Bozhidar Iskrenov - Gibbon: I have 3 discopathies, but I will never have an operation - it is very risky

Bozhidar Iskrenov - Gibbon: I have 3 discopathies, but I will never have an operation - it is very risky
Bozhidar Iskrenov - Gibbon: I have 3 discopathies, but I will never have an operation - it is very risky

The legendary striker of "Levski" Bozhidar Iskrenov - Gibona was born on August 1, 1962 in Sofia. Abroad, his career went through the Spanish "Real Zaragoza", the Swiss "Lausanne" and the American "Washington Warthogs". In Bulgaria, he also plays for the teams of "Botev-Plovdiv", "Shumen", "Septemvri" and CSKA. He became champion three times with "Levski". For the National Team, there are 56 matches in which he scored five goals. Participated in the world championship in Mexico, where our team reached the round of 16 and fell to the hosts. For fans, Gibona is one of the greatest talents in Bulgarian football of all time. That is why it is called "The Joy of the People". Now Bozhidar Iskrenov is a manager at the children's and youth school of "Levski".

Mr. Iskrenov, you lived 10 years in the USA, 3 years in Italy and in Switzerland. What is the he althcare system like in these countries compared to Bulgaria?

- The he alth care system there is very different from the Bulgarian one and functions well. People have private insurances that cover certain medical services. There are different types of insurance in the US and everyone has their own choice. For those who work in larger companies, their insurance is paid for by the company. Some companies also cover the expenses for a dentist. In countries such as the USA and Switzerland, where dental treatment is very expensive, this is a big plus for people who have taken out such insurances. Because then they pay 30% of the cost of the dental treatment. With other insurances, they also cover 100% of the cost of the operation you need, or for a blood transfusion.

While in Bulgaria people pay he alth contributions that go somewhere - it is not known where, and they have no benefit from this thing. I don't know exactly what system they have chosen in Bulgaria, but I think it is wrong. It's "dog pulling on a leash" here, it's very scary.

Have you entered a Bulgarian hospital?

- Yes. It's normal to have he alth problems when you get past a certain age, especially for ex-athletes like me.

I have problems with my back, with bones, with joints. I feel pain, especially when the weather changes suddenly. During my football career, I had a lot of injuries, and not minor ones. They started cutting me from 1984 when I was 22 years old. However, I am happy that after these operations, no matter how difficult they were, I was able to continue playing football and being an active athlete.

Now how do you deal with joint pain?

- I don't like taking medicine. I just bear the pain.

Are you being offered an artificial joint replacement? These operations are now heavily advertised?

- They offered me an operation on three of the vertebrae of my spine, but I don't want it. I have herniated discs at L3, L4 and L5, so my situation is very complicated. Several times

doctors abroad have offered me such an operation, but I will never undergo it because it is very risky.

In Bulgaria they also operate on disc herniations and have already become a routine practice…

- Yes, but 5 to 10% of these operations fail. That's exactly why I disagree. I can't risk it.

Many football players resort to the help of chiropractors when they have lower back problems. Have you used their services?

- Naturally, I tried to be treated by quacks, they even helped me, they relieved the pain.

Do you go for preventive examinations?

- Yes, when necessary. I go once every few months like any normal person.

Which medicine are you a bigger fan of - folk medicine or official medicine?

- To none. You better not have to go to the services of medicine, whatever it is. In Bulgaria, everyone knows three things - football, politics and medicine.

Are you he althy now?

- There is no he althy person in this world and I am no exception. It used to be he alth, but now it is not he alth, because things change over the years.

Everyone takes care of their he alth while they can

In my opinion, a he althy way of life is for a person to feel good and not to deprive himself of anything, not to be a slave to pills and prejudices. That's why I don't follow any regime.

What would you advise parents - should they send their children to play sports?

- Nothing happens by force. Parents must decide for themselves. Personally, I think that sports are something better than children sitting in front of the computer or burying themselves in electronic games. And then they wonder why the child is sick, obese, and not alive and energetic. As a child I played football in the neighborhood, on the street and at school. It was like that once upon a time. But our generation didn't have any temptations either - there were no computers then, and there wasn't even a television. In the 70's when I was 7-8 there was only one TV program that ended at midnight and then they played the national anthem. And on Friday there was only Russian TV. Then they did another program. There was nothing to tempt us to stand in front of the TV like today's kids. All we had to do was play outside. Sport is he alth, as everyone knows. And I repeat again that by giving children computers and electronic games, parents are not helping them in any way for their normal growth. Even when the child is chubby, it is good to exercise. Naturally, not all children will eventually become professional football players, but at least they will grow up he althy.

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