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Alert: "I'm darn proud of all I handle," said in garnet and silver

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:06am

If you read about my day in the city with Ms. A, "A day trip to Diabetes Land,"  I forgot to mention that I happened to admire a bracelet Ms. A wore. It's a really nice piece of jewelry and serves as a medic alert bracelet. If you read about my new T-shirt, in "Don't you love my T-shirt?", you'll know I'm starting a new wardrobe featuring messages of diabetes pride. It hasn't been intentional, but it's just seemed to have happened lately. Almost as though I've an alter-ego taking over my body.

But back to the bracelet. In all my years living with diabetes, thirty-five and a half to be exact, just between you and me, I have never worn a medic alert bracelet. While I'm no Fashionista, I don't like what they look like, and I don't like the reference I make in my head -- "damaged goods." Then, too, just to be clear, I've never (yet) had an incident where I needed one.

But Ms. A's bracelet was so nice that after returning home I went directly to the web site  where she got it, TAH Handcrafted Jewelry. I clicked 'Bracelets' along the left sidebar and scrolled through. There are several designs to chose from. Mine, pictured here, is seventh from the bottom, #9-S. 

I wanted something inscribed, but not one of the expressions I saw on the site, so I called handcrafter, Tim. I asked could he put two words on my bracelet? I wanted it to read, "diabetes" to the left of the center garnet, and "pride" to the right. Just enough to send a message to myself, and anyone who eyes my new bracelet, that not only am I not damaged goods, but I have reason to be proud: a lot of work, as you well know, goes into managing diabetes. It's something extra we do along with everything else we manage in our lives. Why shouldn't we be proud? And most people don't even know we're working this extra job. 

Imagine if all of us who in some way feel "less than" turned it into feeling "more than"? Imagine turning this ugly, old image of diabetes on its head! After all, so much has changed in diabetes today: people are coming out of the closet for one, then there's dynamic new research, fast-acting insulins, cool pumps, diabetic mountain climbers, triathloners and Olympic swimmers -- why shouldn't we have a new image?  I'm imagining that lately --  thus the new wardrobe enhancement. As for my new bracelet, it's sl im, light and bright, and that's how I feel wearing it. Powerful stuff, me thinks.

You should know 10% of the purchase price of the jewelry on Tim's site is donated to the foundation of your choice. You get to choose among: Children with Diabetes, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Diabetes Research Institute and the American Diabetes Association.

Now, if I should ever be found in distress, I think my really nice bracelet will catch some young paramedic's eye and he'll see that I have diabetes. He'll also see I have attitude  and extremely good taste in jewelry. 

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