Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hey there, Stranger.

Hey there, Stranger.

You don't know me. I don't know you.

I'm friendly, so maybe I struck up a conversation. Maybe not.

Maybe you came over to look at my baby and comment on his nibbleishciousness. Maybe you're annoyed that Sweetie is loudly proclaiming her alphabet and climbing on something.

Regardless, I have to break something to you.

I might need your help someday.

I've spent many years being cavalier. Complacent. Not wearing a medical ID. Not always carrying glucose or a juice box with me. My friends at Type One Family Network were talking about their kids' IDs and it made me feel unprepared.

I ordered a new ID today. For the first time ever, I dropped a significant dime on a custom bracelet that hopefully fits my freakishly child-sized wrists. It's not a sharp metal $5 piece of junk like the generic one I used to wear from the drugstore. That I stopped wearing because it scratched my loved ones. It's the real deal. And it includes info that you might need to know.

Yes, you.

You see, I am almost always traveling with precious cargo these days. And if something were to happen to me...

Well, like I said, I've had it engraved with info for you.
My name. Line 1. That's important, right?


Next comes the info that will help us both communicate with 911, with first responders, with ER staff:


Pretty standard.

For $2.00 more, I could add a fifth line. Maybe my husband's cell number? That could always change though. This is an expensive bracelet and I'll want its info relevant for many years. Besides, these days, seems like they could take a look at my smartphone for contact numbers after 911 was called.

But I had just one more line to give you something crucial. What would you absolutely need to know if I can't talk to you? If I'm unconscious. If...if...

My babies.

I need you to know their names.

You need to know my daughter's name - to call it if she has run off.

If she's standing over me, you need to be able to tell her that everything will be okay. I need you to bend down and say her name.

To pick him up because he may be screaming and to bounce him on your shoulder. I need him to be held. You need to know his name as you shush him and rub his downy head.

Because while I don't say their names here on this blog because I wouldn't want just any stranger to know them, at that moment, I need a stranger to stand in for me.

I need to know that they feel safe if the unthinkable were to happen.

It's every T1 woman's greatest fear if she has a child.

Please say their names.


  1. Wow. Make me cry, why don't you.

  2. Holy moly, woman! I've talking myself in & out of getting a new bracelet for over a year now. I think you just talked me back into it permanently. And I don't even have kids!

    Also, I now have this urge to come to your house & just hug the stuffing out of you & those babies. And I need a tissue. I better start with the tissue. Wouldn't want to scare the babies. :)

  3. Wow, what a vivid post. Makes me remember why I need a bracelet...

  4. I'm crying too. May the unthinkable never happen,to any of us.(((hugs)))

  5. Wow, this was a powerful post. Thank you for this!

  6. I have never thought about this, but it's an excellent point. Thank you Melissa!

  7. Wow! Forget how much this made me see you as a responsible PWD! I also see you as an awesome Mom! May that last line never be needed...

  8. woah. just woah. this in an incredible post, melissa. wow. since i'm not a parents, i never thought about putting kids names on the bracelet. but i think it's a wise choice, though hopefully will never be needed.

    and i love my lauren's hope bracelets. i hope you like yours too.

  9. That was one of the most touching, human things I've ever read! As a Mother, I know your fear...All I can think to say is, "Thank you."

  10. Having had two incidents where I was unable to speak for myself, I can't urge you strongly enough to have it. It saved my life. As responders initially thought I was just 'drunk'

  11. I'm so glad you took the time to think of what would someone reading your bracelet would need to know. Mine starts pretty much the same as yours: "Diabetes / Insulin Pump / Allergic to Penicillin" and has been the same for 30 years. Only the second line has changed from "Takes Insulin" to "Insulin Dependent" to "Insulin Pump". It doesn't even say Type 1 on it, and as I've come to learn, the fact that I wear a pump doesn't necessarily imply that.

    But I never thought of putting my kids' names on there. I can teach the older one about diabetes, but not the younger one... not yet.

    You've sure put a lot of thought into what you had engraved. But having said all of that, I sincerely hope nobody ever needs to read it.