Wednesday, September 1, 2010


It's finally here, September 1st...the first official Diabetes Art Day!!!

Lee Ann, Diabetes blogger and art therapist of The Butter Compartment had this great idea to take a day and celebrate and express Diabetes through art.

Check out how other bloggers are celebrating here. Unfortunately, you won't find anything from me...I've procrastinated once again and never got around to creating anything. I originally had this great idea of incorporating all of my Diabetes paraphernalia and creating this breath-taking masterpiece.

Instead, bare with me while I share a few thoughts on art and Diabetes.

Diabetes involves a lot of science. We know type 1 diabetes (also known as Juvenile Diabetes) is caused by a process in the body where the body's own immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (or beta) cells, and occurs in genetically predisposed individuals. It is still unknown what causes this autoimmune destruction process, but some would argue that environmental factors are to blame.

Either way, a person with type 1 Diabetes like myself, is now left to manually inject themselves with insulin that their pancreas no longer produces. Diabetes. A chronic, autoimmune!

While science is greatly involved in getting Diabetes, living with Diabetes is truly an art. In my experience, it takes a lot of creativity to successfully live with Diabetes, while managing it well...and not going insane :)

It's an art balancing diet, exercise, insulin dosages, blood sugar management...and getting all of your healthy veggies in.

There's an art to sticking loads of spinach, other greens, and fresh fruit into breakfast smoothies, making sure to get all the nutrients I need, without taking in too many carbs that spike my blood sugar. There's also an art to making brussel sprouts tasty using butter and roasted almonds (a wonderful recipe from my gma).

There's an art to getting dressed in the morning. Not because I'm this amazing fashionista...but because I have 2 needles in my stomach that can get irritated if clothing is too tight or rubbed the wrong way. And I have tubing and wiring that needs to be tucked away somewhere. And I have an insulin pump that needs to be clipped somewhere...preferably not exposed to keep it protected, but easily accessible so I can push the buttons and read the screen when I need to.

(That's why this dress with pockets from Anthropologie is perfect...and why I need to take up sewing)!

It's an art educating people about diabetes and talking to others about my experience living with it. It's an artistic balance letting others know what I go through on a daily basis while not flailing my arms in the air, crying and making people feel sorry for me...while at the same time, not playing it off like it's really no big deal at all.

It truly is an art as I go about my daily routines, adjusting to what life and Diabetes throws at me each day. It can be an art to stay upbeat sometimes when nothing seems to be going right, blood sugars are high and low, and all I want to do is crawl back into bed.

Yes, Diabetes is a science...but surviving, thriving, and living with it is truly an art.

I am a masterpiece...God's work of art...Diabetes included!


  1. I love this! Very well said! God bless.

  2. We ARE living art. Love it. I totally want to take a sewing class for many reasons, but one of them is to make dresses and bags that carry all of the stuff in just the right places. Maybe we could be fashionistas and start a line of diabetic clothing....

  3. Thanks Lindsay!

    Abbey...Yes, it sounds like a plan. Then we can start up our clothing line and be part of the Real Diabetic Housewives of Chicago like you blogged about :)

  4. Thanks Katie!
    LOVE your art for today...and sad to see your blog ending. Congrats on all of your progress!!!

  5. I love you Jen Enger!! You are a masterpiece and I am so glad God has allowed me to view his amazing work in you!!

  6. i've learned so much about living w/ diabetes from your blog!! there's so much that i take for granted (not having diabetes) and that you have to deal w/ are awesome and such an inspiration!! keep it up :)


  7. "Diabetes is a science...but surviving, thriving, and living with it is truly an art."

    That is such a truth. While I would be remiss if I didn't say I'm sorry you didn't have an opportunity to create art in the conventional sense, that statement is more than the sum of its words. Very poetic.

    Thank you for participating in Diabetes Art Day, and sharing what we who have it and live with it know to be true.

  8. Cathy & Grace, Thanks for always reading and commenting! You guys are such encouragements to me!!! Love you both!

    Lee Ann...thanks for reading and commenting. Thanks for setting up Diabetes Art Day...and for continuing to post about your own experience with Diabetes. I Love reading your blog!