(Anybody recognize that P.O.D. title?)

Yesterday evening, sitting next to the sixteen-year-old I do respite with at youth, she grabbed my arm and started playing with my purple flowery sportsband.  Didn’t ask about it, just played with it, and asked what time it was [I think she thought it was a watch].  The funny thing is, the last two weeks, none of the kids had asked about my bracelets (I work with like 55 of them).  Until yesterday, that is.

“Miss Kerri, do you have asthma?” [The kids at work call me Miss Kerri.  It’s all cute and such, though it threw me off a lot the first, oh, two months of work.]


“[Insert other kid’s name here] has the same bracelet!  And she has asthma, too!”  [Hooray for being matchy with one of our kids?  She doesn’t wear hers much anymore, I’ve been noticing.]

“Yuppers.  I have a black one too, but it’s too big.”  Kids understand all about things being too big.  Adults kind of lose that sort of understanding.

The other thing adults kinda lose, is the ability to not ask me incessant questions and just take it for what it is.  Your bracelet is matchy to my friend’s bracelet, you both have asthma, I’m gonna go back and play now.  Kids are so easy (most of the time).

Last night, my other respite girlie sits down on my knee and starts playing with my bracelet. “I used to have that one!  Except it had velcro on it.”  [The girlie has asthma, recently diagnosed epilepsy and potentially severe environmental allergies in addition to the behavioural/developmental things that lead me to doing respite with her].


And my question is . . . why are these kids not wearing their bracelets?  I understand MedicAlert is a little pricey for some, but there are other options.  It’s something I definitely think is important, and people don’t understand how important it actually is..

It’s your life.  Do you wear medical identification to identify your invisible illness?  Why did you make that decision, or why not?

6 thoughts on “i and identify — wearing medical id

  1. Thanks for sharing this experience, Kerri, and raising such an important topic. For me, it came down to just the personal interest in not wanting to wear it anymore – as a teen, mostly. Being diagnosed young, I had a bracelet that I wore for a while, but really stopped because it was ugly and I didn’t want to be “different.’ Then I eventually got a charm on a gold chain and wore that more discreetly, but at some point in my early to mid teens that same sense of just wanting to be “normal’ set in. I lost that years later and have never gotten another, mostly because I just haven’t put my mind to it. I have ID on my keys and car, but not a bracelet. May be time to just go for it… Thanks for the motivation, Miss Kerri!!

    1. Hey Mike!
      Glad I could be of help! :] I think especially working with KIDS I really realize the importance of it, because they can be not super awesome at communicating their needs due to age. But then I realize, as adults we encounter so many people, places and situations in a given day, its even LESS likely someone will know our story.

      I hope you find a cool bracelet that helps both in keeping you safe AND being an advocate!

  2. I should have Medicalert. Unfortunately, with my financial situation, the $100 + for it would have to come from my food budget, and frankly, I’m small enough as it is. Here’s hoping with my new medication plan this winter my breathing will be better, and maybe I’ll scrape together enough over the winter to get it.

    Right now, i settle fo an index card in my wallet with my medications and doctors listed on it and I carry my inhaler, spacer, benadryl, and peak flow meter on me at all times. Fortunately inhaler + spacer + benadryl in someone my age tips medical types off to asthma instantaneously. As well, everyone I work with knows I have asthma, and I’m pretty open about it to strangers. If they want to know, they know because I don’t see how me having asthma is any bigger a deal than me having green eyes or brown hair. It’s part of me, but it doesn’t define me, and I don’t think it’s something to hide. Mind you, it helps that I work in academia, on a campus with a nursing school and a kinesiology department, so people around are both knowledgable and understanding and I’ve only ever had one person make a huge deal of my asthma. I’ve been pretty lucky that way.

    Anyway, mine is not a perfect solution, but it’s better than nothing, and it’s in my price range.

    1. The thing is, while i love the security of MedicAlert, there are tons of more affordable ID solutions out there, like $25. I know limited budgets suck, though. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

      Yeah, there are some times I’m okay telling people about my asthma, many times I’m terrible at it. So I’m okay [although sometimes annoyed] if the bracelet brings it up for me 😉 [example, my boss noticed it in my job interview, and tied it in to my volunteering with the ASC and figured it out].

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