Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Do I need a medical ID disc with Fibromyalgia?




I often get bored in my GP/Hospital/Phlebotomists waiting room so I sit and look at the various leaflets they have on offer. This particular one caught my attention so I kept hold of it for some further research into my need for such a thing at this stage of my illness.




Is there a need within my life for one of these?

Apparently you need medical I.D. jewellery if:
  • You have a hidden medical condition
  • You have an allergy
  • You have had any type of implant
  • You take regular medication
  • You would like your blood group to be recorded
  • You have an Advance Decision
  • You wish to highlight that you are on the organ donor register
  • You simply want someone else to know if you have been involved in an emergency 
(I am aware another reason for this sort of bracelet is to stimulate the profit of the company selling them. The health care industry is massive and does exploit the vulnerable, we the patient are the cash cow.)

Should I wear a bracelet? What is the point?

It is well documented by the MedicAlert and SOS Talisman the two main companies that produce these simple yet effective pieces of jewellery that "they do save lives

But really isn't it just for the people with a condition likely to cause you to be found unconscious, and have something about you that would make your care different than the average unconscious person?

If I was unconscious, I fully trust our British National Health Service to care for me plus I have no medical allergies and no bleeding conditions that would place me at risk of delaying the correct treatment for me. 

Asthma is listed as one of the medical conditions that would justify a medical alert bracelet.  In all honesty as someone who has worked within Accident and Emergency when doing my RGN Nurse Training during respiratory difficulties, a pulse oximeter is attached to your finger to measure the oxygen saturations within your body. I trust the medics to read my O2 sats more than I would them faffing around with a bracelet!



Fibromyalgia is listed as one of the medical conditions that would justify a medical alert bracelet. The reasoning given by the source being "This condition is you experience pain throughout your body in varying degrees. Your pain may or may not be localised. A MedicAlert disc can alert healthcare professionals about any pain relief medication that you take as it could influence any further treatment that you may need in an emergency situation."

Now this is where I agree, due to Fibromyalgia many of us take controlled drugs for pain relief. This is valid in an emergency care setting in order to avoid possible overdose or respiratory distress. 

Fibro fog in stressful situations becomes intensified. Could you give a precise hand over of all your medical conditions? All your prescribed regular medications? I know I couldn't as my fog is dense most days plus my short term memory is pathetic. 

The dense fog also makes me appear confused at times and I do have difficulty delivering and understanding information. This blog, for example, pre-illness I could have typed it and published it within 30minutes. Seven hours it has taken me so far and still not complete. My brain is very slow now, I am a totally different person to old me. I look the same, I don't look ill yet simple things, like writing and processing my thoughts are a challenge.

This is normal for me yet in an emergency medical setting would I appear confused and concussed? Maybe I just need a badge that says hug me and be patient I have cognitive impairment?

Although I take regularly prescribed medication for my various conditions, I understand medicines and none would need to be flagged and highlighted with a pen to ambulance staff. (Eg I don't take Warfarin, Insulin) 

But... I am prescribed epilepsy medication yet don't have epilepsy, this may be confusing. Maybe I need to highlight this medication is for prevention of recurrent severe migraine, not seizures? 

I am going to need a super large engraved disc to record all this information! Why not just leave it our next of kin to be contacted and disclose all the relevant information?

Is your next of kin the person who knows most about you and your illness? 
Legally that is the person who will be on the hospital contact details. 

My eldest son is my next of kin but he never answers his mobile phone. (Damm, another reason to get a medical ID bracelet) In an emergency I would want my sister contacted, she would organise the children, me and the hospital staff within ten minutes. 

Where do I go on my own? 

This needs to be taken into consideration when deciding if you need medical alert items. For me, the walk to school is my furthest destination alone. It would still give me peace of mind on that short journey as I do suffer from panic attacks and agrophobia.

My conclusion

My conclusion regarding personal need is that even with all my medical conditions and medication I do not feel the need to warrant one. Maybe if and when I can no longer control my sugar levels through diet alone and if I ever warrant becoming an insulin controlled diabetic I will reconsider and purchase a MedicAlert Bracelet.

Sorry SOS Talisman I just feel you are way too expensive at £52.80 for a ladies stainless steel bracelet.  I know there are copies on sale for less in EBay but are they as effective? Who knows..



I am privileged as I live in a country with a great National Health Service and 999 Emergency service. I trust their expertise 100% if I was ever in need of emergency care.

For peace of mind with regard contact details, I find cards such as the Standard Ice Card to be sufficient. I, therefore, have ordered one of these at £5.99, great value as you also get two keyrings so will give my son who is also an asthmatic one for his keyring. (This is a quarter of the price of the cheapest jewellery options.) 



Do you have an ID bracelet or necklace? 
Have you ever been grateful of carrying your medic ID card?
Please get in touch and let me know as would be great for my readers to read real life stories.  

Hope my rambling rationale helps you to decide if you need an alert bracelet, ID card or anything at all.

Love, laughter and gentle hugs

Ness xx


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