ZEINA HEIKEL
BEIRUT, LEBANON
Zeina has type 2 diabetes. She has returned to Lebanon
from Syria where she married and raised a family.
© NOVO NORDISK/WESTLEY, Jesper

Patient profile

Zeina has type 2 diabetes

Zeina has type 2 diabetes

Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 15 years ago, Ragheida does her best to manage her condition. She checks her blood glucose levels, she injects insulin twice a day, and she is careful about what she eats. Despite this, her blood glucose readings often reach dangerously high levels.

Since returning to Lebanon, Zeina has been taking medication to help her manage her anxiety. She relies on the generosity of relatives to survive, which makes life difficult. For a while she worked as a cleaner in other people’s homes, but she is currently unemployed. Thankfully, her brother and his wife – who are benevolent despite their own financial difficulties – have taken her into their home. Her brother has five children, and Zeina, who completed her first year of university before getting married, helps the younger children with their French, English, and Arabic grammar.

Recently, Zeina, who has type 2 diabetes, was diagnosed with hypertension and medical tests also indicated that she had high cholesterol. These three conditions are frequently linked and together they seriously raise a person’s risk heart disease and strokes. Although she knows she should follow a healthy diet, Zeina admits that she loves eating sweets and candies.

Zeina cannot afford medical insurance. Fortunately, she is able to access the medication she needs for free at the Hamad Dispensary at the beginning of each month. Nevertheless, she worries about the future and what will happen if her medical condition worsens. Although she is very grateful for her brother’s generosity, she wishes that she could live with her daughter or her son.

“I am always thinking about the future, and how I will cope without my children if I get seriously ill and this worries me.”


PROFILE DETAILS

Name: Zeina Heikel

Age at time of interview: Not specified

Location: Beirut, Lebanon

Country of origin: Lebanon but was married and
lived in Syria for many years

Year of leaving country of origin: Not specified

Type of diabetes: Type 2 diabetes

Year of diagnosis: None mentioned

Diabetes-related complications: None mentioned

Occupation: Unemployed