Elusive Freedom


Anyone who has ever had to wear a Medical Alert bracelet knows how difficult they are to put on and take off. I suppose it’s good that they stay on you, after all you have a condition that emergency response people need to be aware of if you are unconscious. So they don’t kill you.

However…there comes a time when you MUST take the blasted thing off.

My time came today. My bracelet got in the way and pissed me off, for the trillionth time. I was tired of the constant scrape, scrape, scrape it made while I typed on my laptop (or any computer keyboard for that matter). I was sick of repairing sweaters and afghans it would snag on. And it would give me an itchy rash when I perspired against the metal.

I decided that it had to go, and I meant NOW. I was never able to work the thing myself, so I depended upon my husband or people at work. I am 500 miles away from my hubby (another story), and I am working remotely. My sister, who I live with for now is also a diabetic. She is very familiar with these things. Piece of cake.

Not. When the end link was in the correct spot, she could not get the locking mechanism apart. When she got the mechanism to open, it was blocked by the link and would not open enough to release me from bondage. We stubbornly tried to attack from all different angles, but it would not cooperate.

My sister is even more stubborn than I am, so when she gave up I thought I would be shackled the rest of my life. Then I had an idea. I would open one of the links on the bracelet and bypass the locking mechanism altogether. I found a link that was separated by a millimeter. It was a start.

Armed with needle-nosed pliers I used all of my strength (grunting even). Not even one more millimeter gave ground. I pleaded with sis, who has more strength in her hands than I do (most people do), and I asked her to try the pliers. She used all of her strength, twisting the bracelet and nearly cutting off my circulation in the process. Nada. Zilch. No movement.

“Enough of this!”, she exclaimed. She marched down the hallway and came back with an evil grin, and her jewelry making kit. She had a tool called a “flush cutter” that looked like a wire cutter to me. I admit I have no clue what a “flush” is, nor do I care. I did care when I thought she said “flesh” cutter, however.

I was skeptical – it was a pretty small tool. She got the blades positioned and she bore down as hard as she could. A dent was made in the link. Determined to prevail, she clamped down on same dent and using one hand on each handle, she tried again. This time her entire body strained with the effort. Sweat beaded up around her hairline and her face scrunched up like a woman giving birth. Rather scary, actually.

My face and body were scrunching up and straining right along with her. Like I was helping or something. When something hit the floor, it took us a few seconds to figure out what had made the sound.

My freedom did.