Having accurate Medical ID bracelets (or a necklace) is pretty important when I have out-of-it-like symptoms that can make it seem like I’m having a totally different issue medically then is really going on. For example, quite a few of my symptoms would cause a first responder to give me aspirin which could cause me to OD. So, a bracelet is really important when you are dealing with the extensive medical history I have and the complications of how each individual situation has to be handled.
I also am of an age and live in a college town where it is easy to make the assumption upon first seeing me, in certain health scenarios, that I am just totally fucked up!!
Ggrrr!! Which is super unfair, especially since I end up being the DD half the time cause I’m the only sober person! I mean seriously, who wants to mix migraine meds and alcohol?! Not I, thanks, the way chemicals already act in my body…with my luck, I’d be the first proven case of human internal combustion!
For another example, when I am having problems with vertigo and migraines and a few other cognitive funzies that can involve symptoms like swaying, falling over, weaving all over the place, puking, not being able to track with my eyes, slurred speech, confusion, not following a sentence or conversation… Well? What did it just sound like I described to you? Alcohol poisoning? Drug interactions or overdose? Yeah that’s what it would seem like to anyone just looking off hand, even me. That’s absolutely what a paramedic or cop will assume when that is what they see 90% of the time on the job in this town.
Nice thing about paramedic training though (and cops) is that they are trained to check for bracelets and necklaces. They aren’t stupid, they actually do check.
When we are talking about being college aged, there are too many assumptions that can be made in an emergency situation that will hurt someone with Lupus either due to the disease itself or various meds we are on. Yeah I know, that’s being an age-est (haha), but it’s just reality. It’s also relatively fair, I think, knowing my counterparts/contemporaries without disabilities and how too many are willing to abuse their bodies so carelessly.
I have always been amazed when a friend is offered a drug and they just take it, because it was put in front of them. My brain goes haywire with all sorts of questions (yes, curiosity as well), but first and foremost, massive questions: What IS that? What’s actually in it? How will it interact with my meds? How does it interact with alcohol? Can it affect any of my Lupus symptoms? A million more questions you can only imagine, but my friend just proceeds to partake in whatever new “fun drug” we have been offered, not remotely worried there might be a negative consequence.
Part of having Lupus is always thinking about what the next consequence might be. Running a dozen contingency plans for scenarios that maybe I just didn’t think of–all of the “What ifs?” all of the time.
Wearing a bracelet and never taking it off means I never have to fear that I will be treated based on an assumption that could kill me. It gives me the confidence to not have to worry that when I need help, really need help, I will be taken seriously.
It’s important that when you get your bracelet you consider the most important information for a first responder. For instance I have a LOT of allergies to basic meds. SO I have Multiple Allergies written on my bracelet but my bracelet also says over at the bottom, because on the back I have numbers for doctors so that my records will be acquired immediately. Also because I am over 18 years old I state on the bracelet to call parents! I give their names and phone numbers as well! I even have a charm to hang behind any necklace pendant that has the medical symbol in red and on the back of the charm it says to see bracelet. There are other necklace charms that can say see wallet card, or actually have all of the information on the necklace pendant, or even have electronic chips with all your info!