Do you wear a medic alert bracelet? Usually that is how we identify another diabetic in the crowd, or at least we try to get a glimpse of what is written on it. "Darn! An allergy," we might say as realize we aren't sitting beside another diabetic. Medic alert bracelets are usually one of the first thing recommended by professionals after being diagnosed and for very good reasons; however, is every diabetic wearing them?
I shamefully have my head down right now as I write this blog because I do not wear a bracelet anymore. I wore mine for about 2.5 years of being diagnosed, recently deciding to ditch the bracelet hoping my insulin pump would do me justice. Of course, I know just as much as everyone else knows the importance of actually wearing the bracelet and even better, having specific things written on it. Although, all mine said was, "Type 1 Diabetes."
Why have I ditched my bracelet? I just didn't want to wear it anymore. I wish I had a better reason that made me seem like my decision was vital, but it wasn't anything in particular. I just didn't want that to be a part of my identity anymore, which is strange, but I was tired of having the same thing on me, once again a strange statement considering I am hooked up to an insulin pump. The bracelet was ugly, (yes I am aware you can get 'pretty' ones) but mine wasn't. I love my cheap Forever 21 costume jewellery and the medic alert wasn't doing it justice.
Yes, having others aware of your diabetes is more important than looking good, but at the same time, I just had given that part up - if I could change one thing it was to not wear the bracelet, put a card in my wallet, wear an insulin pump, always have my supplies in my bag and if I was with people I knew (which is 90% of the time) let them know I had diabetes.
NOW! This isn't permission to not wear a bracelet, and yes, there are some pretty ones out there like ones made with pearls etc. However, I do want to emphasize that they are important and save lives. If you are updating them with say, Medic Alert (something we did not do...) and wearing it, then give yourself a pat on the back from me. There are also a lot of neat ones that I saw many of the male teens wearing at Teen Talk, which was dog tags! So explore the options!
Speaking of options, lately we started collecting people's photos of their diabetic tattoos on the Type 1 Diabetes Meme Page. These people have decided to ditch their medic alert bracelets like me, but instead get a tattoo to replace it, (NOT LKE ME!) Grandma... if you're reading this don't worry! These tattoos are super unique and some of them I wonder how they even thought of them, but all in all they represent type 1 diabetes in some form or another. If you're interested in checking out the collection, click here: Diabetes Tattoos!
This new approach to expressing type 1 diabetes is fascinating and has many people asking, "Well what if there is a cure?" But, to be honest, I will answer on others behalves, if there is a cure, getting rid of a type 1 diabetic tattoo would be the last thing to think about!
So, for whatever reason, not everyone I am sure is wearing a Medic Alert bracelet to express their type 1 diabetes. We all know why it is important and why we should wear it, but there is still personal reasons why people decide not to, and I would hope that we wouldn't blame those people for being irresponsible or selfish.