September 29, 2018 at 6:53 am #14694
While I’ve had many conversations with friends and family about the benefit of medical alert bracelets, it wasn’t until just last week that I obtained one. Actually, for clarity, I didn’t obtain one by choice; my medical team gave me one, told me to register it and wear it on a regular basis.
I’ve since done this, and what I wasn’t expecting is how much the bracelet has become a conversational piece. I’m not sure whether I like this or not, yet. For example, when people see my bracelet, there has been more than one occasion where they have asked about my medical condition.
For those of you who do wear a Medical Alert bracelet: have others approached you about your medical condition?
I understand the importance of this bracelet, and the fact that with one phone call, Emergency Medical Service personnel can have access to my health records and medications. This is to ensure they know how best to proceed with my care in the event of an emergency, so it is important, however, it also highlights to the general population that I have a medical condition. And, I’m not sure how I feel about the latter.
I’m curious: How many other members of our forums wear a Medical Alert bracelet since their IPF/PF diagnosis?
October 2, 2018 at 9:42 am #14726Michelle Lantis-HarmsParticipant
I have almost ordered one about a hundred times but haven’t yet for the fear of what you have experienced. Being on oxygen is stigma enough, I don’t want to add to that. I know I should being insulin dependent diabetic, this, and on oxygen but I can’t seem to get past my fear.
October 5, 2018 at 8:41 am #14756
Thanks so much for getting in touch and sharing your thoughts on this topic. I am always curious to hear from others about things that make their disease visible, ie. oxygen or the medical alert bracelet!
I had the same mentality as you, for sure, and fought getting one of these bracelets for along time. I didn’t want to add additional stigma through this piece, in addition to my oxygen. That said, I live alone and if I can’t communicate not only my condition, but also the medications that I am on, EMS could accidentally give me something that could kill me. By wearing this bracelet it gives them the information they need to treat me as effectively as possible, so I tried to weigh out the benefits vs. cons. To keep my bracelet a bit more concealed in the day-to-day I wear it behind my Fitbit band on my wrist. So, it isn’t as noticable or it looks like a piece of jewellery. They also have some really nice, discreet medical pieces… a friend of mine wears his around his neck, and I didn’t even know it was a medical alert. Just something to keep in mind, but absolutely each person is entitled to wearing one or not.
Not sure if this was helpful at all? If I can be of any more help do let me know.
October 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm #14728Terry MoriartyParticipant
I wear one, but I changed the bracelet to one of my own. I got the idea from Lauren’s Hope website. BPeople only notice the bracelet, not the medical alert. couldn’t figure out how to insert a pucture.
October 5, 2018 at 8:42 am #14757
Thanks so much for getting in touch and sharing that resource with us. I’ve never heard of Lauren’s Hope website, but I’ll definitely check it out. This is a great idea to keep the medical alert discreet and wear some of your own pieces! 🙂
Thanks for sharing and I do hope you’re doing alright. As always, it was great to hear from you!
December 2, 2020 at 4:11 pm #26330Diane WelmonParticipant
I would like to find one in order to spark conversation and awesome.
December 3, 2020 at 2:56 pm #26335Karen MartinParticipant
I don’t wear one and actually have never thought about getting one, which is probably pretty dumb of me. However, I question whether wearing one that doesn’t capture attention is a good idea because if you need help, what guarantee is there that emergency personnel would notice it? I understand not wanting to stand out in a crowd because of a medical condition, but maybe we need to see ourselves as worthy of note. After all, every soul is important in the world, right? 🙂 Guess I had better get busy getting mine.
December 3, 2020 at 3:02 pm #26336
Hi Karen and Diane,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! The concept of medical personnel not knowing you’re wearing one is definitely a good point. If either of you are iPhone users, there is also a feature called “My Medical ID” which anyone can access without the passcode to your phone. While that may seem odd, its actually really helpful because you can put important information in there like: blood type, emergency contact(s), medical conditions and notes. I’ve filled mine out, and in the “notes” section I put: “please look for medical alert bracelet”, which can might help them know to look for the bracelet. Just an additional tip I thought I’d share 🙂
December 3, 2020 at 7:18 pm #26337RonParticipant
I do not wear a bracelet, but I should. Like others, I have considered getting one but never got around to it. I have never thought there was a stigma associated with them. In addition, I have never thought there was a stigma attached to any medical condition. Perhaps I should consult a dictionary to be sure the word means what I think.
My understanding is that “stigma” is a negative or repulsive aspect of someone’s personality, history, or physical condition. If that’s correct then I think most people who think there is a stigma attached to their condition or medical alert bracelet are beating themselves up over nothing. Forget all that and start thinking positive thoughts. Life is too short (especially for us) to be wasted on imaginary ill feelings. I would be offended if I saw you try to cover your bracelet from me. Come on! We are equals!
Ok, now to step off my soapbox and finish what I started. I should get a medical alert bracelet. I have a history of mini strokes. I always had some concern should I have a stroke in my room and unable to summon family members who sleep upstairs. I have an iPhone app set up but my daughter and son-in-law silence their phones at night. Besides, a really bad stroke might render me incapable of operating the app. I need something like one of those pendants with a simple button to push and that doesn’t require a weekly/monthly fee to use. I would be happy if it simply let out a loud audible alert that would wake the dead. Another possibility is a remote blue tooth or wifi connected speaker and matching transmitter in the bracelet or pendant.
Of course, these are only useful within the residence. But that’s all that I and many others need. I never leave the house unaccompanied and then mostly to go to doctor appointments.
December 4, 2020 at 4:17 pm #26349
You certainly raise good points about the use of the iPhone app and medical alert bracelet. You’re right, those who silence their phones at night wouldn’t be able to receive an emergency call. I use the iPhone Medical ID app to store my information in it for first responders, but getting a first responder can be difficult if you’re unwell or heaven forbid, dealing with a stroke. One option I just thought of is to get either an Alexa (Amazon) or GoogleHome device, and be able to say: “Alexa call 911”. I don’t know if this works or not – I haven’t researched it – but it might be another option to consider, if it does work? Doing this would only require you to say those three words. Also the fall detector equipment is very handy, but usually has a weekly or monthly cost associated with it, unfortunately.
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