Lupus and Medical Alerts
A Medical Alert, or Medicalert, can be a lifesaver for many people. There are many countries around the world that offer Medical Alert devices of many types to suit every person and preference and illness and lifestyle. Upon researching in Australia there are just so many to choose from, however the two most prominent brands available are MedicAlert Foundation and Emergency ID. I now use MedicAlert as they offered the most appropriate and broadest range for me. but prior to that it was an area that was very distressing for me.
If you are unsure:
Do you have a chronic illness that has an impact on your life? Perhaps it isn’t a visible illness, from what I have read in research this is most likely the case. As you may, and probably, already know I have a few chronic illnesses, each of which definitely impacts on my life. To a point I have had to redirect my life and life goals entirely and even ‘lost’ or experienced extreme changes in my personality because of it. Yet for a long time I felt I could not carry a physical notifier on me to indicate the ailments I have inside of me. I was always put out a little as I never felt I could apply for a Medic Alert account due to the non-emergency nature of my illness. So for years I thought ‘stuff it’ and made my own.
What you see attached is the template I used to create my own Medical Alert cards. The way I used them was to print them in coloured ink on card paper, laminate them back to back, so I had two cards in all. I punched a hole in the top corner (any will do) and linked them together with a short metal chain. This chain I attached to my keys.
I found this very useful for when I need to see a chemist, pharmacist or medical practitioner. This is useful for listing your illnesses to people, as well as your medications, because who can remember all that stuff all the time? I did not include dosages as they change but you can write them on in permanent marker on the laminated surface.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO INCLUDE YOUR ADDRESS AND MEDICAL ACCOUNT NUMBERS ON IT.
It is very important to notify the persons who will be your emergency contacts and give them Medical cards a print out of this document. They need to understand its importance.
THEY SHOULD HAVE YOUR ADDRESS AND MEDICAL ACCOUNT DETAILS.
Personally I emailed this to my mother, brother and cousin. They are my next of kin’s. My mother is not physically able to help in an emergency, but she knows my history and all my contacts and how to access my health fund and Medicare. My brother cannot help all the time nor during work hours. My cousin cannot help easily during school pickup/ drop off times as she has young children.
EVEN IF YOU LEAVE THIS DOCUMENT WITH A NEIGHBOUR IT IS SAFER THAN LEAVING PERSONAL DETAILS ON THE CARD.
If you think you can get a Medical Alert:
I cannot speak for all companies. As mentioned above, I have a MedicAlert and that has been more than helpful in all of my medical emergencies (a moment to chuckle at that phrase).
I chose this company for my Medical Alert as their option for accessory was far vaster than all the others. It also offered more options for illnesses. Most companies only provided assistance for the typical allergies (nuts, penicillin, stings), as well as heart conditions, diabetes and perhaps one or two more illnesses. Depending on the item you choose you have up to four lines to add descriptions of your condition. It is accessible worldwide and in many languages. You can upload your medical scans to your account, which can be changed and updated online or by phone. They provide a wallet and fridge card with your account. You have a unique account number so doctors can call up your entire history in the emergency room if you are unconscious (it has happened and it works).
Yes it does have a cost for membership, but I am not going to put a price on my life, especially if it is not a high one (it varies with the jewellery, mine was $45AU). I also have my name written on mine, which is not necessary for all. It takes up “valuable space”. Mine is there as I don’t respond when I begin an episode unless I hear my name. That is a good old fashioned country upbringing right there.
For a chronic illness such as mine, I found a Medic Alert account with a company such as MedicAlert was essential. You may too? Other wise the below are helpful and very well worth looking into.
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