PLC: My Medical I.D. Bracelet
Last updated: November 2023
Although I have been overcoming advanced heart failure for 21+ years I had never purchased medical identification (I.D.) jewelry before. Well, that time has come, and I finally did it. I purchased my first medical alert jewelry!!!
It was not that I did not understand the importance of purchasing it, but most were not my style. For lack of a better word- they were just "ugly" to me. I am by no means vain or arrogant, however, I do enjoy being stylish even with heart failure. Regardless, I knew it was past time for me to make that purchase.
Do you have a medical I.D. bracelet?
Wanting to see me: The reason I had not previously gotten medical I.D. jewelry
I am sure many would ask, "were you really more concerned about how it looks versus the purpose it serves?" Indirectly, my answer was yes for over 20 years. By failing to purchase medical I.D. jewelry because of how it looked I was failing my own health. Now that is something to process.
There is a phrase often used by heart failure patients, "I just want to look in the mirror and see me."
Symptoms of advanced heart failure may vary from fluid retention and weight loss or gain, to yellowing eyes or skin discoloration to name a few. Heart failure can definitely affect one's appearance, and I have experienced each of these symptoms throughout my journey. Being stripped of so many things, I hold tight to what I can control.
My custom medical identification jewelry for heart failure
Understanding the importance and purpose of this jewelry, I started on my mission. That mission was to purchase a variety of customizable jewelry pieces that fit my style preference. In simpler terms, I found jewelry pieces that I liked and had them customized.
Surprisingly, I did not have to search far. I found a local jewelry store that had a number of pieces that I loved; plus an in-house engraver. After trying on a few bracelets I settled on 3. One was stainless steel, another stainless steel and black; and the third was rose gold!
Next, what did I want my engraving to say? I chose the obvious for myself, "LVAD DEFIB" (short for defibrillator) on the front side. While the backside it says "No Compressions" and has a phone number. The phone number is simply a voice recording that provides detailed medical information.
Protecting my health, peace, and style
I could not believe how easy this process was. The staff was amazing and while they completely understood my concerns, Mrs. Dana was an additional voice of reasoning. Sounding off, as my mother and others have done, she reminded me of the importance that medical I.D. jewelry carried. Which is to make others aware of my status in the event I was unable to do so during a medical crisis.
I have been blessed, beyond blessed. I have lived with advanced heart failure for over 20 years, seamlessly walking the streets without full identification. Why? I was worried about my style. This may seem trivial to some, but this was not just about style. It was about looking in the mirror and seeing me. By seeing me, I am supporting my mental health; and my mental health directly affects my quality of life. Now that truly is something to process.
What has your experience been with medical identification jewelry?
PLC: Tina Marie Marsden
Have you ever avoided going to the doctor out of fear?