Feature Friday with Sina Maleki!
This week our interview comes from Sina Maleki in Iran who has had Type 1 Diabetes since the age of 12. He is a very enthusiastic computer programmer who shares his passion in an employment-oriented online service. He is the co-founder of a startup company in Iran called KARJOO+. This helps those who have graduated find proper jobs and helps companies choose the best person to fit there need. It also organizes candidates for hiring and recruitment purposes. Sina also considers himself a very persistent person and is passionate about working out. Even before he was diagnosed with diabetes, he enjoyed practicing Taekwondo and running. Please enjoy his story, while gaining insight into what life is like, living as a diabetic in Iran.
I’ve got type 1 diabetes when I was 12 years old. First of all, I realize whatever I eat, my hunger will not go away, on the other hand, I lost a lot of weight. Eventually, severe lethargy caused my parents to take me to the doctor and after some tests they told me that I have diabetes ( strange memories ).
One of our neighbors was nurse, she talk to doctor and gave me an insulin shot before going to hospital, because my blood sugar was 330 at that time. Spending 2 weeks in a children’s hospital made me so confused.
The first 6 months, my parents just looked for a solution for me to “not take insulin.” But as we all know there is just one solution and that is called “insulin”
I think an important thing, specially for kids is talking with psychologist (person who has diabetes and also their parents). Because checking blood sugar, taking insulin and all diabetes lifestyles need guidance and preparation. Also, the belief that you can still be strong and not to be embarrassed to check your blood sugar or take insulin in front anyone. I was afraid of exposing that I was a diabetic until I was 20, and I think therapist can decrease these kind of fear and lack of mistrust.
What does thrive mean to you?
For me thrive means spring. Diabetes is like winter and we could adapt our life with that but the good news is that diabetes can help us to a healthy life and this lifestyle is like spring after winter.
What helps you thrive with diabetes?
Banafsheh Bella is my mother’s cousin. She is so lovely, kind and so beautiful! She is nurse in Sweden and has been a therapist for me. I remember she brought me some insulin pens from Sweden. As you know, we have insulin pens have no been here for 10 years in Iran. It is hard to find them in Iran because of US sanctions and lack of management in Iran. I was very fragile and insecure in those days when I was maybe 14 years old, the beautiful girl told me that one day she was talking to a boy in the club and in the middle of their conversation, the boy could easily give himself an insulin shot without embarrassment. She said that his confident affected her so much because he had no problem with his diabetes at all. She wanted me to be like that boy!
What do you wish someone told you earlier about diabetes?
I wish I had been introduced to diabetes classes much earlier and as I mentioned before, talking with therapist.
What is it like being a diabetic in Iran?
After Trump came to power in US, sanctions against Iranian have doubled and one of the effects that continues is insulin deficiency. Also, lack of management from government has caused this problem. There is no technology devices like “The FreeStyle Libre”, “Dexcom”, “Insulin Pumps” … again because of sanctions. As a citizen, I must say these sanctions only bother ordinary people like medical patients and diabetics.
Thank you for reading! ♡
Sina Maleki (follow him on IG)
If you liked this, check out another Type 1 Diabetic who has adopted a healthy lifestyle!