More Asthma Chores: Caring For Your Spacer?
Despite having a brand new AeroChamber in its box in my room, for some reason, I hit the button on my pharmacy’s website to order a new one that has been sitting in my account for a year or so. Manitoba Pharmacare covers one new AeroChamber valved holding chamber/spacer device every year with a prescription, so it’s worthwhile to grab a new one whenever I can (and whenever I remember to get a prescription for one!).
“When I get this one I’m just going to immediately throw away my current one,” I said to my mom, visualizing my current hazy, residue-lined AeroChamber, thinking of how gross it probably truly is on the inside.
Neglecting my asthma chores
Now, for some reason, I manage to easily run clean water through my vibrating mesh nebulizer after every use, and occasionally throw my other nebulizer in the dishwasher after its infrequent use. But despite being at this for a decade, cleaning my asthma spacer is still one of those chores I neglect and/or forget about, despite Kat telling me it is dishwasher safe. You’d have thought that would have made the task easier, but no.
I’m going to blame ADHD here because, like other chores, this is one of those ones I continually push off, not because it’s hard, but because it is just annoying. Isn’t having a chronic disease enough work without having to do its dishes, too?!
Cleaning my asthma spacer
Many, many years ago I bought a baby bottle rack for my dishwasher, a perfect fit for my nebulizer (and probably my AeroChamber, too). But honestly, that thing spends all its time on top of my dresser rather than just taking a weekly tumble (okay—mainly motionless woosh-ing) through the dishwasher. The AeroChamber has possibly once, and possibly never, received this spa treatment. This is horrendous given it’s likely well over a year old.
My go-to washing method is usually just to swish it around in a small container of dish soap and lukewarm water and to let it air dry (drying the inside with a cloth/towel can interfere with the anti-static properties in the spacer, so air drying is the way to go).1 The problem is, taking medication twice a day means I’d have to immediately do this after taking my morning meds, which should be easy, but let’s be honest, ADHD + executive functioning = questionable at-best reliability to do things when I intend to do them—even when the task is not difficult, per se.
The solution? Two spacers (maybe)
A number of years ago, I had two spacers, the regular blue AeroChamber and the pinkish AC Girlz version. Dang, did I love that pink one, which sadly apparently no longer exists. I think I may have even done this a couple of years. The solution to the cleaning problem should have really been the ability to rotate asthma spacers, so one is available 100% of the time, but alas, I didn’t find this to be. I’m older and wiser now, though (ha, as if!), so maybe now that I’ve got two brand new AeroChambers, I could give this a go again.
I mean. Maybe. It’s at least worth a try, right?
How do you remember to take care of your asthma chores, and strategize them to not interfere with your ongoing care? Let me know in the comments (I clearly need all the assistance I can get!).
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