If Occupational Therapists are concerned with enhancing people’s ability to participate in occupations of everyday life, then maybe this will spark some interest.
It’s a company called “Myabetic” and it was recently founded by one of my friends from college.
Her website says that she creates and develops innovative, appealing, and functional products that encourage a healthy lifestyle for people living with diabetes. The accessories are designed specifically to reflect customers’ individual style. She is also committed to promoting wellness and finding a cure; therefore, a portion of all proceeds are donated to the American Diabetes Association.
Maybe you should read my friend’s story before we go any further (it can also be found on the Myabetic website):
Myabetic was founded by Kyrra Richards, a professional dancer and teacher. In 2007, Kyrra traveled to Afghanistan and Qatar to perform at American military bases. While there, her diet was very restricted.
Kyrra returned to the United States with an insatiable thirst and a voracious appetite. Yet, inexplicably, she was losing weight. Her doctor ordered a blood test and discovered that Kyrra’s glucose level had reached 485 – a dangerously high reading (70 to 130 is typically considered healthy). The military’s high-carbohydrate meals (meant to nourish troops serving in the desert) had pushed her pancreas to its limit. She was rushed to the hospital where an endocrinologist diagnosed her with type 1 diabetes.
The procession from specialist to specialist began. Kyrra became depressed by the austere doctors’ offices and cold, clinical equipment. On a whim, in an effort to brighten her outlook and accept her condition, she sketched her vision of fun and appealing medical apparatus. Included among them were stylish testing cases where she could carry her insulin pen, glucometer, testing strips, and lancets.
After a thorough search, Kyrra found nothing on the market that came close to what she envisioned. Committed to her belief that diabetes would not keep her from living the life of her dreams, Myabetic was born to promote a positive attitude and healthy lifestyle.
I share Kyrra’s story in order to ask the question: Why has nobody done this before?
I love that she used her own creativity to think outside of the box and challenge the idea that medical equipment used on a daily basis must look just that – medical. I think she’s onto something.
As Occupational Therapy students, we have learned that helping clients manage and participate in daily routines is something that we can and should do. Maybe we as Occupational Therapists (and students) could help our clients take a step in the right direction when it comes to maintaining their daily routine and their health simply by opening their eyes to the fact that the medical accessories they must incorporate into their daily routine don’t have to look so medical. In fact, they can look pretty cool, whether you’re a woman, man, or child.
Here are a few examples:
So, what do you think about all this? Is it useful to know about products like these? Can Occupational Therapists use their knowledge of these kinds of products to enhance their treatments in helping clients with their everyday function?