293063_10151992567335375_721240625_n.jpgSince my asthma entered a level of weirdness beyond control by the standard FloVent/Ventolin combination, I’ve worn some sort of medical identification (they started off with random ICE tags I got made at the pet store with the engraving machine, if you want me to be perfectly honest, and then i got a plain silver dog tag made at an American Wal-Mart).  I wear ID not with the anticipation anything will happen rendering me unable to speak, but in case it does. I’m as active as possible, and all over the place–whether I’m out on the road, at work or school, outdoors training for a race, indoors working out or hanging with my friends, not everybody around me is going to know my medical history. And while I don’t go to great lengths to “hide” my asthma, it happens often enough that people don’t know (that part gets kind of awkward when I’m playing goofy gym games in school and have some sort of coughing spasm/respiratory situation. Ahem). In reality though, you just never know what will happen, and being proactive is NEVER a bad idea.

Sidebar: I spent a year as a MedicAlert member, but I was not impressed when they jacked the prices up for membership into their database–and this is without mentioning that the Canadian system, which is linked to the same hotline as the American system, costs significantly more for IDs as it is. I loved the security of the MedicAlert system, but when it was going to cost $60 a year, I realized there were many more things I could do with that much money. They offered to lower my membership fee, but that doesn’t help anybody but me. So i didn’t renew when it came time to.

Additionally, I like to have options. I don’t have a choice that I have asthma. I choose to wear medical identification jewelry, but that doesn’t mean I’ll wear just anything. I have a necklace that looks like a guitar pick that simply says “asthma; organ donor” [the fact that I want my organs donated in the case that I die unexpectedly is so important to me that it is engraved on all of my medical IDs]. I have a RoadID Slim, which I can change the band colour on. The Interactive RoadID is an integral part of my medical ID, as the bracelet I am wearing in the picture on the right contains the information to access my Emergency Response Profile that is connected to my RoadID.

My “everyday” bracelet is the one in the picture to the right. It’s simple, and while it looks like a medical ID, it’s not drawing a huge amount of attention to itself. [Oh, it also now has a cupcake charm on the opposite side of the ID plate]. I’m planning to at some point get another tag made so I can put pretty beaded bracelets on it, but I kind of suck at making those and stuff.

And, obviously it’s important that it coincidentally matches my guitar! I ordered the bracelet before I bought that guitar, but I am way okay that they match.

On recommendation from my friend Steve, I got this bracelet from My Identity Doctor. You’ll notice I don’t have the front engraved, which is for multiple reasons. I fit tons of information on the other side, so I didn’t need to use the front side. And while I’m open with the kids at work if they ask me any questions about my asthma, I really don’t want them staring at my bracelet all the time–“What’s your bracelet for?” “I have asthma.” “Oh! So-and-so has asthma too! Can you draw me a kitty? When are we going to the gym?” is much better than “What are all those numbers for?” “So can you do _____?” x 8000 other questions [those questions are fine infrequently. Every day not so much]. Other reasons include sketchy bus strangers and people I don’t know. If they really need the information, they can flip it over. Hopefully, though, the only time it needs to be flipped over is next time I have to play the casualty in first-aid training and the first-aid-knowing bystander finds my bracelet [it happened once. I was used as an example and everything].

The engraving on the back is black-filled and laser-engraved, and is super clear to read. Jon at My Identity Doctor does an awesome job, and I’d highly recommend checking out his store when you’re in for your next medical ID purchase. Available IDs feature a variety of colours and a couple different styles–they’re simple, high quality and a decent price. Jon also shared the discount code SSRJ which can be used for a 25% discount off your purchase until the end of September.

So, if you’ve got some sort of ongoing medical shenanigans, are you wearing medical ID? Why or why not? Let’s talk in the comments. [Perhaps I should start saying “ongoing medical shenanigans” instead of “chronic disease”. That’s academic paper material right?]

Disclosure: As always, I never post about a product or service if I don’t believe in it wholeheartedly. I contacted Jon at MyIdentityDoctor after seeing the prizes/contest page on his site, and I may earn some swag from this post. Regardless, I dealt with him as a customer prior to the possibility of free stuff, and my experience from ordering to receiving my bracelet was nothing but positive. He even sent me a separate e-mail because I said “Hi” to his dog Burton in the notes of my order via Etsy. How cool is that?

8 thoughts on “medical id: my identity doctor

  1. I didn’t start wearing mine until I had Kip. I didn’t see the importance of it until I realized it’s not only *my* life that the emergency could effect.
    And, WOW! My 3-year membership is $75 ($45/year if on a yearly plan) to Medical Alert! I can’t BELIEVE they charge that much in Canada!!
    Oh, and do I spy a YouCanDoThis tee under that shirt??? 😀

    1. Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by!
      I know, it’s funny, I looked at the American site and realized how much cheaper MedicAlert was in the US. And then I felt great injustice ;). I loved the system, I loved that the IDs were a lot smaller and thus less conspicuous, but I don’t think paying $60 a year PLUS cost of ID is really fair! If it were $45, I’m sure I’d sill be a member. [My post from yesterday was on search terms, and MANY people get here because they want to know why MedicAlert Canada increased its prices. Crazy!]

      Anddd why yes you do spy a You Can Do This tee! I was rocking Blue Fridays on a Thursday when I took that picture a couple weeks ago! (The picture was mostly to be like “OMG my bracelet and guitar match!” but it served a dual purpose!) :]

  2. I have one with Mariella, and she has it with her (either on her wrist, or connected to her little purse which carries her inhaler and spacer.) She is just beginning to go places without me, and I think it’s important.

    Hers DOES say her name on the front…there is some research that a child that SEEMS unresponsive isn’t really, they just are less likely to respond to “little girl, are you ok, little girl?” If a child hears their NAME, they are more likely to respond. It’s small, and if a stranger that means her harm is close enough to read her name on her medical ID (if she is not in crisis), then she’s already in trouble. (on the other hand, their backpacks are not embroidered with their names…I think THAT makes it too easy for someone to call their name from a distance)

    Also, at this time, her ID isn’t attached to any database…it’s JUST ICE numbers.

    1. My prime reason with being attached to a database is that my parents are never.in.the.same.place. 10 hours a day or more they’re not home, but they’re not always at work, my mom never answers her cell, and my dad is away frequently. So, being able to store additional numbers [like all of my parents’ phone numbers, as well as my aunt’s and my grandparent’s home/cell/work numbers] was important to me, ESPECIALLY if I am going to be travelling without people. :] Definitely not necessary, but just an added layer of protection in my crazy life!

      1. oh, absolutely. As M gets older, I’m sure her needs will change too. Right now, I’m either home, or my cell is on…so that’s all she really needs. We will constantly reassess, I’m sure.

  3. Kerri,
    When I went for the methyl prednisone earlier this week, the nurse had to remove my Road ID to insert the IV. Apparently, I was dehydrated and lacked decent veins. When she removed my ID , she asked if it was a MedicalAlert, in which I responded in a very Kinwin fashion ” it is the much sportier and cooler version. I went through it’s interactive features and I think I sold her on it. She was intrigued by it’s sleek and unassuming nature. I love myRoad ID whether, it is assisting me after a bike crash or during a respiratory situation.

    1. I loveee it! RoadID ambassador much? :] You should have made her call the number just because ;).

      PS. I thought of you when I read through the post and realized I used “respiratory situation”. :]

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