Do you wear a medical id?

I’ve worn a dog tag for years. Never had to use it and I’m skeptical it would help, but I’m used to wearing it now. I also use the ‘emergency info’ on my iPhone,

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This is one reason I like MedicAlert. I didn’t wear a bracelet for Graves’ for over a year after I was diagnosed because I didn’t know if I needed to engrave it (I only engrave potentially life-threatening conditions on my bracelet). When I got a new bracelet, I asked the nurse at MedicAlert if it should be engraved, and she said yes. Apparently things like accidents, infections, severe stress, surgery, or other medical emergencies like a heart attack or DKA can trigger a thyroid storm in people with Graves’ disease (at least people who still have their thyroid), which is life-threatening.

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Thanks Jen. See…learn something new every day. After my Graves diagnosis, Mom wanted to get me one, that was around the same time she was diagnosed with her diabetes.

I was 13 years old a freshman in high school, so you can image the stress of being diagnosed with a chronic illness…I surely didn’t want to wear anything that advertised I was sick.

Mom was more prepared for her diagnosis–you could say she was waiting for it—the oldest child of diabetics? Yeah, just a matter of time.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 9, my parents got me one of those ugly generic bracelets that had a giant red symbol and just said “diabetic” from the drugstore. I thought it looked ugly and hated it and refused to wear it. It wasn’t until an unrelated ambulance ride when I was eleven that I decided wearing one might be a good idea, and that’s when we got MedicAlert. The paramedics told my mom about it, said it was especially important since I had more going on medically than just diabetes.

I also refused to carry emergency supplies with me in high school. I said I could make it to my locker if I was low. It took collapsing in the middle of the hallway while trying to get to my locker one day and being saved by a friend who recognized what was happening for me to decide that carrying stuff with me would be a good idea.

So that’s why I wear a bracelet now with all my information on it. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

I’ve never really felt that it identified me as having diabetes, because so many people wear these bracelets for so many reasons. For all anyone knows, it could just be a medication allergy. No one needs to know that in my case it’s a whole host of medical issues.


So true Jen. As I got older, and the complications from Graves I began to understand my medical issues.

I think at the time I really didn’t understand what Graves was or the dangers of thyroid problems—especially since my doctors (specialists included) kept saying they hadn’t seen a person so young with it.

I could understand my Mom’s and my grandparents diabetes and even help them with it.

Now I don’t go anywhere without my medical ID watch, and definitely have no problem wearing it–listing diabetes, RA, thyroid, high blood pressure, multiple meds. I don’t list the heart problem (mitral regurgitation) due to thyroid but the meds will let the doctors know.

I’m with you–better safe than sorry.

I have a medic alert tattoo. Bracelets would get caught on things, and the words would wear off. I am looking forward to the day when I go back to my Tat Artist to have the words “I used to have” added to my tat.


I wear one for running races, otherwise haven’t done so since middle school.

What do you mean by ‘social costs’? Do people treat you differently? No one notices by ID, it is on a chain with another item.

An ID always creates a risk that others will notice it, and since most people believe fantastically negative things about diabetics, your reputation is likely to suffer. During the 13 years I wore an ID others noticed it twice, once causing no social problems at all, because the person kept it to herself, and once causing devastating problems, since the individual spread the news all over the university and suddenly the chief topic of conversation was the fact that I was going to be dead soon because I had eaten too much sugar. Interestingly, the fellow who spread that story died at 55 of a heart attack, while I’ve outlived him.

Wow that is so sad :disappointed: I talk about my diabetes with anyone who asks. Have never felt ostracized Most people I meet are just interested.


As of yet, no issues while driving. My low are are always late night. With my Dexcom and alarm on my iPhone I’m warned before it gets to low.

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Good god, it sounds as if you are gloating over someone’s death.

I have worn one for over 30 years, and it has not affected my social life at all. In my mind, anybody who discriminates you because of medical conditions is not someone that can really be called a friend at all.

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AmericanMedicalID as a Dog Tag version that has a built in USB.
The USB has canned info to be filed in. It is password protected. And has enough drive space todown load other data.
In my case I keep all my blood work. And med reports.

55 years ago I often had hypos walking home at noon & after school at an early age (6-10). This was before medic alert (MA) or tags, and they’d often find me in snow drifts. Since MA became an option I’ve alway had one, although once the paramedics missed the necklace version I wore at the time. It’s been a bracelet since, as much as I dislike jewellery.

I’m not concerned so much about hypos now, rather being involved in a motor vehicle accident or possible stroke or CV event.

I have one, but it’s not super obvious; it has sea creatures like turtles and seahorses as the band. I felt it was safer that my family knows where I am in a Jane doe type situation, even if it doesn’t save time with the paramedics. I’m most worried about traveling though, especially to Egypt where the traffic is bad so it takes a while for the emts to arrive. I’m not sure it will help at all in this situation because it’s not a common practice there and the phone numbers are American. My husband said I would always be with him so it was fine, but his lawyers children died in a building collapse, and in that situation, everyone could be unconscious, so I still worry. I thought about just writing on my hand in Arabic that I was diabetic and my mother-in-law’s phone number, but everyone thought I was being silly and I conceded that it probably wouldn’t help much.

I have a medic alert tag on a black elastic wristband with T1 and hypertension engraved, along with the number to call the organization for detailed medical information. Since I’m retired, live with someone who could provide medical information, and rarely go out, I only wear the bracelet when I do go out, especially if I go alone.

I keep my diabetes under good enough control that the risk of a hypo I couldn’t control is low. But I am concerned that at my age, I could have a heart attack or stroke where it would be helpful for others to know my situation should I be unable to communicate properly. And, of course, there is always the risk of an accident.

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I do a lot of long distance cycling and strongly believe in wearing medical id. Even without a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, it’s important that medical staff have access to essential information (contacts, medical conditions, prescriptions, health insurance, etc.). For many years I wore Medic Alert IDs but found the quality is low, the price is high, and you get tons of junk mail asking for donations. I switched to RoadID several years ago and been very happy. They have a wide assortment of IDs at a reasonable price. I go with the IDs that allow medical personnel access to essential information that you can update as needed on their website.

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" artwoman

Oct 1

I have a medic alert tattoo. Bracelets would get caught on things, and the words would wear off. I am looking forward to the day when I go back to my Tat Artist to have the words “I used to have” added to my tat."

Artwoman, interesting. I never wanted a tattoo but a medic alert tattoo gets me thinking. At 67yrs, that’s a good thing. Can you share a pic of yours?

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I can’t seem to attach a photo. But…if you go to Facebook and search medic alert or diabetes alert tattoos there are quite a few of us inked T1’s out there - with photos attached.