Accurate Medical ID Bracelets

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!

Med ID necklace pendant hangs behind any cute pendant that goes with my outfit;)

Med ID necklace pendant hangs behind any cute pendant that goes with my outfit;)

 

This is the back of MY necklace charm. The charm I have is based on the fact that my bracelet is what contains my pertinent information.

This is the back of MY necklace charm. The charm I have is based on the fact that my bracelet is what contains my pertinent information.

Charm on my Medical ID bracelet! The red catches the eye of the person trained to look for the symbol!Charm on my Medical ID bracelet! The red catches the eye of the person trained to look for the symbol!

Is This Nervousness?

For what seems like ages now I can’t seem to focus on any one thing. I have noticed that it’s getting a lot worse every day that we get closer to actually starting chemo. It’s almost like until they actually do the first IV infusion, I might get a phone call from the doc saying, “Oh! After the recent blood and scans we like your numbers” or “We decided this med will be a better option for your situation and, of course, less intense on your system.”

But the closer we get to the day (two more), I realize I am doing this. I AM doing this. I don’t know what “this” is, it may be nothing to me or I may be miserable, like when I was on Methotrexate shots. I DON’T KNOW!!!  That’s the biggest problem really. I have a huge issue with dealing with unknowns. I’m a curiosity-kills-the-cat kinda gal. I need to know.

Half knowledge about something–especially my health, my own body–half knowledge is almost physically painful for me!

My therapist says it is totally normal for me to not really process what I am going through until I’ve had a few infusions and am actually coping with side-effects consistently.

Giving me this much time before it starts is evil, but also great. I really needed this window to get the chance to prepare for anything that might happen during my more intense course of treatments; however, getting this time is also giving me the chance to get my imagination going. Think creepy Twilight Zone theme music. I am, of course, giving myself the chance to think of the weirdest negative things ever. I don’t think it’s the typical fear stuff, at least not yet. I am probably blocking those fears still because they are too big. Instead I am choosing these ridiculous fears like the end of my social life and the failure to finish the hours of classes in the timeline I have built for myself. :/

These made-up possibilities that keep popping into my head throughout the day pass the time for me. The stories are sometimes positive and make me smile, but more often than not the ideas make me cry too (hormone shifts from the fertility procedures? or the fear that the reality makes dreams impossible?).

It’s the little bit of denial I’d like to think of as hope that I am hanging onto. Hanging on as the reality gets closer and closer by the day. Maybe I can just walk away and forget the appointment! So many fantasies I can create in my head. In the end, the reality is, that which I park my car in front of and unlock the front door to walk into.