My Pride Alert Bracelet

Just between you and me, in all my years with diabetes (thirty-fiveand a half to be exact) I've never worn a medic alert bracelet.While I'm no fashionista, I don't like the way they look, and Idon'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 Ineeded one.

But recently, adorning the wrist of a friend of mine, I saw a reallynice piece of jewelry serving as a medic alert bracelet. I was sotaken with it that I went directly to the website where she got it,TAH Handcrafted Jewelry. I clicked 'Bracelets' along the leftsidebar and scrolled through. There are several designs to choosefrom. Mine, pictured above, is seventh from the bottom, #9-S.

I wanted something inscribed, but none of the expressions I saw onthe site was just right. So I called the handcrafter, Tim, andasked if he could put two words on my bracelet. I wanted it to read"diabetes" to the left of the center garnet and "pride" to theright.

Just enough to send a message to myself, and to anyone who eyesmy new bracelet, that not only am I not damaged goods, butI also have reason to be proud: a lot of work, as you well know,goes into managing diabetes. It's something extra we do along witheverything 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 intofeeling "more than"? Imagine turning this ugly, old image ofdiabetes on its head! After all, so much has changed in diabetestoday: people are coming out of the closet, for one, and there'salso dynamic new research, fast-acting insulins, cool pumps, anddiabetic mountain climbers, triathloners, and Olympic swimmers. Whyshouldn't we have a new image? As for my new bracelet, it's slim,light, and bright, and that's how I feel wearing it. Powerful stuff,methinks.

You should know that ten percent of the purchase price of thejewelry on Tim's site is donated to the foundation of your choice.You get to choose among Children with Diabetes, the JuvenileDiabetes Research Foundation, the Diabetes Research Institute, andthe American Diabetes Association.

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