Diabetes Art Day 2014 is coming!

diabetes art day logo lee ann thill art therapyDiabetes Art Day is so close I can taste it!

I’m a huge fan of the work that Lee Ann Thill does.  She’s a diabetes advocate and art therapist that started Diabetes Art Day in 2010 to encourage people touched by diabetes to engage in creative visual expression to communicate their experience with diabetes, connect with others and to raise awareness.

Diabetes Art Day this year is February 3rd.  All you have to do is make a piece of art that reflects something about diabetes that you want to share.  Then submit it to DiabetesArtDay.com.

I have found the experience of creating diabetes-art to be very therapeutic.  In fact, in recent years I’ve been surprised at how emotional some of this has been for me.  A couple of years ago I made this video of my experience:

mike lawson diabetes art day art done with syringe for insulinIf you plan on taking part in Diabetes Art Day this year, you could also help out by taking this pre-survey which will help Lee Ann study the effects of Diabetes Art Day.

The survey is a PRE and POST survey…so you have to give your email address so there can be a follow-up.  But filling out the survey doesn’t mean a hard commitment to participating in the art day.  JUST DO IT!

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

This is the one about diabetes tattoos.

hello kitty tattoo type 2 diabetesWhat are the purpose of diabetes tattoos?

I’m not trying to be judgemental with this post.  I’m seriously just hoping to unpack some of my thoughts on the topic.

I have good friends (online and off) that sport cute diabetes-related tattoos and I’ve even toyed with the idea of getting one myself.  And I’ve read that there is a growing number of people who are using tattoos as a more permanent medical alert.  In fact, The Canadian Medical Association Journal reported last May that medical tattooing appears to be increasing, partly because of the cost of medical alert bracelets.

medical alert tattoo for person with diabetes diabeticBut here’s my question: Do medical responders even look for diabetes tattoos?  Is this something they are trained to do?  I have heard people say that EMTs aren’t even so good at finding medical alert jewelry when it’s worn around the neck.  I struggle to see how a tat would do the job.

As I said a few paragraphs ago, I’m not writing this to be judgemental.  I’m really just curious if anyone (any EMTs reading?) has any insight on this.

I do have opinions about people that get tattoos to mark the dates that they were diagnosed (diaversary) or just because they feel that diabetes has become a part of their character.  To them I say, “hell yea!”

I came across the tattoo below on Reddit’s diabetes sub-group and it cracked me up.

wilfred brimley tattoo diabetus diabetes diabetic

There’s certainly no argument that this tattoo doesn’t serve as a medical alert…but it’s still pretty badass.