AskNadia: Type 1 Son Coming from Saudi Arabia to America

Dear Nadia,

My son was diagnosed with T1 when he was eight years old. He has been living in Saudi Arabia and getting excellent medical care from the time of his diagnosis. He started using an insulin pump at the age of 9.

He is now going to Pomona, California and enrolling in intensive English courses.

I would like your recommendations for an excellent T1 treatment centers in Pomona for him to follow-up, as required.

In the last few months, he has preferred using the insulin pens instead of the pump.

I appreciate your assistance.

With best regards,

Bakr Basamh


Dear Bakr,

How exciting for your son to be coming to America to study English. What a wonderful opportunity for him. Living abroad always gives one a different perspective on life. Especially, while living in Southern California’s diverse culture.

Pomona California is also a great location given that not one, but two pump companies have their headquarters nearby; Tandem Insulin Pump maker of the t:slim and Medtronic makers of the popular MiniMed 530G.

If your son is on one of these pumps, he should experience an ease of mind knowing that his insulin pump supplies will be conveniently located. This is also an excellent location for several renowned medical facilities, should an emergency arise. Which facility your son uses will depend on the physicians association with the various hospitals.

As someone who came to the U.S. speaking Farsi and Arabic, my recommendation would be for your son to meet with a physician that can speak Arabic. There are so many nuances in language that just don’t translate correctly. Especially, if you are left to your means to translate American English.

I remember coming to the U.S. decades ago. All my siblings spoke English except me. My mother, a Native Irish American Californian, spoke Arabic with me at home.

Since your son is still learning English, I think it’s best to have a healthcare physician that can speak his native language. This way, your son does not have to translate or assume he understands what is being discussed.

My opinion stems from one of my many experience when I first came to the U.S.

One day when I was at school walking down the hall in the 70’s, One person raised their hand and said “give me 5,” as I was walking by. My response perplexed them. “I don’t have a nickel,” I said in response to their question.

My understanding of English back then was literal.

Even though your son’s English is advanced, my foreign friends who knew English well, before coming to the U.S., will echo that there is so much you don’t get until you live here.

Dr. Zuhair O Yahya MD, who speaks Arabic and specializes in Endocrinology, is someone I found as a starting point for you. His office is 6 miles away from Pomona, and he is associated with several hospitals.

Trust that your son will know if this is the right physician for him. Physician-patient relationships are subject to their own chemistry.

Get Dr. Zuhair O Yahya familiar with your son, and your family medical history. Give him a call (909) 592-2023 to introduce yourself and your son. This way, when your son arrives to meet him, Dr. Zuhair O Yahya has an understanding of what your expectations are of him. He will also be the person to discuss your son’s usage of his insulin pump and insulin pens.

Last thing to make note of:

~ Dr. Zuhair O Yahya has a 2 month waiting list. October 2015 is his first available appointment.

~ Dr. Zuhair O Yahya only sees patients that are 18 and over.

Keep us posted on your son’s journey. He can offer our readers a fresh perspective on what it’s like to live in anther country while managing his diabetes. If he would like to submit an article on his experience in the U.S., have him email me directly.

AskNadia and receive her unique perspective on your question.

Email Nadia at [email protected].


Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professionals therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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About Nadia:


Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia holds 11 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate.
 Her passion for working in the diabetes community stemmed from her personal loss. She has used her experience as a caretaker to forge a career in helping others.

She has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business and website have been sited, recognized and published in Herb Caen, WSJ, Ann Landers, Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News,, Brand Week, Drug Topics and many other media outlets.



























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