My Close Call: Always Have a Backup.

My Close Call: Always Have a Backup

A little over two weeks ago my family and I took a road trip up to the eastern Oregon mountains to visit my husband's family. We were really excited because it had been several years since we were up there and it being fall which is my favorite season I couldn't wait for fall weather (it doesn't ever get "cold" in Southern California where we live.)
It was also in the back of my mind that I wasn't sure how my lungs would react to much colder & more damp temperatures and conditions. Being a severe asthmatic and Respiratory Therapist of 12 years I knew how to prepare (or so I thought) and just basically packed all of my meds including the ones I only take when needed.
We hit the road on a Saturday afternoon when my husband got home from work. Our plan was to drive until about midnight and stop at a hotel overnight and head the rest of the way up the following day. We stopped and had dinner about half way through our drive that first day. We were eager to eat as quickly as we could (which is a feat in itself with our 3 young children) and get back on the road. In our rush, I didn't even realize that I had left my purse in the restaurant when we left until about 4 hours later when we stopped for the night. Needless to say, I was extremely upset and stressed out about it. By this time it was after midnight and there was nothing I could do until the next day.
The following morning when we woke up I had a Facebook message from the owner of the restaurant letting me know he had found my purse and would gladly keep it in the store safe until we drive back through town 7 days later. I was super relieved.
That is until I realized my rescue inhaler was in my purse. Panic started to set in as we were driving and I was doing everything I could not let myself get too worked up as to send myself into a bad asthma flare up. I started to doubt and question myself and couldn't remember if I had actually packed another Xopenex inhaler or the Xopenex solution for my nebulizer. By now we were in the middle of nowhere and almost to our cabin in the woods at the lake in far eastern Oregon. I couldn't unzip my suitcase fast enough to search through my medication bag. Thankfully it was all there and I DID remember to pack an extra Xopenex inhaler. I was beyond relieved. I was already feeling tight as we were up pretty high in elevation and I can't imagine how things would have gone if my only rescue inhaler was in my purse locked up in a safe 800 miles away. We were close to an hour away from the nearest hospital with no cell signal. Thankfully the rest of the vacation went amazingly well and we had a great time.
I wanted to tell this story of what happened to me because before that moment it never occurred to me to double and triple check ahead of time to make sure I had an extra inhaler packed. That sounds silly that a Respiratory Therapist didn't think of it but being a woman I ALWAYS have my purse on my shoulder when not at home so it didn't dawn on me to be sure there was another one packed.
I can tell you for sure that from now on I will always have at least one backup inhaler in my car and double and triple check to make sure I have multiples packed. It is better to be safe and overly prepared than underprepared especially when it comes to breathing.

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