Name: Toni Bull

Conditions: Degenerative Arthritis, Reynaulds, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Severe Antibiotics and Latex Allergies

Wears: Heritage Bracelet

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"It will not only give you peace of mind and reassurance but could also save your life."

Toni suffers from Degenerative Arthritis, battling chronic pain and requiring titanium jaw joint replacements. Her condition, combined with allergies and other long term conditions, led her to MedicAlert:

What do people see when they look at me? A young, fit, healthy woman…… At times over the last few years this statement couldn’t have been further from the truth. You see, I, like many others with hidden disabilities or long term conditions, don’t always look poorly from the outside.

I am living with Degenerative Arthritis. My most severely affected joints are my temporomandibular (jaw) joints. Over the last few years, I’ve battled with chronic pain and limited mouth opening resulting in being unable to eat solid food for months on end. Surgery to save my joint was unsuccessful and resulted in a total joint replacement of my right jaw joint with a titanium prosthesis in February 2022 at just 33 years old. I am going through the same battle with my left temporomandibular joint, and now awaiting a total joint replacement on that side too.

The months of being unable to eat has left me with significant food intolerances to Gluten and Lactose/Dairy. I also suffer with Degenerative Arthritis in my hips, back, knees and hands. The function in my hands is very poor, and I struggle to grip.

I also have antiphospholipid syndrome; causing sticky blood, requiring me to take anticoagulants without which I am at higher risk of a potentially life threatening blood clot or stroke. As a result of this, I also have Raynauds which I am medicated for due to the severity of the sensitivity and reaction to cold.

In addition to this I have multiple allergies to antibiotics and to Latex, an allergy which could potentially be life threatening.

After my jaw problems started, I took to running to try and counteract some of the side effects of the strong medication I was put on. Initially the couch 2 5k but then progressing to longer distances. In April 2023, I conquered the London Marathon! Every time I race, I am required to complete my medical history, medication, allergies and next of kin details on the back of my race number. Due to the weakness in my hands, writing is now very difficult and often, given how long my medical history is, the space just isn’t big enough! Its so reassuring to know I no longer have to worry about filling this in, other than to say please refer to MedicAlert Bracelet and information card in my running vest.

"Wherever I go, whatever I do….. my bracelet is there with me."

As a nurse myself, I’m very aware of the importance of ensuring your underlying health conditions and allergies are known particularly in an Emergency or Life Threatening situation, where you may not be in a position to verbalise these yourself. When you have multiple health conditions, you are often under the care of different specialists/hospitals. MedicAlert helps to co-ordinate and join up all your medical information in a place that is easy to access for Emergency Service clinicians.

I commute into London for work on a daily basis, taking various forms of public transport often alone. Wearing my MedicAlert bracelet not only gives me and my family the reassurance of knowing that should anything happen to me, my extensive medical history and allergies would be known, but it also raises awareness of the importance of recognising those living with long term health conditions. Since I received my MedicAlert bracelet, it has become like my best friend. We are inseparable! Wherever I go, whatever I do….. my bracelet is there with me.

From my experience of both living with a long term condition and allergies and as a nurse, I would highly recommend MedicAlert to anyone living with a long term condition or allergy. It will not only give you peace of mind and reassurance but could also save your life.

If you believe that your story can help others to understand the benefits of MedicAlert, please let us know!


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