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Ornapods and Care Packages: Bringing Hope, Courage, and Strength to the Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

With stomach bugs and flu running rampant just a few days before Christmas, many of us D Rents are living in fear that our kids will get sick and we will end up spending the holidays in the hospital. 

That would really bring out my inner Grinch!

But you know what would be worse?  Being diagnosed over the holidays. 

That was something that I was thinking about last year at this time when I had the idea to make care packages for our local hospital.  I just couldn't stop thinking about how overwhelming that would be.  I mean, it's overwhelming and terrifying any time of year.  Add being inpatient during the holidays... too much.

I wanted to do SOMETHING to make it a little bit better.  So we put together a little bag of goodies and a note of encouragement that will hopefully bring a smile during a very difficult time. 

We enjoyed doing that so much last year that we decided to do it again!

This year we put in notes of encouragement from Sweets and myself.  We added a JDRF bracelet and candy cane (blue, of course) with carb count attached! 

And we made Ornapods!

What are Ornapods, you ask?

Ornapods are ornaments made out of Sweet's insulin pump, the Omnipod. 

Want to make some yourself?  It's super easy... here's how!

1.  Pull the adhesive backing off of the used pod. 

2.  Remove the unused insulin from the pod.  You can use the syringe that you use to fill the pods or you can use just a regular syringe.  Insert the syringe into the same place that you use to fill the pod.  You can tilt it downward to get the maximum amount of insulin out. 

3.  Clean the pods with an alcohol wipe.

4.  Paint the pods.  I chose the cheapest paint I could find!  You might want to look for one with a matte finish or one with shine.  That's up to you!  It may take a few coats of paint to get them to the desired color.

5.  Seal the paint with Mod Podge.  I picked out a sparkle kind this time.  Who doesn't love glitter?!?  This is optional.  I just like the shiny look!

6.  Use stickers to decorate the ornaments.

7.  Use ribbon as a ornament hanger.  Cut to the desired length and hot glue onto the back of the pod. 

8.  We used a silver paint pen to write the date on the back. 

Sweets really enjoyed making these!  She was able to help and do a lot of the work herself - although the painting can get a little messy!  She enjoyed picking out the stickers and the paint colors and the ribbon!

We use these as gifts for teachers, family members.... and our school nurse! 

It may seem a little odd to use your medical trash and turn it into an ornament... and hang it on your Christmas tree...

Sweets even said, "It's kinda funny this was on my tush and now it's on our tree!"

But when you really think about what it IS...

It's what kept my child alive for three days.  It's what gave her the life sustaining medicine she needs. 

That makes it a pretty powerful statement of HOPE and COURAGE and STRENGTH. 

And I can't think of a better ornament...
Or a better way to show a newly diagnosed family that although living with T1 is a difficult, strange, new world... it's not all bad. 

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