Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve

Well, maybe not your heart, but this caught my eye. Let’s call him Jonathan. He was diagnosed with Type I diabetes from an early age. Type I diabetes arises from an autoimmune conflict where the pancreas cannot produce the insulin needed for regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Jonathan requires regular insulin treatments because without them, he will likely die.

By the time he arrived at college he knew he didn’t like wearing the medic alert bracelets, and decided to get this tattoo to indicate that he has the condition. He says if he needs to, he can cover it with a watch (e.g. for job interviews). He also didn’t want it on his chest, which would have been another place that medics look at for indications of at-risk conditions.

Jonathan doesn’t personally know of anyone else who’s done this, but he thinks he may have heard about it elsewhere. Given Jonathan’s lifelong condition, it’s a compelling and durable solution to the need to communicate with health providers in any situation.

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