Monday, November 07, 2011


this is a blue circle.  it is meant to represent DIABETES.  but how well does it work?  i have this circle as part of my MedicAlert tattoo. if i were travelling outside canada, and experienced a severe low blood glucose which required medical assistance, would the wearing of this blue circle mean anything to anyone?  if they couldn't read english, would my tattoo have a hope of helping anyone help me?

last wednesday, i had surgery on my hand.  while talking with the pre-op nurse one of the questions was "are you wearing any jewellry?"  to which i answered "no".  she looked at me, knowing i was diabetic and said "no medic alert?"  i told her that i had a medic alert tattoo.  she asked to see it.  her daughter is also diabetic and this sparked her interest.  after looking at it she asked me what the circle was.  at this point the advocate in me wanted to jump up in amazement.  but because of the circumstances and the timeframe involved, i kept my answer short and to the point. 

"this blue circle is the international symbol for Diabetes.  much like the Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer, it should be recognizable by all medical personnel the world over.  in fact everyone needs to know what this little blue circle means."

i was actually shocked.  how could a nurse, whose own daughter had type 1, not recognize it?
and what does this say about the rest of the world? 

it has been around since 2006, but in all honesty i just found out about it perhaps a year ago.  how are we going to get this little blue circle out there?  how can we make it as big as that pink ribbon?  or bigger? i am not sure how i am going to go about it, but it definately is something i am going to work on.

i feel that diabetes, in my community, doesn't get enough attention, and i plan to do something about that. 
i want to know that someday, while travelling in oh, maybe spain, or greece or even france or italy, wherever i go, that if God forbid, i am in a situation where i cant speak for myself, my tattoo will say what needs to be said.  AS CLEAR AS DAY.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:


  1. Send me a pic, what does yours look like?
    I have one too, on the inside of my right wrist and as I was designing it, I wondered if the blue circle would be recognizable to anyone.
    I don't think it is, YET! but i feel it will be one day because us good advocates are getting the word out.

  2. *blushes* nevermind. I just clicked your pictures! very pretty. I like it!