Check out this Diabetes Art Report from our D-peep friend and social media assistant Rachel Kerstetter — complete with photo gallery!
Wearable Diabetes Art
Medical devices are not traditionally known for being sleek, chic or anything that resembles fashionable or fun. That's where cases, color choices and other decorations come into play, allowing us to personalize our diabetes gear.
People with diabetes can be extremely creative on this front. I’ve seen Jamberry nail wraps used to glam up Dexcom CGM sensors, as well as printed tapes to stick them down. Others employ colorful wraps, neon infusion sets… and even the Bat signal to put the “fun” into the function of their medical devices. Everyone's diabetes is different, so it makes sense that we'd want to make our diabetes devices different too.
To be honest, my OmniPod looks like a misshapen plastic egg attached to my body, I wouldn't say it's entirely attractive in its original form. So I was inspired to do a little research on personalizing OmniPods, after seeing so many creative ways that other "Podders" have personalized them. Have a look at the photo gallery we've created.
Elena Ennis, diagnosed as an adult in 2014, has only ever worn one plain OmniPod, and it was the demo pod. All of the others since she started podding in April 2015 have been embellished with a myriad of colors, designs, themes and even sassy sayings such as, "Don't touch my pancreas!"
"I like to think of them as a tattoo that I can change every three days," said Elena.
There are many tools for decorating our devices, including but not limited to: nail polish, temporary tattoos, stickers, sharpie markers and googly eyes. If you aren't blessed with major artistic skills, there are other, more ready-made options out there, like KEDZ Covers, created by Katrina Diel at age 11. I personally use Pump Peelz vinyl decals for my pods which, are the invention of Emily and Scott Imblum.
Decorated pods are definitely more fun for kids; many D-moms and D-dads put their child's favorite characters on the pods, like Minions, superheroes and even the cast of Star Wars. D-mom Melanie shared her Ninja Turtle design in our photo gallery, along with D-Mom Megan who created a myriad of character pods including monsters, Snoopy, a holiday-ready Pikachu, Ralphie and the Grinch. Megan draws the characters onto the pod in pencil first, and then uses nail polish to finish the design.
It's clear that time and talent goes into making these pieces of "3-day art," so what do Podders do when it's time to deactivate the insulin-carrying pods? Some may choose to discard their masterpieces or mail them off through OmniPod's Eco-Pod Disposal program, while others immortalize them in photos and share them in groups on Facebook or Pinterest. Some keep their old pods, turning them into refrigerator magnets, holiday ornaments or even displaying them as a collage.
Above all, decorating medical devices is about expressing who you are, beyond the disease you live with.