Living with diabetes comes with plenty of accessories — needles, glucometers, test strips, etc — but let’s be honest: they’re not very stylish. Okay, fine, my Minimed Paradigm Pump comes in a radiant, aquamarine blue — but unless it falls out of my pocket, no one’s really going to notice it. It’s high time, I think, for diabetes gear to get more fun.
Take, for example, your typical Medic Alert bracelet. It gets the job done, but it’s not going to earn you any praise on the runway. So I was excited when a friend of mine introduced me to a small San Francisco company called My Flying Star that designs bracelets and necklaces that don’t make you feel like you’re 90 years old, stuck in one of those Lifecall ads (“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”).
I ordered one of their Vega Star bracelets a couple weeks ago and initially thought nothing of it. It was a medical bracelet, after all. Who cares? But a couple days went by, then a week, and I suddenly realized I was feeling a tingle of anticipation in my stomach every time I heard the mailman come up the stairs. Why was that? Have I really reached the point of such diabetic dorkiness that the prospect of a lanyard with a charm on it that says “Diabetes, Insulin Pump” really makes my heart go a flutter?
Apparently, I am — because after a week of waiting, I contacted the maker of the bracelet to see what the hold up was. (The answer: no hold up, just impatience on my part.) It arrived this morning, and I ripped open the package, slipping it onto my wrist even before I’d had a chance to remove the Medic Alert bracelet I’ve had on for the past 7 years (they make those suckers hard to open!). I’m now sitting here typing with an accessory on my wrist that, okay, fine, no one but me is probably going to notice — but something about it just makes me happy to look at. It’s even better than the feeling I get when I look at my new little carrying case for my Symlin (I appropriated a pencil case that happens to be the perfect dimensions for the pens).
So what’s this about? Do other people feel a rush of excitement at the prospect of having marginally cooler medical supplies? And what do you think — in terms of the hipster Medic Alert bracelets — about the safety trade-off of wearing something less traditional than the standard MA silver bracelet? The Vega, as you can see from the picture, has two charms that are decidedly medical-looking — but part of me worries that an EMT is not really going to take the time to process the subtle cues of the snake dangling from my wrist. Thoughts?