Friday, May 3, 2013

Gluten free medical bracelet

I never thought I would need a medical bracelet. I have one minor drug sensitivity, if you give me Vicodin  my body will give it right back to you in under 20 minutes. It isn't a huge issue, unless you are 16 year old me post-wisdom teeth extraction. I am also pretty lucky that I haven't needed very much in the way of pain medication. 

But I am having surgery next week. And there will be a chunk of time where I won't be able to verbally advocate for myself. And while knowledge of gluten has vastly improved in the past few years, there is still no legal requirement for prescription drugs to list the what the origin is of their binding starches. (Starch binders are good - they hold the medicine together so it can be a pill shape, I am all for it, I just want to know what it is: corn, wheat, other?) Come on FDA you can do it!

I have done my best to do a bunch of prep work:

-I made sure my medical records clearly stated I have celiac disease
-I told my surgeon, twice that I have celiac disease
-I verbally asked the surgeon's scheduling assistant to note it in my file... she gave me great advice to make sure I tell the nurses the day of surgery too
-I noted both "celiac disease" on my pre-op paperwork and "gluten allergy" under the "what medications are you allergic to" list (Yes this is fudging the medical reality, but I want them to check ALL medications and I have written before about the current constraints of the English language and I am comfortable about using anything in my toolkit to get my point across - do not gluten me)
-When I spoke to the nurse who reviews all pre-op paperwork I asked what type of medications are usually prescribed and how I could best say that anything given cannot have gluten in it 
-I got a medical bracelet

I was resistant to getting on at first, but then realized it would be a really good idea, especially after my first colonoscopy where the nurse tried to feed me cookies. 

I picked a green band - in honor of celiac disease awareness - and because it is the most obnoxious color. This is one time where I want everyone to pay attention... to my wrist. 

It reads:


I guess it also might be time to upgrade my camera so I can take better photos, after all is said and done. 

What other advice do you have for navigating medical arenas gluten free?

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