Important ID for Invisible Illnesses

…Do you wear some sort of Medical ID for your Invisible Illness?…

Are you Diabetic, Epileptic, or Allergic?, to mention just 3 examples.

This is my 3rd and last post for Invisible Illness Awareness Week, and I have chosen to write about the importance of wearing some kind of medical ID. I’m not advertising any particular brand or kind, there are many out there, and it is as much a matter of personal preference as it is of utmost importance. However, I have worn a MedicAlert bracelet for nearly 6 years now-as it was the one recommended to me by my Doctors, and as a charity, I choose to donate to their cause, (which is why I can display their logo in my sidebar). I support them because they are the only non-profit making, registered charity providing a life-saving identification system for individuals with hidden medical conditions and allergies.

And the clue in the above quote from their website, is in the word hidden.

You cannot look at me and see what allergies I have, what medications I am on and indeed, what (Invisible) Illness I suffer from. Therefore I carry and wear these:

If you are somebody who like me, refuses to be reclusive because of your Illness, and who wants to travel and have adventure in the big wide world, then really, wearing Medical ID is a no brainer.  Wear it or at the very least, carry it about your person: there is absolutely no knowing where you might be, and whether you’ll find yourself accompanied or alone when you are next taken ill, away from the safety of your home environment.

I once lost mine, and it was mailed back to me as the person who found it rung the company number on it and sent it back to them. I was so grateful I would have given a small, token reward!

These days, Paramedics are trained to first look for any ID-whether it be a bracelet or a necklace-and if yours is sensibly worded, it really could save your life.

On a personal note, the reasons I was strongly advised to wear Medical ID were because I am on permanent steroids, and this is a fact that needs to be known. I am also allergic to Penicillin, Aspirin and Ibuprofen, again this is fundamentally important, if I end up in need of emergency care. Plus, one of the medications I take for my lung illness needs to be monitored with regular blood tests, and I can become seriously ill if I am given too much of it-(something called a loading dose), in the ER.

We have worded mine so that all the drug names are in their generic, UK brand and USA branded names. We have also importantly added dosage instructions and blood level results for both countries. If like us you travel a lot, this is extremely important as the UK and USA measure several of my blood results on different scales-this is something I know would also be necessary for blood glucose levels in the case of a diabetic patient.

I have several whacky food allergies, and related illnesses-My severe form of wheat allergy-means there are many generic brands of paracetamol that I cannot be prescribed because they contain wheat. Most cough medicines are an attractive red colour, yet I am allergic to red food colouring and again, can only take certain brands. All of this information can be found by way of one phone call to the number on the back of my bracelet. It is also typed in a little more, but still succinct  detail on the wallet card that both of us carry. Plus, any doctor is able to retrieve the full and vital medical records and my entire Asthma Treatment Protocol through quoting my membership number.

I really do advise anybody with an Invisible Illness to wear some kind of medical ID. I believe this Awareness Week is not just about bringing to people’s attention the symptoms, circumstances, pain, anxiety and suffering of so very many people, but  is also a chance to share our various and varied experiences and to give advice on ways to live life to the full and self-help eachother.

….So this is just another one of my little gems of advice!-Get One! and wear it proudly-you’ve earned it!….


12 Responses to Important ID for Invisible Illnesses

  1. We’re waiting for M’s to come in the mail. I didn’t go with medic alert, because really, other than at school, she is always with Rob or me, or someone in our family…HOWEVER, I want her to be used to wearing one…so we picked a pretty bracelet one, with an ID bar that has her name and that she has asthma, and contact numbers on the back. (the theory behind the name is that in an emergency situation, EMT’s knowing her first name is helpful, both to reassure her in an emergency, and when they are checking for reactions. If someone out to harm her is close enough to read her name on her bracelet…then really, it’s too late)

    When she’s older, and out and about without me, we’ll probably move to a more inclusive system like medic alert, where her information is stored.

  2. I also didn’t know you were allergic to red food color…Abby is “sensitive” and has a behavior reaction…but I know enough about sensitivities and allergies to know that it might not always be a behavior reaction-as she will also rash if she uses a cosmetic with red dye 40 in it. We monitor her closely, and SHE knows that she can’t have it. (however, in the US, there are a lot of docs who don’t “buy in” to the behavior reaction. I would have loved to have given her the Ovaltine she loved as a tiny girl, and let them watch her transform into the Tasmanian Devil [from bugs bunny] on speed)

    • My ‘red’ reaction is a sudden anaphylaxsis. I have had it happen twice nice from random Chinese-but our usual Friday NIght restaurant knows about it, and i’ve always been ok with their food as long as I don’t eat kung po or sweet and sour-which are reddish sauces.

  3. Part of why I’m getting a part-time job is so that I can afford a medical ID. There’s one from Medic Alert that I really like, so I’ll save up for it and get it. 🙂 For now, I carry a handwritten card of my meds, peak flow zones, and condition in my wallet. 🙂

  4. Kerri says:

    I’ve been wearing a bracelet for over a year now and I feel strange when I don’t have it on. (I forgot it yesterday and felt soooo strange) I’ve been meaning to get a pretty metal one though, i just have to find one i love ;D.

    Thanks for writing on this topic, though, because it’s such an important one.

  5. Hi Kerri-yes I remember when you got yours!

  6. Elisheva says:

    Thanks to you guys I finally got around to putting handwritten notes in my wallet and national ID card a few months ago. I hope I never need to test if they work! I’ve survived fine without them thus far.

  7. olivia says:

    I always wear mine. I have a medic alert one but then bought one from an american website which is prettier which i can wear if i am dressed up as my medic alert one os not very pretty but this other one is. I feel naked when i dont have my medic alert on as it has helped me on numerous occassions. I think I ahve worn one for about 10 years now!!!

  8. kirsten says:

    I have worn medic alert now for 12 years and dont leave the house without it firmly on my wrist it only comes off when in the bath shower at home.
    I can safley say it HAS saved my life when i had a very rapidly deteriorating asthma attackand was barely concious by the time the paramedics arrived – they were able to call up for my info and avoid more potential problems as im very allergic to aminophyllin.
    My Chloe who is nut allergic has 1 too and i have just bout her a new one as she is now much more independant and wanted something more feminine than the sports ban -.
    I firmly believe that EVERYONE with a hidden illness should have 1. – great post Sus

    • Well done for you and Chloe both having them.
      I am with you about their life saving properties. But if you never take yours off, you’ll never forget to wear it! I am equally as unlikely to remove mine as I am my cross-and I really grumble about having to take that off when I have chest xrays!

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