Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Holiday Travel: The Time I forgot My Medical ID 300 Miles Into A 700 Mile Road Trip.

I started writing this article about 10 days ago, then I had surgery.
Most of my stitches were removed to day - more on that later.
Anyway, here’s what happened to me on my Thanksgiving road trip and some disclosure. 
####
On the drive home and wearing my Lauren's Hope bracelet the Saturday after Thankgiving, somewhere
in North Carolina - I-40 
I love to travel. 
I’ve been to a boatload of countries and an “OK” number of states. 
I fly a lot and as much as I hate airports, I can navigate them - for the most part. 

Trains? I’m cool with trains - I love taking trains. 

I’ve gone on lots of road trips in my life. Some good; some great, some neither, all memorable. 
But I’ve never actually done a solo -beyond my local tri-state area, road trip. 
Maybe it has something to do with my irrational fear of reading maps, maybe in a past life I became lost on a journey and never made it to my destination, maybe it’s because I’ve gotten lost and ended up in some gnarly parts of cities and states where I thought no one would ever find me. 
Or maybe it’s because I’m a big effing baby, but whatever.

Drop me in the middle of an unknown city on foot, and I can figure it out no problem. 
Tell me I have to drive to and around a city I’ve never been to and I start to get anxiety. 
Needless to say, GPS navigational systems have been a game changer for me - I don't worry about getting lost anymore.
In September I was invited to my cousins in South Carolina for Thanksgiving and I decided I was going to drive instead of fly. 

I was going to bypass the mess that is Philadelphia International Airport at Thanksgiving, and get out of my comfort zone re: driving long distances by myself.

Yep, I was going to drive the between 600 and 700 miles each way solo because I'm a big, brave, grownup lady.

I mapped out my route (thank you talking Google Maps,) for the more than 600, but less than 700 mile journey each way, booked my hotel, (could not deal with doing it all in one day,) had my car checked over, and marked the departure date on my calendar. 

The night before the trip I finished packing everything. Clothes; extra diabetes supplies, gifts for my cousins children and a special bread from a local bakery that shall remain nameless. 
Then I put my laptop/charger in my work bag, placed my Lauren’s Hope medical ID bracelet next to my charging phone and went to bed.
The next morning I loaded my car up with my luggage, computer bag, bread, and a cooler packed with apples, water, kind bars, and baby carrots. 
And after several false starts, I pulled out of my driveway at 10 a.m.
Cut to 4:30 pm and me checking into my Richmond, VA hotel and settling in my room. 
That would be when I noticed I wasn’t wearing my ID bracelet. 
No big deal, I figured it was in my makeup bag... except when I checked it wasn’t. 
And I got nervous. 

Did I lose it or was it still at home? 
What if something happened while I was driving to The Carolinas ?

I remembered a time when I hated wearing medical IDs and would only wear one when I traveled. But things change and we live and learn. 

I tried not to think about it and went down to the lobby to meet a friend for dinner.
The next morning I was on the road by 11 a.m. and all was going well - Thank you talking google maps! 

FYI: When you're drive long ass distances by yourself you have a lot of time to think. 
You think about the beautiful scenery, and you think about your life and the roads not traveled, blah, blah, blah. 

And you keep thinking about traveling the day before the busiest travel day of the year and the "what if’s" of not having your medical ID bracelet on your wrist. 
Basically you become hyper focused on all the horrible things that can happen on the road, at a rest stop, anywhere and not being able to let anyone know about your diabetes, etc. 

FTR: I have D and non D medical info noted on my Lauren's Hope Medical ID bracelets. 

When I reached I-40 I had a 140 miles to think about all of the above before I needed to consult with Google maps - and the more I thought about not having my bracelet, the more uncomfortable I got.

BOTTOM LINE: I FREAKED. 

My somewhat irrational fear of driving almost 700 miles by myself was replaced by the very real fear of not having my medical ID on my person.

I was mad at myself for forgetting my bracelet.

And I was scared.

60 miles into the uninterrupted 140, I stopped for gas. 
Then I went through my email contact list and called my contact at Lauren’s Hope and left her a message. It was my “hope” that she could overnight a bracelet to my cousins house - if that was even a possibility on their end. 

120 miles into the 140, my contact called me back and I pulled over to the side of the road and told her my dilemma. 

She listened, calmed me down, and told me that they overnight jewelry all the time. 
I gave her my cousins address and she told me that she’d send me a gold colored steel cuff. 

I felt better and I felt safe. 

After getting stuck in crazy traffic the last 40 miles of my journey, I made it to my cousins house, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at dinner time. 

The next day, at 1pm, EST my Lauren’s Hope bracelet arrived via FedEx - which impressed me on many levels because hello, it was the day before Thanksgiving and who the hell wants to drive in that mess.
Also, I wish I could have given the FedEx person a hug, but they didn’t ring the doorbell - which I understand, because THANKSGIVING WEDNESDAY.

Anyway, I wore my bracelet on my wrist for the rest of the trip.

My Thanksgiving was wonderful and happy and my family made me laugh like crazy . 

The trip back home stretched out over two days and except for the crazy traffic on 95 once I hit Baltimore - everything went off without a hitch. 
I’m confident that I can drive anywhere now - as long I have a talking GPS at my fingertips. 

And I’ve decided to leave one of my LH medical ID bracelets ( I own 4,) in my locked glove compartment because I never want to worry like that again. 
I don’t want worrying about the what-ifs (diabetes or otherwise,) to hold me back from traveling and exploring life.   

Disclosure1: Lauren's Hope didn't charge me for my bracelet. 
I told them I was going to write about what happened because I was so damn grateful and felt/still feel that if it could happen to me, it could happen to you and knowing that there's a solution is key.
 I didn't expect anything in return, but it was nice gesture and greatly appreciated.  

Disclosure 2: I own four LH bracelets (3 before Thanksgiving,) and after my road trip, I decided to become a LH affiliate.
That means I will get a very small percentage if you place an order with LH, via clicking on their here.
Any money earned will go towards domain renewals for both diabetesaliciousness and IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org .

You can learn about LH affiliates program, HERE. 
You can read disclosure policies of this blog, HERE

I never want you to think I'm not being honest, so I'm telling you upfront. 

Lastly, it doesn't matter to me where you or your loved ones get your medical IDs. 

What matters most to me is that you and your loved ones actually WEAR your medical IDs - and if you forget to bring yours on a trip or lose it while traveling, you're able to have a replacement sent to you within 24 hours. 


3 comments:

Tara Cohen said...

So glad you were able to relax and enjoy the rest of your trip, Kelly! All of us here at LH hope you are recovering well and heading into a healthy 2017. Thank you {and your awesome readers!!} for being a wonderful part of the Lauren's Hope family.

Rick said...

Such a terrific endorsement. I am glad you had a great trip.

Maria M said...

I have never had/ worn a medical ID. I have one on my phone though as of this year