My oldest son, Michael, was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes in August of 2014-- just seventeen days before his second birthday. Michael's pancreas no longer makes any insulin. This is an autoimmune disorder where Michael's immune system received a crossed signal from his brain and it caused his immune system to attack the beta-cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Without insulin, Michael's body cannot convert sugar into energy. Therefore, we have to manually inject insulin into him in order for him to survive. There is no cure for Type One Diabetes. Insulin is simply life-support. There's a myriad of other things I could say about Type One Diabetes, but much of that info can be found right here on this blog in past posts for anyone who'd like to look them up. And of course, I'm always available to answer questions about Type One. The main thing to remember is that Michael did not cause this in any way, shape, or form and it's something he will live with (and as his parents, we will live with as well) until they find a cure. So, since we have had to adapt our lifestyles to fit in the necessary role of insulin, we have a lot of medical products. What better use for the used products than to turn them into ornaments!
This Christmas will be the first one that Michael has worn an insulin pump. We are using the Omnipod pump since it is tubeless. Having no tubes that can get caught on drawer-pulls and having one less thing for this pre-schooler to tug on is a winner in our book. Each pod lasts for 72 hours. Every 3 days, we inject insulin into a new pod and place it on Michael's body. (This is such a simple explanation for an insulin pump, so a more detailed description can be found here).
As soon as we were set on getting the Omnipod system (which we started in June of this year), I knew that I wanted to create ornaments out of the old pods. You can imagine that since each pod must be changed every 72 hours, we've gone through quite a number of pods since June 2015. Every 3 days, I remove the old pod, insert a new one, and then I get to work "preparing" the old pod for us to use as an orna-pod later on. No, we didn't coin the term "orna-pod" but I wish we had! I remove the adhesive backing, and then I remove any remaining insulin. I cut off the cannula and deactivate any alarm system of the pod. I make sure the pod is dry and clean and I stick it in an old coffee canister for storage.
My husband Aaron and I decided to get to work in making some of these old pods into ornaments. We plan to give several to our family members, and church family members & friends who have been so faithful in praying for us on this journey with Type One. When Michael is older, I know he will participate in helping us turn these old pods into something that can be admired on a tree. Aaron and I chose to put a magnet on the back of each orna-pod as well so that they can be magnets on the refrigerator just in case the recipient didn't want to put them on their tree, or just in case the recipient doesn't put up a Christmas tree anymore (some of our grandparents have gone this route).
We gathered some supplies at Hobby Lobby and we got to work! We both had some ideas in mind of what we'd like to turn the pods into. We aren't quite done with our stash for this year and I'm sure we won't be able to use every pod since we have so many. But we'd like to send at least one orna-pod to each household represented by our family, friends, and church family. We're going to include a note that will go something like this:
Here is an Orna-pod for your tree or your 'fridge. This piece of medical equipment kept Michael alive for 3 days. Thank you for your prayers and support of us as we journey through life with Type One.
Here's a look at our progress:
All of our supplies:
Here are some "in-progress" pictures of my Santa suits and Christmas trees.
Testing out the Rudolph magnet on our fridge.
I forgot to glue ribbon to the backs of the ornaments yesterday, so I quickly glued a gold ribbon to the back of one of the Christmas tree ornapods, but it wasn't quite dry enough to hang by itself on the tree. I nestled it in the branches to take a couple of quick pictures, and now I'm letting it dry completely before letting it hang on its own.
Thanks for stopping by today to read about our DIY Ornapods!
Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba