Vasilena Matakeva is a popular face from the television screen. But in addition to being a sports journalist and commentator on BNT, she is also the mother of three daughters - Ivona, Alexa and Amira, the latter being only two years old. Vasilena can also boast of basketball titles that she won with all Levski teams - from girls to women. Especially for MyClinic, she shares how she takes care of her he alth and how responsible it is to be a mother.
Vasilena, tell us about your basketball career?
- My first coach is Vanya Maleeva - an outstanding pedagogue and psychologist. I didn't want to coach basketball because I was involved in artistic speech, theater, drama. But in the 5th grade my father took me to the basketball hall and Vanya Maleeva made me love basketball. My next coaches were Ivan Tsankov - long live his memory, and Ivan Lipichev. With them, we made serious achievements in the "Levski" team in the different age groups. We were champions for many years. After that, I was also in the famous women's team of "Levski", led by Slavcho Boyadzhiev. But then I rather sat on the bench and absorbed with open eyes everything that the entire star team was doing on the field. I'm talking about that team that won the European Champions Cup. Being around these unique basketball players was great. I also have one year in the "Slavia" women's team. But when I started studying at NSA, I was obliged to play either in the NSA team or in "Akademik". I chose "Academic". In my freshman year I got married, in my sophomore year I gave birth and ended my basketball career. Ivan Lipichev periodically makes me come back to play basketball and I am very amused by his offers.
And how did you get into sports journalism?
- It was a logical extension of my playing basketball. I studied at the National Sports Academy, then graduated in Sports Journalism. I interned at BNT for a long time until Sasho Dikov took me on the show "Marathon". I have worked at both "Radio 99" and "Radio 7 dni", which we tried to do with Sasho Dikov and Nasko Karaivanov. It was conceived as a 24-hour sports radio, but it lasted 4 months, we couldn't make it financially. After that I went back to TV again.
Do you have any injuries left from basketball?
- I have torn ligaments in my right ankle four times and knee ligaments once.
Fortunately for me, I got away without surgery
By happy coincidence, the first time in the Sports Dispensary "Diana" there were Chinese who applied acupuncture and acupressure. They worked with Dr. Virginia Mihailova. Well, thanks to her, these Chinese took me on. After that, I knew where to go and I didn't go through a cast or an operation. The current generation seems to me a bit more shabby than us. My older daughter has had two surgeries on her legs that happened around the age of 17-18. There was no girl in this NSA team without surgery. There were no such things in our time. Yvonne stretched ligaments and tendons 2-3 times. Thanks to Dr. Tony Georgiev, who managed to get her on her feet. The last time he said that if such an ankle injury happened again, he would need surgery. So it happened.
And are you he althy and how do you achieve it?
- Absolutely he althy. I have not been seriously ill. And after the birth of my third daughter, I feel brand new! I can live a few more lives. (b.a. laughs) I think it's a question of gene. It is also due to the love I feel from and for the people around me. I have three daughters - Yvonne, Alexa and Amira, which means princess in Persian. I'm constantly trying to be in some sort of sync with them so I can help them, take care of them, especially the youngest because she's only 2 years old. It gives me strength and strengthens me. Of course, I follow some kind of diet.
I haven't eaten meat and fish for several years
I don't eat dairy either. I've become something of a vegan, but I'm stressing about the dough, which isn't a very good idea. I started eating lots of vegetables and fruits and also dried fruits and nuts.
Why did he refuse milk and milk products?
- Last year, the little one was in hospital with a severe eating disorder and suspected rotavirus infection. We had a nightmare ten days. Then, along with rotaviruses, I began to read a lot and I came across interesting research, starting with the fact that humans are the only mammal that continues to consume milk after infancy, and it almost does not break down in the body. And so, of its own accord, I resisted milk. But the little one eats because she needs it, she has to grow. In time, she will choose what she will eat. My older daughters don't eat meat, having come to that decision on their own.
Was it easier for you to look after the third daughter after the experience with the first two?
- 20 years ago I was very angry. I felt like my kids were taking up some very important time. In fact, all my time was about them. Now I am more smiling, better, more grown up. At this age it is easier to look after a child because you are more aware. Otherwise, it is by no means easier to raise a child now. At one time, canons were observed, for example power supply every 3 months - there are no options whether you want it or not. Juice feed and that's it! And now - if you want, feed him, if you want, don't, but maybe with juice, maybe with soup, drink water, don't drink water. It's much freer now, people do what they want and then take responsibility for their decisions.
Were you breastfeeding?
- I was nursing the big one, but
in three months I got two mastitis and puerperal fever
On average I breastfed for 40 days and it happened again. For the little one, I didn't try at all.
How do you cope when the little one catches a cold? Do you run to the doctor right away, or do you start with grandma's pills?
- I start with grandma's ilachis. The last example: 10 days the child coughs, I give him one syrup, second, third. The jeep gave me a fourth syrup. I finally got angry, went to the doctor and now the child is on an antibiotic. I respect antibiotics because they prevent further problems. I also love homeopathy, but I can't always wait until the end for it to work. I'm not that worried, although I might be lying, because on New Year's, Amira had a bean in her nose, and I was quite worried until they took it out.
Do you go for preventive examinations?
- No, as a matter of fact. I only go for the teeth because I'm in a system where they call me and get me used every six months. If only all doctors could be like my dentist and gynecologist and traumatologist Toni Georgiev. These are the three doctors I trust. If only they could cure everything for me.
Dentists usually instill fear
- Mine is great. His name is Dr. Sellar Francis. He cured me of my fear of the dentist 20 years ago and I have trusted him completely ever since. Besides, he saved my Yvonne. A dog bit her so that it cracked her skull, pulled off her scalp. The child was very ill. We hung out on "Pirogov", they sewed it up. After two days it swelled up so that there were no eyes or nose, and her forehead was two fingers forward. Dr. Francis came to us morning and night with a serious amount of injections and she got better. Then the head of neurosurgery told me that my dentist saved my child.
What is your impression of the he althcare system in Bulgaria?
- The he alth care system is simply a nightmare, there is none at all. Now the situation is to know a good doctor, to trust him and he really lives up to your expectations. So if you know the right doctor, the he althcare system is OK. But if you enter the carousel, the problem is quite serious.