Shortly after my diagnosis I remember going to the grocery store looking for foods with no carbohydrates. If I could avoid carbohydrates then I could avoid taking insulin, right? Wrong…
Realistically, most foods have carbohydrates in one form or another. All I wanted to do was blend in and not stick out. Eating in social situations was similar. I remember thinking if I could avoid carbs, then maybe I wouldn’t have to leave the table to take an insulin injection (in the days before starting the pump) and be noticed doing so. I wanted to live as normally as possible. At that time I lived alone and did not carry much with me besides my wallet most days. Surprisingly I never had any hypoglycemic episodes at that time and thankfully so. I had no medial ID jewellery, tattoo, or card.
Over time like most other people, I grew smarter and gained a better perspective. I eventually purchased my first medical ID necklace. I didn’t like most of the designs but I settled on a dog-tag necklace. It was simple with my name, type 1 diabetes, and my mom’s phone number. In retrospect this didn’t make much sense because I lived 900 miles from her. I didn’t have any local numbers I wanted to contact in case of an emergency.
One night I was at a bar talking to a girl when she noticed the necklace. The music was loud but it sounded like she asked something about the military as she pulled the necklace out from my shirt. She studied the inscribed words for a second and then dropped the tag. An open mouth look of disgust came over her face as she stared at me. Without a word she promptly turned around and walked away. Apparently she was looking for a military hunk and not and a diabetic hunk. Bye Felecia!
Another identification medium people turn to is permanent. Medical alert tattooing has increased a lot recently. Here are some awesome examples:
The goal here is to make sure the tattoo is easily read and in a place likely to be found in cases of emergency. This site provides some useful advice when pursuing medical Tattoos, especially as a diabetic.
The most recognized symbol relating to diabetes is the blue circle. You can see its easily recognized above. Read more about it’s significance and origins here. I personally like the idea of getting permanent identification but I would have to give it a lot of consideration.
I would love to see any examples you guys want to share. I have saved my favorite for last…