An expatriate worker with diabetes



LAST Ramadan, a street cleaner turned to me after performing prayers at the mosque and said he felt severely dizzy and could not focus. I felt sorry for him as he was an old man. His medical insurance card had expired and he did not have any money because the company had not paid him his salary for the last three months.

I drove him to a nearby hospital where he underwent a medical check-up. The results showed that he had Type 2 diabetes and that his sugar level was very high. The doctor explained to him that he needs to start taking medicine to avoid future complications.

I drove him back to the neighborhood after buying him the medicine and asked him to follow the timings of when to take the medicine as prescribed by the doctor. After that, every time I met him inside the mosque or on the street, I would ask him how he was doing and whether he wanted me to buy him more medication.

A few weeks later, he was not to be seen anywhere. I thought the company must have moved him to another neighborhood. I had not seen him for two years when I bumped into him while jogging on a street. I was happy to see him. He said he had got better and was no longer on medication. He follows a strict diet and exercises every now and then. His blood sugar level is now normal. He has stopped eating anything sweet and avoids junk food.

This street cleaner is living proof that people with Type 2 diabetes can live healthily by following a diet and doing regular exercise. They do not need to take medication. Statistics indicate that 33 percent of Saudis suffer from Type 2 diabetes. I urge them to engage in physical exercise and follow a strict diet to avoid dangerous future complications.