A medical ID is recommended to anyone who is diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic rheumatic condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain throughout the body accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. When a person has fibromyalgia, they can experience unrelenting fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and inflammation on a daily basis. Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way a person's brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals.
Patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia are at risk of fibromyalgia flares or flare-ups. Flares or attacks are characterized by common symptoms that increase in number and intensity, they can happen at any time or place. The intensity of flare-ups can range from moderate to unbearable, and can cause unconsciousness. This is why a medical ID is recommended for fibromyalgia. Wearing a medical ID can alert responders and other health professionals of fibromyalgia to avoid misdiagnosis of symptoms and unnecessary hospital admissions.
"Fibromyalgia does bring along such a widespread amount of symptoms which can impact our whole body massively. This is why it's so important for responders and other people to be aware of it in the case of an emergency or injury." – Rachel Harding
According to Mayo Clinic, primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include: widespread pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties also referred to as "fibro fog" or "mental fog". Fibromyalgia patients are also twice as likely as others to be hospitalized for any reason, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Fibromyalgia often co-exists with other conditions, such as:
Chronic pain is a common reason for presentation to the emergency department (ED). According to the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Investigations, fibromyalgia patients often represent themselves to emergency services for pain management and not for diagnosis.
In case of an emergency, wear a fibromyalgia medical alert bracelet or necklace. A medical ID for fibromyalgia can easily inform responders, doctors, and nurses of this invisible chronic condition and if a patient is under fibromyalgia medication.
A medical ID or fibromyalgia medical alert card can help avoid misdiagnosis, unwanted drug interactions, and ensure that a patient gets the accurate help that they need – even if the wearer becomes unconscious or unable to speak.
"Fibromyalgia is an invisible medical condition that is not readily apparent or obvious to other people, even to first responders or emergency personnel. In a medical situation, engraved information on medical alert bracelets or necklaces make it easier to communicate and draw attention to an illness like fibromyalgia that is otherwise unseen." - New Life Outlook
What to Engrave on a Fibromyalgia Medical ID
An emergency medical ID for fibromyalgia should quickly alert responders of fibromyalgia and other medical conditions that may or may not be associated with it. Personalized custom engraving can include information on prescribed medications, such as gabapentin, that may react negatively with other drugs.
A fibromyalgia medical ID should include the following information:
Fibromyalgia – include other medical conditions and allergies that may or may not be related such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
Ongoing medications – fibromyalgia medications such as Cymbalta (duloxetine), Lyrica (pregabalin), Savella (milnacipran), or anti-depressants.
Emergency contacts – tell emergency responders who to call in case of an emergency.
"My medical ID has saved me countless times in the face of my unpredictable health concerns, from high to low with my HR sitting at 120 and then dropping to 61 (cue super fainting), fibro pain that knocked me off of my feet, fibro rash triggering my sensory issues (usually in public), blood sugar bottoming out and more. In every instance, whether at home, out on the town or out of town - I have known that I am the safest I could be. I know that my friends can breathe. My mother can breathe. Even if I'm in an episode and am conscious but unable to communicate by mouth, a shake of my wrist is all I ever need." – Hannah Lesley