“What are you allergic to?” the nurse asked in that droll tone that said she had already asked that question too many times today. I didn’t reply, I just reached into my wallet & handed her the worn, folded paper, a document I made years ago when the short list of drug reactions I could remember, spilled over into a second (& then third) column. I keep a copy in my wallet at all times so in the 2 lines Doctors give you on forms to write down all your allergies, I can write: “See attached form”.
The nurse stopped muttering under her breath, cursing the slow computer system as she tried to add every drug, vitamin & supplement on my list with the correlating reaction, to ask if I wore a medic alert bracelet? The image of trying to fit 2 pages of drug names (and reactions)onto a teeny tiny silver bracelet flashed through my mind. I smiled & laughed under my breath. (I get my laughs where I can).
What’s the point of the bracelet if it has to say: “see attached form”?
I told the nurse I didn’t think it was necessary, I’m not allergic to Penicillin or anything like that. She said: “What if you are walking down the street all by yourself (if I am all alone wandering down a street, I already have a pretty big problem but I understood her point) & something happens to you? How would anyone know this drug gives you seizures or you have severe reactions to all those antibiotics?” I pictured lying unconscious as my family members played a round of Family Feud trying to guess my allergies.
What is the #1 drug you should never give Cari?
“Cipro! Definitely Cipro!”
“And the survey says?
No… sorry, Cipro is not on the board!”
(Okay, the nurse had a point).
I began to research what options are out there to help keep me safe & I found that $19.99 could not only save your life but your sanity!
Even if you don’t have a depressingly long list of allergies, you are probably sick of filling out the same medical information over & over again. What are you taking now? What have you tried in the past? Those 2 questions alone can be a marathon of information to write out. What if one bracelet or necklace could hold all your medical information?
-a photo of yourself
-your Doctors name
-insurance information & more!
“Care” bracelets have a built in USB device that not only lets you store all of that information but also go back & update it anytime you want. They come in basic black, gray or fun colors like pale blue or apple green. They contain no latex, come in 5 different sizes, are waterproof & are very inexpensive at only $19.99 at Drugstore.com or Walgreens. The best part is you can print the files (all the information that is normally required at a Doctors office or ER) or ask them to print it for you & you have a hard copy of your information anytime you need it.
USB Medical Bracelet
If bracelets aren’t your thing, they make necklaces, key chains & I even saw an Iphone case that has the Medical Alert symbol w the USB attached to the back!
One last safety tip: If you have a cell phone make sure to add this contact name: I.C.E (In Case of Emergency) with the phone number & name of your emergency contact person. Medical staff will look for “ICE” if you are unable to tell them who to call.
Being a patient is dangerous enough, anything that makes our life a little easier or safer is worth $20.