By LAUREN WINTHER

Fastened safely around my wrist, the bracelet I proudly wear is my small piece of armor. With each flick of the wrist, I feel the movement of the bracelet slide down my arm, gently tickling the hair on my arm, sending goosebumps down my spine. The square metal bracelet has a bright red medical symbol. What really sets my bracelet apart is that my mother took the time to customize it. Instead of the chain-link, my mother found a silver bracelet with navy blue gems.

While the delicate bracelet quickly gets mistaken as a fashion statement, with every clink and clank against any hard surface, I am reminded that my Medical ID bracelet is not an accessory, it is worn for my protection. My friend Sarah, a month ago, asked, “Why do you always wear that weird looking bracelet?”

Questions about my bracelet frequently come up, which always makes the thin metal bracelet feel like lead weighing me down. Throughout the years, my responses have gotten less creative, when I was younger, I told everyone the bracelet was a government tracking device. Now, I nonchalantly reply to the repeated inquiry with a shoulder shrug and explain that I wear it because it keeps me safe.

Pressed ever so softly to the back of my hand, the inside of my bracelet reads, “penicillin allergy.” After a long day, those two words are typically branded into my skin, as if I would forget, the mark fades, but the allergy stays. The bracelet is a disgruntled reminder tethering me to my improper immune system. Any medical problem or illness that I have is visible for anyone to see.

a close up of my Medical ID bracelet.

a close up of my Medical ID bracelet.

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