Wednesday, September 29, 2010

D-Fashion for Men

This post comes in the name of equality.

You see, Diabetic Women have their own groups that us guys just don't have. Take DiabetesSisters, a worthy and awesome organization that comes complete with conferences bringing D-Women together from across the country. We see articles focused on our female counterparts, from pregnancy issues to where pumps can be placed on wedding gowns, everyday dresses, or in places that we guys just don't have to worry about. They have cute designs, full of flowers and colors and creative designs. Kids do, too, and you might even have some more boy-focused elements when it comes to D-Fashion.

All of those are important, needed,and worthwhile - don't get me wrong. I understand and appreciate that men and women have different challenges on many fronts. But to me, it seems that us Adult Diabetic Men just have fewer resources for our D-Lives overall. D-Fashion for Men is just one of those topics that doesn't have the same kind of attention.

We have our own D-Fashion options, but they are less visible than what's available for Kids and Women. So, here's my contribution to even the playing field, at least when it comes to this little corner booth of the online world.

The reason was simply that I'd noticed many tweets, blog posts, web pages and business plans focusing on D-Fashion, but most appeared to be designed for anyone but the Professional Working Diabetic Guy.

Many seemed to be for the girls, boys, women, or the more gender-neutral adventurous types. But there didn't seem to be much D-fashion aimed at the man who must blend his insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor, or even carrying case with a business suit or dress clothes. This was simply my observation, and it might not have been the actual case - just what I had noticed. Recently, fellow D-Blogger Scott Strumello posted a gripping question on his blog that beat me to the punch. He asked: Why the Mysterious Absence of Diabetes Man-Bags? I was stunned, as this was the very point I'd been prepping to write and post.

Anyhow, I carry a man purse. I vaguely recall that a meter came in this at one point in my D-Life, possibly the OneTouchUltraSmart meter that I have on hand but don't currently use. Instead, my UltraLink meter that connects to my Minimed 722 is what goes inside, complete with a vial of strips, a lancet device, couple extra lancets, bottle of insulin, syringe, and an extra reservoir in case it needs a change. This whole case is about the size of a now-obsolete handheld PDA. But it's small enough and discreet that I can carry it with me while working and on my feet, no matter where I might be. It can sit on my desk out of the way, as a reminder to test but not really interfering in my daily tasks. Some may say this is boring, but I find it perfect for blending in with my "professional" life.

Aside from that, when it comes to extra supplies like infusion sets, I toss those into my briefcase/laptop bag that usually goes with me from home to office and anywhere in between. I'm usually not out of contact with that for more than a few hours or so, and if it's required then I can access it as needed.

But the "man purse" or D-Case goes with me wherever, whether I'm carrying it during the warmer months or tossing it into a coat pocket during the winter months. Glucose tabs live in an inside coat or jacket pocket, and in the warmer times a few stay with me on my keychain. Then there's my pump, always connected...

Working five of seven days of the week, most of my work attire is at minimum business-casual. So that means khackis on some days, and other times more formal dress or suit pants. So that's what my D-Fashion needs to mesh with. No fun colors or crazy designs, but neutral on those fronts. My Minimed Paradigm 722 has no fancy colors, rather it's charcoal grey. It stays fastened in a holster at my waist, so that I can have easy access when needed but it doesn't interfere. Just like a phone or pager, and most assume that's what it is. Same spot any CGM would go, as can be seen with the Dex when I trial-tested one early in the year.

Of course, what exists under the skin is where all the fun and true excitement can be found! That's where our sensors or sets are situated, in whatever spot of real estate we may be using. But that's also where we can have some adventure, such as I've recently had the chance to do thanks to National Infusion Site Awareness Week sponsored by Roche Diagnostics. You may know they sent out some nifty temporary tattoos to help pumpers mark their infusion sites and rotate accordingly. I embraced this initiative and am sporting those fun tattoos myself!

So, that's my take on D-Fashion for Men. Love it or leave it, that's my take. Do with it as you will.

4 comments:

Renata said...

It does seem a bit one sided doesn't it? I will say that pumpwearinc.com has some general or generic bags and all kinds of pump/gadget belts that would suit. I would highly recommend the Zipps case to you . But I completely get where you are coming from. Even the medical id's are more woman/child focused.

Hey Michael....you know...where there is a gap, there is a new business. I think you should start a male line of organisers/bags/ and MANLY things! I would buy your products and sell them out here!!

manny hernandez said...

I would buy your products too! ;)

saucyredhead said...

Check out Rickina's collection for men at http://stickmed.moonfruit.com/. She's lovely to work with and her products are not only great & fashionable but affordable & very well made!

Reyna said...

Point well understood and taken. I think Renata is on to something. You could start a new venture AND model the products!