Friday, February 08, 2008

Medical ID Tags? Yes, but I am paranoid.

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Courtney has a walk through her logic on Medical ID tags on her Ride to Remedy blog:

I pretty much refuse to wear the bracelet because I think it’s ugly and I don’t want some frou-frou bracelet on my wrist, that’s not who I am. Nor am I the type that wants to run around with the sports band on my wrist either. I like to be free of everything on my wrist with the exception of the occasional watch. [...] Whether or not it would’ve done something in an emergency situation is something I don’t know because in the one emergency situation I’ve been in, I wasn’t wearing my bracelet (it was safely stored in my jewelery box so that it didn’t get lost, it had been there for a couple years at this point). I had passed out while driving because my blood sugar had gone low. I don’t remember anything, I remember where I got in the car and started driving, and where I awoke with an IV in my arm and the paramedics trying to talk to me, but I remember nothing in between. They had only known I was diabetic because my blood glucose machine was sitting on the passenger’s seat next to me.

The Bobblehead is paranoid, always has been. It is part of my rigid way of coping in the world as being a Myers=Briggs ESTJ personality. I realized that when I was running a 5K a few years back I had no ID telling people of my gastric bypass surgery (as if the scar going from my groin to my sternum would not clue them in). I made one out of a key tag and ran the race. Later on I bought a sports tag and a dog tag. Both were very nice (I loved the dog tag).

Then, in October, the Bobbles started. My original trip to the ER had me slurring and spinning like a top. Stroke for sure...NOT! A few months later a fall out of the Hyperspeed Wheelchair Chariot (r) made me stop talking all together. Another black out in a new doctor's waiting room had 6 friendly but confused Santa Fe paramedics get to try out a whole bunch of equipment, even a machine that went PING.

I now have ID out the wazoo. My bike helmet (both pedal and motorcycle) have IDs (for FREE!) from I have a (not formal) interactive medical ID from RoadID. Their products for sports IDs are wonderful. My new dog tag is really cool.

Interactive ID? Just call the phone number on the tag, enter in the pin (also on the tag) and you get a complete profile: doctor's names, emergency contacts, medications, medical history, insurance information, zodiac sign, etc. I love it. Of course Basilary-Type Migraines are strange enough where I know most Emergency Responders will have no clue as to what they are. Also, I wanted to give me girls peace of mind that in case of an accident, they would not have to struggle to tell crews what I had or what drugs I was on. They just had to say that it was on my ID.

However, the ID is anything but fashionable so I hear Courtney loud and clear. Bobblehead may be paranoid but he must look mahhhvalous! If your condition is straight forward and well understood by responders (diabetic, hypertensive, etc.) any ID bracelet or neckless would do the trick on an ID card easy to find in a wallet or purse.

And, although not quite catching on here in the states, yet, ICEing your cell phone is gaining momentum in Britain. I gave a talk about ICE here and was surprised to find a number of my colleagues had already ICEed their cell phones. What is ICE? ICE is a topic for another blog post.

Courtney, my advice is get a cute but unobtrusive tag. Post a photo. Anything to make emergency crews a little faster or efficient help you out. But do not give up on fashion. My daughter El is all about fashion. As for the Bobblehead...I still think plaid and stripes go together....

[posted by Bobblehead]