Accessorizing With My Asthma Bag

Shortly after I was diagnosed with asthma I bought a simple zippered pencil case at a big box store. This vinyl pouch is just the right size to hold a spacer, EpiPens, an inhaler or two, bandaids, chewable Benadryl, nitrile gloves, and occasionally medical items. I prefer to keep it all together so that it is easy to toss from one bag or purse into the next.

Some days I leave the house cargo shorts with no bag and grab what I need out of the case. I leave it in a prominent place in the house so to remind me to put the inhaler and EpiPens back when I return. Just like my keys, wallet, and phone it has a specific spot in the house that I grab it from before I leave the house. Bundling it all together makes it easy for me to know that I have all my medications. Obviously, this only works when things are returned to the bag after use.

After around 6 or 7 years of going nearly everywhere with me, the pencil case was looking a little worse for the wear. It had some bleach spots on the bottom. There were a few small holes through the outer but not the inner layer of the front of the case. The final straw that forced me to replace it was when the clear side cracked such that it would no longer hold in the spacer much less an inhaler or chewable Benadryl. At least this came at back-to-school shopping season. I should have plenty of options to find myself a new pencil case.

I could go online and find an "emergency medication" case. While these are a great solution for many people, they just aren't my style. I really liked the small mesh pocket inside my pencil case where I could shove a pair of nitrile gloves and some chewable Benadryl. Most of the medication cases I found online were either too juvenile or screamed "EpiPens and inhaler." If this is the statement you want to make with the meds you carry, more power to you. As a grown-up who wants something that blends in with any bag I might toss it in, I prefer an understated pencil case.

Little did I know looking for a pencil case would be such a quest. It turns out many of the soft-sided pencil cases I liked were just a touch too small for everything. In the end I had to give up some internal organization and having a clear side that shows the contents. I've introduced my new bag to the friends I see regularly. I don't expect them to need to find my medications for me. At least they have an idea of what that bicycle pencil case I always carry contains. What kind of organization do you have for your emergency medications? How do you remember to keep them on you? Do you also have a favorite case to store inhalers and spacers?

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