This past weekend at the JDRF Type One Nation Summit, I was talking with a group of sports-loving teens about getting stranded in the middle of nowhere during a long run, running out of glucose, and experiencing a mishap with 9-1-1 that almost left me dead. Yes....a rather dramatic and life-defining moment.
At the time, I was 19 years old. I had not figured out any concrete strategies for balancing my T1D with running. In fact, up to that point, I had never recorded anything about what worked and what didn't work in my diabetes care. It was all vague and random guessing. My aim in telling this story was to stress the importance of strategizing...how NOT to take guesses that can land us in dangerous situations but rather, using our experiences as lessons. Every bout of exercise can teach us something to make future exercise go smoother. But only when we reflect to take something away. I do this through logging (template can be found here under "Obstacles").
My mom was also in the audience (such a treat!). Her hand shot up.
"Were you wearing your medical ID when you got stranded?"
The answer is...no...I was not. To me, the most interesting part of that story was lack of strategy. To my mom, it was the fact that a very simple solution could have protected me if the situation escalated. Mercifully, a car drove by and I was able to get a ride back to campus to treat my low. But what if I had passed out and was not able to communicate that I had T1D?
I took a quick poll to see who was wearing a medical ID. Out of 50 teens, less than half were wearing medical IDs. Why not? Clunkiness. Perception of "coolness." Forgetting to put them back on. All relatable reasons. When I was not wearing my ID, all of these factors came into play. After that day, I asked my friend David what he wore because I knew he did it consistently. Like many people with T1D, he found RoadID worked really well. Since that time in 2013, not a day has gone by when I don't wear my RoadID to let others know about my T1D. I'm not saying this because of sponsorship or as a favor. It's because our moms are right...wearing a medical ID is important and this is the one that has worked well for me.
Now for the important stuff:
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Stay safe, remember that moms know best, and if you have any other products that have helped you stay consistent with wearing your medical ID, please let us know!