she’s living in her own world, not ours. I didn’t see her, our friends went to visit. Zhenya was naturally struck taken aback when he met her. He says that it’s as if he wasn’t talking to her but to a shroud. “Quiet, monotonous, correct speech. But without emotion, empty…”

On the photo, her kids, Masha born in 2010, and Kolya, 2012.

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Valerka

There was a woman in Lugansk. And she had two kids. “Was” not in the sense she’s no longer among the living, it’s just that she’s not in Lugansk anymore. “Had” not in the sense they are no more. They are not with her anymore.
That Woman, I don’t know how to call her, left LPR at one point. And left the kids. Alone. “To find love”–it seems that’s the phrasing we heard from social workers who told us about the kids. “They’re adults, they can take care of themselves, but I need to get my life on track”. Well, they are not adults. Valera is only 16, the younger is 10. He was taken to an orphanage. The older one lives alone, since he’s an “adult”. He went to study computer systems.

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Big Family

Elena Vasilyevna has 4 children.
It’s a big family, where the oldest son Kolya has Down Syndrome.
And you can probably guess where they are from, since they are on my blog.
Yes, from LPR.
Why didn’t they leave?
Well, they did leave.
They managed to leave within 24 hours when the city was closed by a blockade. And you know how many didn’t manage to leave? How many tried but couldn’t? Or were killed or wounded while trying to leave?
Elena Vasilyevna and her family escaped to Crimea and remained there until the ceasefire.
Some ceasefire…
Then she returned home. And thank God the home was whole, though neighboring ones were hit. And they were not plundered, which is not a rarity either, alas…
Why did they return?
This can’t be answered with a single sentence, I’m afraid.
Do you know how many returned? How many families tried to find work and housing but couldn’t? And it’s hard for a family with 4 kids, one of whom is disabled. Very hard. Incidentally, we returned many families with multiple children who returned. “Who needs us there”. Many kids, all have to be accommodated, fed, work has to be found…And one doesn’t have one’s own house or garden…
Because, you know, they simply went back home.

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“A matter of time”

About once a month, I sit down at the computer and don’t know what to write. You know that we’re helping cancer patients in Lugansk. Now only two of the “girls” whom we’ve been constantly assisting remain. The rest have left us…
My blog is a difficult read. Because it’s about war, about people who lost it all.
And on top of that there’s cancer.
You know, there is no need to exaggerate anything. Just the facts are enough.
These women have not received the needed treatment in time so now…They are dying.
They live in Lugansk, yes, where there’s a war on. Tiny social benefits. Not enough to buy food, let alone medications and tests.
And yes, you can’t write lovely paragraphs about how one could try a bit harder, collect a bit more money and take them to Rostov or Moscow, have an operation, and then there would be a chance.
No, these “girls” have no chances left.
So these posts are the least read. A black hole, when it comes to reader views. I realize that, but…
These patients really need financial support. Even more so than others.
They constantly need medications. Not just the chemo, though we bought that too since hospitals didn’t have it. Ordinary painkillers. They are needed all the time. And yes, thanks to all who read these posts. Thank you for your reposts, comments, and financial support!

Please label all contributions intended for cancer patients “cancer”.

Our Tanya.
How’s she doing?
Her breast was removed, had scans done.
Metastases in the spine. She’s had the fourth stage for a long time. Fighting to the last. Even smiles as best she can. Sometimes things turn for the better.
But all the doctors say the same thing–“a matter of time”.
But all of us, on the other side–“a matter of time”.

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Medications for Lyosha

Friends, here’s the thing.
Lyosha was an ordinary child until the age of 3. Then he had a vaccination and problems began. In the end, he was diagnosed with “mental deficiency, emotional instability”. I don’t know about the vaccination, we’ll leave these debates for the appropriate venues, but it’s a fact he’s 14 and disabled. He lives in Lugansk with his mom who can’t work because she takes care of him. His mood can change in an instant and he loses control. The mom tried to work but it did not end well so she’s afraid to leave him alone for long. They live on a 2,000 ruble pension. Lyosha has to spend the rest of his life taking medications without which things are worse still. He gets fits so extreme that he damages furniture…
I wrote about him in mid-September. I wrote quickly, as an afterthought. But we, or rather Lena and Zhenya, only just got to know them and didn’t realize how complicated things are.
Here’s the crux of the problem.


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As you are. With a mustache.

–Dunyash, how are things?
–Oh, I published a book!
–You don’t say! What kind of book?
–It has something about you, too.
–About me? A book?
–Not the book, but a whole chapter?
–And what do I look like in it?
–As you are. With a mustache?
Have you seen him lately, the devil?


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Viktoria–it means victory

My book about the Donbass was written during the 2015-16 winter. At that time we were busy taking Vika from Lugansk to Moscow to try to save her sight.
Vika was taken in by one of the best opthalmological wards in Moscow. The hospital at FMBA.
While Zhenya and I were driving around Moscow, Vika was smiling from ear to ear and listened to our descriptions of what we saw. We drove through the center, and Our Bellflower kept listening to the street noise. It was her first time in Moscow so she wanted to know every detail.

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“Mama, I want borshch”

Katya is 13 and she has a class 2 disability. She and her mom lived in Trekhizbenka until 2014. Now it’s controlled by UAF.
When “it began”, shells came every day but they sat in the cellar to the last. And when the “breakthrough” began, they escaped to Lugansk with only their clothes on their backs.” But when they got to Lugansk, it was under fire too. Nobody could believe this would last a long time, or that it was “for real.” Everyone thought it would end any day now. But you yourselves know what it was like in Lugansk. The city was being “killed” from every available weapon. There was no phone service, electricity, the city was “closed.”
After all that, the girl didn’t speak for three months. Nearly all of her problems got worse. She has a whole range of them, including epilepsy, cognitive problems, kidney and sight issues.
When the girl said “mama, I want borshch,” mother started to cry…

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