On road, at the airport, around the corner, consider getting a medic alert bracelet

Pretty in pink!

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For dress-up occasions

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Opens like a watch strap

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My inner athlete

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In March of 2009 I wondered for the first time whether to get a medic alert bracelet. Except for when I was first diagnosed almost 40 years ago, I haven’t given it a thought. The bracelets I’d seen back then were ugly and no one, including no HCP I’ve ever seen, has ever advised me to wear one.

Then I began doing peer-mentor presentations where I travel across the country solo and I realized it might be wise to have something on my body that identifies I have diabetes. 

As fate would have it, just as I was about to go through security returning home from a presentation, all of a sudden I felt low and pulled myself off the line to check. Sure enough I was 39 mg/dl. That sealed the deal: I decided I would not travel anymore alone without a medic alert bracelet.

After days and weeks of an exhaustive search for something attractive AND something a paramedic, and perhaps your man-on-the-street would recognize as emergency-wear, I found a medic alert plaque I liked – and my friend made a bracelet for it. I first wrote about it here brimming with optimism.

The reason I never finished that story is because only a few weeks of wear and the finish on the plate gave me a rash on my wrist. There began another exhaustive search for another plate. I found one I loved online in real gold and silver, so unique and fine, yes a little expensive but I deserved it after 38 years of diabetes! But the artist (yes, artist) was no longer making them because the cost of gold had skyrocketed!

A year later still looking (well I am a Virgo) I found this plate (first photo) at a health event but you can order here. It’s two tone, which I love, but in titanium so it doesn’t irritate my skin and it’s very lightweight. A few afternoons of roaming around Manhattan brought me to a shop in Chinatown where I found this lovely Italian bracelet. I’ve been wearing this medic alert bracelet whenever I travel – and feeling all the more secure for it.

Today my designer medic alert bracelet has a sporty cousin. This summer my husband took up running and decided it was smart for HIM to have ID in the event he runs into a tree, or his measurable heart rate is no longer measurable. He found a company called road ID and bought himself both a canvas and rubberized ID band – not for fashion, but geography: he lives in Brooklyn and Holland. 

I liked his so much I decided I wanted one too so I ordered the pink rubber one (They come in 8 different colored bands). $29.95, now that’s a deal. You can put 6 lines of information on the stainless steel plaque and they’re amazingly clear to read – much better in fact than my engraved info on the underside of my other bracelet. (BTW, the big white dot on the plaque is only to protect my husband and mother’s phone numbers.)

You can also opt for “Interactive” which allows you to create an emergency response profile online available to first responders. The company sells more band IDs, apparel and accessories – and I’m confident anyone is going to notice this piece of emergency-wear because the information is so apparent on my wrist.  

Road ID also has a great story and I’m a sucker for stories. In 1999 Edward Wimmer (President of the company) was training for his first marathon. His father suggested he carry ID in case he had an accident. Edward being a college senior dismissed him. Only days later while out running a pickup truck nearly struck Edward on a winding stretch of road. Later that year road ID was launched out of the family’s basement. It’s a company with attitude; you’ll have fun just reading their web site.

If you haven’t thought about wearing a medical ID you should. Simply, it can save your life. I don’t see it as an annoying reminder that I have diabetes, as I once thought I might. I see it as an emblem of strength and the smarts to protect myself. Now that I have my road ID band maybe it will even encourage me to live up to its marketing talk – it’s primarily for athletes. 

According to the cute little tin it came in an athlete is who I am!”

A few minutes of fun from Ginger Viera

Poking fun at diabetes (yes, pun intended!)

Just for fun my bud Ginger Viera and Allison Schauwecker from dLife, both living with type 1 diabetes, posted this video “Thanks to Diabetes…?” 

They laugh a lot and came up with a kick-me-on-the-side-of-the-head ways diabetes has made them stronger. Sure looked like fun making it. 

What would your answer be if you started a sentence with the words, “Thanks to diabetes…..

Take a look. You may get some ideas.

Ann Keeling, CEO of IDF, talks about the urgency of September’s UN Summit

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Yes, as you can see this UN Summit has caught my attention, my humanity and my advocacy. 

What greater opportunity do we have than this event scheduled for world leaders to come together and create targets and tangible actions and outcomes for reducing non-communicable disease by 25% by 2025? 

If you still don’t understand why it benefits all of us to reduce the global impact of non-communicable diseases, Ann Keeling gives an impassioned interview to Manny Hernandez.Watch it and you will.

September 19th’s UN Summit hits an upset

I seem to keep saying, “If you read my last post…” but this is a story that keeps growing. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), who are driving a campaign to get President Obama to the first-ever high-level UN Summit to contain and eradicate non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the top 4 of which are: cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory and yes, disease – now cites a stand-off getting U.S. and European Union representatives to commit to outcomes and timelines. 

The IDF issued a press release early this morning that some UN member states are jeopardising international progress by trying to postpone and weaken United Nations negotiations.

The press release goes on to say, “Of particular concern are the actions of the U.S., Canada and the European Union to block proposals for the inclusion of an overarching goal: to cut preventable deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025.

As Jacquelyn Beals, PhD writes at Medscape News in “UN Summit on Noncommunicable Diseases Hits Snag”negotiations over an outcomes document for discussion at the Summit have hit a wall, with the United States and the European Union opposing many of the target-oriented resolutions on the grounds that they would be responsible for the bulk of the action items. Because developed nations would foot much of the bill for combating NCDs, they are reluctant to commit to time-bound targets in an uncertain economy.

Brian Ward, policy advisor for the European Respiratory Society, says in the article, “Despite the fact that the NCD burden is highest in Europe and the United States, these regions have also been very reluctant to commit any financial support to this UN process aimed at tackling the NCD epidemic.”

President of IDF, Jean-Claude Mbanya, MD, PhD, who will address the delegates at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting on September 13, says we have the evidence cost-effective solutions are available and with the Summit we have the political opportunity.  

With President Obama engulfed in the U.S.’s financial woes it’s easy to say let’s concentrate our attention and finances on jobs, yet something else he said early in his presidency is healthcare will bankrupt us if it, and we, don’t change.

Ann Keeling, CEO of IDF and chair of the NCD Allianceand CEO of IDF, which groups some 2,000 health organisations from around the world focused on non-communicable diseases says rich nations are reluctant to foot much of the bill for tackling a chronic disease epidemic in poorer nations, and are reluctant to commit to this when their economies are in turmoil. But such fears are short-sighted.

So which comes first? Put our money toward helping people around the world, and here, to achieve better health in order to halt health care costs from bankrupting us and halt non-communicable diseases from impeding global progress and devastating the world economy or ignore the state of the world’s health and pay later? 

 

Send a postcard urging President Obama to attend the UN Summit on diabetes next month

If you haven’t heard, September 19-20 Heads of State around the world are meeting for the first-ever High Level Summit on non-communicable diseases. Diabetes is one of the four devastating illnesses putting our health – individually and as a nation – and our economy and future in peril.

On the Huffington Post this week I write about the International Diabetes Federation’s Postcard Campaign to get President Obama to the summit – and commit to improving resources and treatment for diabetes and halt the epidemic here and around the world. 

Please take a moment to send your postcard. You may end up changing all of our future.