At the diabetes camp I’ve attended as a counselor, we play a game where everyone sits in a circle (there are about 45 kids at this camp) and someone stands up and says, “I spy anyone with a (for example) yellow t-shirt,” and anyone that fits the description called out has to get up and run to a new chair — and there are, of course, not enough chairs for everyone to sit in. Usually, the running-around process is complete pandemonium.
When it is my turn to call out a description, I said, “I spy anyone who is wearing a medic alert!”
Considering we were at Diabetes Camp… you would think this description would cause a bit of pandemonium as well… but only eight or nine people actually stood up to find a new chair.
I used to hate wearing my medic alert bracelet when it was neon yellow, large and clunky. I hated it. I knew it was really important to be wearing something that clearly identified me as a diabetic though, so I wore it anyway. Eventually, my mother took me to a jewelry shop where we ordered a slightly more expensive yet much more attractive silver chain bracelet with the red Medic Alert symbol and “Diabetes” written onto it.
And I never take it off. It could, quite possibly, save my life someday. In an article recently published about a man wandering incoherently on a train, authorities kicked him off the train because they thought he was drunk. The man went missing. After a police investigation, they were informed by his family that he was diabetic and most likely going into hypoglycemic shock. He was found and treated a few days later…the details of his condition I’m still not quite sure about.
This is one situation where, upon finding him, a medic alert would explain to the police instantly what the main problem is if they hadn’t been able to reach his family members. And if he were to have been found shortly after being kicked off the train, the police would’ve dealt with appropriately because they would have the appropriate and extremely important health information.
If you’re ever in a car accident and you’ve been knocked unconscious, the 911 medics will search for medic alert jewelry on your body and you can bet that diabetes is something they’d absolutely love to know before they begin treating you. And if I were you, I’d want them to know this information, too!!!
A medic alert is also important if you’re in an organized sport and attending yoga classes or kick boxing classes. Of course, the first thing you should do is let your instructor know you’re diabetic when you begin the class…but if you’re in a large class, who's to say your instructor might forget during the chaos if you were to go into shock in the middle of a workout? Or what if the instructor is out that day and there’s a substitute, and you forgot to explain to them about your diabetes?
Either way, medic alerts were created for a really good reason: your safety. If you can’t stand the ugly bracelets they sell in the back pages of diabetes magazines, go to jewelry shop and ask to look at the medic alerts in their catalogue because they will help you find one that is attractive, professional and informative. Get a necklace or a bracelet—it doesn’t matter—the important thing is that you’re identifying yourself as a person with diabetes in order to help other people help you during an emergency.