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Jan 19, 2010 12:51PM
When I was going to an endocrinologist for a weird adrenal problem a few years ago, he insisted that I had to wear a Medical Alert bracelet. He made all his patients wear them -- there was even a check box on the nurse's form to mark whether we were wearing ours when we arrived for an office appt. Why me? He said I needed one because I was on Synthroid for hypothyroidism and a beta blocker for mild hypertension. WTH? Oh, well. I bought a really nice pendant necklace (I'll try to find a pic of it) but I never wore it. I got "written up" and scolded a few times, but then we had a big fight about my not wanting to start taking HRT and I stopped going there.
The only major surgery-type thing I've had done since my mast/SNB was a colonoscopy a year ago. After I'd made the appt., a nurse from the GI doc's clinic called to get my med & insurance info. I told her about my at-risk arm (which actually had mild, subclinical LE at the time), and I said I wasn't supposed to have needle sticks, venipuncture, or BP measurements on that side. Would that be something they could accomodate?
She said, "No problem!". When I arrived for the fun and games, the very first thing they did was check my record ... and put a large, bold-lettered sticker at the top of the front page that said "No BP or needle sticks on left side!". And the nurse put one of those bright pink wristbands on my left wrist. Nobody touched that side while I was awake. I have no idea what they did while I was asleep. Well, okay, I think I know what they did, ... never mind.
I need to call my sister, who's a long-time ER/trauma nurse, to see if the ER staff or EMT's pay any attention to wrist bands or Medical Alert bracelets. And, if they do read them, to what extent do they follow them? I already asked her once about LE specifically (messing with an at-risk arm), and she basically said when someone comes in bleeding from a gunshot wound or with bad head trauma, the first thing on the list is to save the person's life. Okay, I get it.
I do think there's a bracelet overload, which is probably contributing to the problem:
My medical insurer has an Emergency Alert system where we're supposed to carry a card in our wallets with a web address that contains relevant medical info. I keep going to the website and updating my info, But, I'm wondering how many EMT's who arrive at the scene of my car wreck are going to go to their trucks and log on to a computer to check my medical alert file before they start giving me emergency treatment?
2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-