I will admit it. I watched American Idol this year. That's unusual for two reasons. Firstly, I've never watched a whole season before. It's usually boring after everyone isn't being made fun of anymore. Secondly, I had to go to a special effort to see it in this country. But that is far beside my point. I was checking up on my favorite, Mamasox, (quit doing that supid contractually obligated tour and cut an album!) and stumbled upon a picture of her new tattoo . No, this blog will not turn into Ugliest Tattoos (always gives me a laugh! and makes me reevaluate my assesment of mankind). But her tattoo is on the inside of her wrist and, very stylishly informs me that she is a type 1 diabetic. And, by stylishly, I mean with a bit of a flourish, a caduceus with a hypodermic, and even a star of life! I am the target audience for this tat. I'm torn between loving this and hating it. It is rather informative and would help cut to the chase in an unconscious person. But, what self respecting paramedic wouldn't do a glucose on an unconscious person? (okay, okay, I'm sure it's happened). It's actually much cooler than medical alert bands, and far more useful than the completely pointless (yet cool) won't-hold-up-in-court 'Do Not Resuscitate' tattoo. And, it's quite likely that I would notice it. Now, if only we could get everyone to tattoo their medical histories on themselves. My favorite converstaion is"Do you have any medical problems?" "Nope" (they answer confidently) "This bag of medication would make me believe otherwise." "Oh, that. Well, I do have high blood pressure. And I am diabetic, and I have 'heart problems' but I certainly can't be more specific. And I sometimes have seizures, come to think of it. Oh, and I had a very mild heart attack, but that was, like, six months ago. Does that count?" "That's the most non medical history I've ever heard. Let's just check your medical history tattoo here to clear this up!" So, just a little EMS today. Oh, and I won't tell Mamasox that her tattoo is upside-down.
Coming from someone who knows a lot of EMT's (mom and stepdad are both volunteer EMT and firefighters, and I am a nurse who worked in the ED and trauma ICU), TRUST ME, it is soooo common for them to not check a blood sugar or even check for a necklace if no bracelet is present. 20 years of being diabetic, the majority of those I didn't wear medic alert...why? Because they are overpriced and even the most expensive of them frequently break, paint chips in the first few weeks, etc. And they are not comfortable at all.
As far as her tattoo being "backwards" its not...
One, for someone getting a tattoo that is permanent, its purpose is not ONLY for the medic alert. It also has meaning for the person as they are often looking at it themselves. For example, she may want it to remind her of her strength and condition on days she wants a vacation. Or maybe its her badge of honor to look at, for being in the trenches living with type one diabetes and surviving it (trust me, NO ONE knows what that's like unless they or their dependent child has it, not just the ups and downs but the FEAR involved, the feeling of a low blood sugar, etc.).
Two, if a paramedic cant read it upside down, then wow they REALLY need to go into another profession. And they might be at the head of the stretcher in which case they would be reading it right side up anyhow.