I’m a bad person. I’m bad because I don’t carry any form of diabetes-related ID on me at any time. I don’t have a laminated ID card, medical bracelet, one of those emergency button things, a lapel badge saying “Ask me about my blood glucose” or even a huge tattoo on my forehead reading “I’M DIABETIC”.
I was reminded of this fact as I was rummaging through my woefully large pile of filing recently and found an ancient ID card that I was given when I was first diagnosed. It listed my address (two house moves ago), the insulin I use (since changed) and who to contact in an emergency (wrong number); so it was almost entirely useless. The obvious fact that it was at the bottom of a pile of unfiled paperwork rendered it as utterly pointless as Anne Frank’s trombone.
I just think that medical ID is pretty pointless unless it’s so huge and obvious it renders it embarrassing. I could carry around a small laminated card in my wallet, but what use would that be? If I’m found unconscious on a bus, it’s likely that I’ll be TASERed by the police as a suspected terrorist or refused treatment for being drunk before anyone ventured forward to check the inner recesses of my wallet. In any event, if anyone did open my wallet they would be blinded by the flock of panicking moths making their escape.
So to really be useful, medical ID needs to be really obvious. Some people wear watches decorated with the Rod of Asclepius (the proper name for the stick with snake round it, fact fans) which might work, but then I would have to give up my fancy Titanium Seiko which Katie bought me. As I’m clearly not going to replace said Seiko with some mangy, cheap watch decorated with a cartoon snake, this isn’t really much of an option. Similarly bracelets a just rubbish and clearly wouldn’t fit with my metrosexual man-about-town image (such as it is).
In the most extreme cases, I have seen some diabetics submitting to the needle and getting medical ID-style tattoos done. This, obviously, is just silly. Imagine your embarrassment if some Nobel Prize winning genius suddenly came up with an overnight cure for diabetes (it could happen, optimists tell me) – you’re stuck with some stupid permanent tattoo saying “GIVE ME SUGAR” (no doubt illustrated with a snake on a stick) for the rest of your life. Not so good.
So until someone comes up with a good idea for medical ID that’s actually useful and practical then I’m just going to wing it and hope I don’t get TASERed.