Saturday, September 18, 2010

Medical Alert ID

I ordered a medical alert necklace and hated it. I would really rather not wear any medic alert jewelry although I understand that people are going to look first for an id on my body. In the past (over a decade ago!) when I had adrenal insufficiency, I clipped a medical bracelet to my purse strap.

Partly because the inquiries as to what I was wearing it for were incessant--people are so nosy!--and partly because I didn't like the bracelet. Even on my purse the attention seemed constant.

And it's not like explaining an allergy. Say the word allergy and there's instant understanding. Same for diabetes or even a heart condition.

But try explaining the mess that is my adrenal system and you rapidly learn people have no clue what the hell the adrenals do or don't do. It just leads to question after question until I feel like I should prepare a handout or something.

I don't really want to lie to people either, imagine if something were to happen? But then I am not really interested in being 'out' anyway so maybe I should tell everyone I have a peanut allergy.

And watch them freak out when I forget the lie and eat peanut butter in front of them.

Sometimes you can't win for losing. Reminds me of when I was pregnant and my boss lied to everyone saying I couldn't travel overseas due to knee surgery (he was trying to be nice since it was early in my pregnancy). Only he didn't tell me about the lie and I blew his cover when people started asking me about the surgery.

Anyway, I took some pliers and cut the chain to the necklace so I could put the tag on my key chain/wallet. Then I ordered a bracelet, that I still won't be happy with, but it's better than the necklace.

Here's what the wallet looks like. The back clarifies it's secondary adrenal insufficiency and gives my more serious medicine allergies, says I have asthma, and provides the hubby's phone number.

I don't expect these ids to see any use. As I've mentioned before, theoretically I should be at super low risk of a true adrenal crisis. However, even if I don't have a real crisis, my blood pressure is dropping steeply enough to be a big problem, especially if I'm out and about. The last time it happened was truly frightening and would've been an ER visit if I hadn't known what to do.

I feel better just knowing if the worst were to happen, the medical ids would be there.


  1. I have been wearing my medical ID bracelet for 10 years now. I have never had anyone look at it in the ER or by a paramedic. I have made a list of all my conditions, doctor's name and phone #'s, and all my meds, and I keep it updated in my computer and take it everywhere. If I end up in the ER either my Hubby or one of my kids prints it out and takes it to the ER. I have been in the ambulance many many times, but I am lucky because my son is a firefighter in town and all the guys know what is going on with my health. My blood pressure goes haywire when I am close to crisis or if I start getting sick. This is a frustrating disease. When people ask me what is wrong with me I tell them I have Addison's disease. If they give me a blank stare and say nothing else I am happy. If they ask what it is I just say it's an adrenal and pitutary thing. Usually that stops all the questions. Take care.

  2. I think when people get nosy about the ID you should tell them you have rabies. Sorry, hope that isn't too bad a joke. I just love the idea of saying something horribly shocking when someone asks something rude or rudely.


Thanks for your comment. I read all comments and do my best to respond to questions, usually in a new post.

If you have adrenal issues and want to connect with other patients the following message boards are wonderful resources: