Choose something new? Or go with the existing standard?

I’m thinking it might be time… time to find a new piece of alert jewelry.

The only medical alert jewelry I've ever owned.

The only medical alert jewelry I’ve ever owned.

I am incredibly awed and fascinated by people who have diabetes ink on their bodies. Those people don’t have to worry about wearing a bracelet or a necklace that details the fact that they have diabetes. It’s right there on their arms (it’s on everybody’s arms, right?) for everyone to see. But… while I may admire someone else’s tatoo, the thought of getting one of my own just doesn’t appeal to me.

I’ve had the same Medic Alert necklace for all of the 24 years I’ve been living with diabetes. I updated it after I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, but it’s been the same model all this time. I got it originally because 1) I was told I must get a medical alert something because I had diabeeeteees; and 2) Because I didn’t want to be too flashy about advertising my diabetes to the world. Geez, and now I write a blog and engage in advocacy. How the world changes.

The thing is, I actually like my necklace. It has the basic information. It allows someone who finds me to make a collect call (why they don’t have an 800 number after all these years is beyond me) if they want to find out my endocrinologist’s name, etc. It has all of the most important medical information on it:


After wearing it 24/7/365 for so long (except while swimming and… sex), it really feels like another part of my body. It feels weird when I’m not wearing it. And I know of at least one instance when emergency medical technicians looked at it and made the call, getting valuable information that helped me.

But… I don’t like to stick with the same thing all the time. I’m thinking it might be nice to have something else I could wear now and then. But what? I’ve seen a lot of ads for different medical alert bracelets and such. Should I get something new? Even if it’s just so I could have an alternative? First world problems, yes?

I don’t know the answers to those questions yet. But I’m going to do a little research. I’m going to look into what’s available on the market, and decide if something new might be good for me.

I’m thinking it might do you some good to look into alternatives too. Unless you’re wearing something you really like already. If you are, please leave me a comment to let me know what it is so I can check it out. If you’re living with diabetes… and you don’t have something like this that you’re wearing already… even though it might seem strange and uncomfortable at first (because it was for me too)… get one now.

As strange as it may seem to be wearing an advertisement for your own diabetes, that advertisement may prove amazingly invaluable to you today, or tomorrow, or fifteen years down the road. If you want people to take your diabetes seriously, take it seriously yourself and get your own alert bling. Then leave me a comment below.

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  • Karen  On May 4, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Options are always great. I love my Lauren’s Hope medial id bracelet because it’s pretty and looks like jewelry. But my Dad, who used to be an EMT, assured me that it wouldn’t get overlooked and that it is keeping me safe. (I was concerned that paramedics might not know it’s medical id, but Dad says they would.)

    My one complaint about a bracelet is that it clunks against the laptop when I type – so I usually don’t wear it when I’m home on the computer. I think that may be one reason why sticking with a necklace could be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ally  On May 4, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    MedicAlert has lots of new hip-looking stuff these days. Like you, I’ve stuck with mainly the same MedicAlert jewelry over the years. I like MedicAlert because they are a proven, reliable company that makes high quality products, and updating information via their website is simple. (Not sure this really requires a disclaimer, but airing on the side of caution: Awhile back I helped out on MedicAlert’s patient advisory board. Regardless, MedicAlert is a company that I admire for doing good things to keep us safe!)

    Liked by 1 person

  • Scott E  On May 5, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Believe it or not, Medic Alert *DID* get an 800 number sometime in the past 24 years! But after thirtysomething years of wearing one (discounting some time in high school where it sat in a drawer), I switched. The bracelet clasps constantly broke and the hooks that hold the pendant to the chain (or the clasp to the chain) would stretch and I’d feel the bracelet slide off my wrist and onto the ground.

    I’m using a Lauren’s Hope stainless-steel Stealth bracelet now. It doesn’t fit quite as much info on the pendant as Medic Alert (though if you call and you happen to use less big letters like “W” – and more small letters like “I”, they can fit more than the website leads you to believe) and the lack of an 800 number (or collect-call number) means some of the space is used for my Endo’s name/number. Also, the pendant doesn’t flip over without un-clasping the bracelet. So it’s not perfect, but I like it. And it never comes off and never gets in the way.


  • Scott E  On May 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Oh… and after reading the title of this post, I thought this would be about your insulin-pump quest. Hope to hear how that’s going sometime in the not-too-distant future!


    • StephenS  On May 5, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks Scott! I’m in kind of a holding pattern at the moment. There are two pumps I like, but both have what I consider minor issues that I hope can be resolved before I sign on the dotted line. I’m thinking I may not officially decide until late in the year. But I really hope it’s sooner.


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