An estimated 34 million Americans will be on the road during Labor Day weekend, many of them with type 2 diabetes. Road travel can interfere with blood sugar management and lead to low blood sugar, which can cause serious complications, such as loss of consciousness, if not treated quickly.
Silicon wristbands were first popularized by the yellow LiveStrong band and then became widespread as a way to raise awareness for charities. Light, colorful, easy to wear, and inexpensive, they have now become an option for personal identification and medical alert information as well.
I admit it: I've had diabetes for seven years, and only recently did I even think about buying a medical alert ID. It's not like me to be this irresponsible, but diabetes crept up on me, rather like type 2 does, although I'm a type 1. My diabetes is a slowly progressing adult-onset form, sometimes called type 1.5. For the first five years after my diagnosis, I controlled the disease with diet.
Baxter International, Inc., which produces the peritoneal dialysis solution Extraneal (icodextrin), has teamed with MedicAlert Foundation International to encourage peritoneal dialysis patients to add a warning to their MedicAlert bracelets regarding the fact that icodextrin may cause false readings on non-specific glucose monitors.
Diabetes Health magazine recently had the pleasure of interviewing Doug Burns for a lengthy feature. He is a well-spoken and forthcoming man with a good sense of humor and an easy-going manner. Altogether, he comes across as a very nice person. On Sunday, however, Doug Burns was severely beaten by police during an episode of low blood sugar that occurred at a movie theater in Redwood City, California.
Nick Jonas and Bayer Diabetes Care have produced dog tags that feature a lyric from "A Little Bit Longer," the song Nick wrote about his diabetes. Two versions of the dog tags are available: one for people who would like to support the cause and another specifically for people with diabetes. The dog tag for people with diabetes has the lyric on the front, but also has the word "diabetes" on the back to document their personal fight against the disease.
These days, Doug Burns is a modern Sampson. The reigning Mr. Universe, he’s two hundred pounds of sheer muscle and the picture of good health. Of the skinny little boy with type 1 who used to work out in the woods alone, all that remains are a wry sense of humor and an attractively self-deprecating manner. They’re unexpected in a man who’s triumphed in the uber-masculine world of bodybuilding, but there’s a lot that’s unexpected about Doug Burns.
The exhibit hall at this year's Children with Diabetes conference in Orlando, Florida, from July 23 to 27, 2008, featured expensive and elaborate booths from well-known companies like LifeScan and large organizations such as the American Diabetes Association. But another kind of company also welcomed people to their booths. They were the diabetes start-ups, companies that were started more often than not because of an intimate connection to the world of diabetes. I spoke to representatives of five of these companies about their products, their mission, and their inspiration.
You might think that having a disease is the last thing you would want broadcast over the World Wide Web. But for some writers, getting the word out there is the main idea. In a world inundated with celebrity gossip and angst-ridden posts, a few people rise above the online mess and use their blogs to foster a sense of community in what could otherwise be an isolating dilemma: living with diabetes.
Before diabetes, I was a normal teenager whose greatest worry was whether I’d get an A or a B on a test. I was strong and healthy. Somehow, I took for granted all the freedoms that diabetes took away from me. Last year, at the age of fifteen, I learned that every day, even every breath, that we are given is a true gift.
Having a health issue that requires precautions shouldn't mean the world has to know about it. Your health matters are private, but in times of a car accident or other emergency, they must be made public. “Lauren’s Hope” is a line of contemporary, interchangeable medical ID bracelets for anyone living with a health ailment or undergoing medical treatment that calls for an ID to be worn at all times.
Just between you and me, in all my years with diabetes (thirty-five
and a half to be exact) I've never worn a medic alert bracelet.
While I'm no fashionista, I don't like the way they look, and I
don't like the reference I make in my head - "damaged goods." Then,
too, just to be clear, I've never (yet) had an incident where I
Beaded Daisy owner Regan King, who has two kids with diabetes,
started her company when her ten-year-old son couldn't find a
non-traditional medical ID that he liked. Beaded Daisy makes medical
ID bracelets and necklaces to fill that need at affordable prices.
If you are careful—and lucky—it's possible that you will never end up in the emergency room. Many people with a chronic medical condition such as diabetes prefer to hope for this best-case scenario rather than wear visible medical ID.
You don't necessarily have to sacrifice style when wearing medical identification. Lauren's Hope, of Kansas City, Missouri, announces its new Medical ID Bracelets that combine fashion and practicality. Originally designed for a 13-year-old with diabetes who refused to wear other ID bands on the market, the Lauren's Hope bracelets are made with multi-colored beads and an unobtrusive identification tag. Five styles are available, each made with mineral, crystal or metal beads that range in color from blue, red, white, gold, green and black. The prices range from $39.95 to $65.
Carrying your medical history on you might just come in handy during an emergency. Or, at least that's the reasoning behind creating a miniature capsule called the Acu-Life Med ID Emergency Medical Info Viewer.
In the March 2000 issue of Diabetes Health, reader Ruth O'Hara of New Hampshire said her 12-year-old son has diabetes, and trying to get him to wear any type of medical alert bracelet or necklace met with extremely limited success.
I recently got together with a new friend named Chris Newman. Chris is the product manager at Disetronic, a maker of insulin pumps. We met on an airplane coming home from a diabetes conference. I had been there representing this magazine, and he was there representing Disetronic. Like me, he has type 1 diabetes and is the father of young children. We compared notes on how we manage our diabetes.
Naturally, people with diabetes want to avoid labels that imply that there is something wrong with them. Because of this, many in the diabetes community are hesitant to wear medical ID. While this aversion to being labeled is understandable, ID provides medical workers with valuable, potentially life-saving information in an emergency.
A new line of medical ID jewelry is currently being marketed that will allow easy access to the wearer's personal medical information. Inventor Audrey Eller has created a collection of lockets and bracelets that contain folded inserts disclosing medical information about the wearer. The folded insert can include information about personal physicians, allergies, special medications, blood types, and diabetes status.
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