inhaler falling from sky with a parachute

Creative Asthma Problem Solving

Sometimes, “asthma problems” sneak up on us. Of all the problem types that exist—environmental, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and so on—the type I find I have to ponder the most often is the problem type known as logistical! Whether that is just a byproduct of asthma or the way I think and interact with the world is something I’ve yet to determine!

Today I found myself thinking back on a specific asthma problem—otherwise known as #asthmaproblems!—and how a little creativity led to a solution.

The problem

I got to work one morning in the summer, a number of years ago when I was working at a daycare. As I walked into the school just before 7 or 7:30 AM, I realized I’d forgotten my inhaler at home.

I contemplated my options. Some days, I would just “risk it”. After all, that was really the only reasonable option. This day, though, a warm summer day, with potential for humidity and a walk to 7-Eleven with the kids on my work schedule, not having an inhaler did not seem like a good idea. Nobody was at my house, and I didn’t even know any friends nearby who might be able to “lend” me an inhaler for the day—and my 30-minute break without a car didn’t afford me other flexibilities.

The solution

I then realized the words that came on the automated prescription refill service at my pharmacy after each refill. “If you’d like to request delivery of your refill.”


I waited until my pharmacy opened at 8 AM, and went out to the front lobby with my cell phone. I explained the situation to the pharmacist who answered, and requested the inhaler be delivered to me at work. I gave the address, hoping it would arrive approximately on my break.

I can’t remember if the delivery arrived on my break or not, but I can remember getting the call from the driver that morning saying they were outside. While on the phone, I headed outside of the school and saw nobody. I glanced to my left and saw one car a distance away in the bus loop of the high school next door.

Yeah, so if you give them the address of your workplace, make sure you actually give them the address of your workplace, not the one of the high school next door you attended for 4 years. Easily sorted, I paid the dispensing fee in change to the driver, took my inhaler from him and headed back into work!

Problem solved!

Creative problem solving

Sometimes, it can take a bit of out of the box thinking to solve the problem you’re facing. Solving in advance for the problem can sometimes work (ie. I could’ve kept an extra inhaler locked in the filing cabinet at work!), but other times, considering other angles works too.

In this case, I needed a vehicle—had I lived a different place, Postmates or Uber may have been my solution (given I’ve watched people send an Uber back to collect a forgotten laptop!). It would have cost more, but those may also have proven useful solutions, by thinking just a little bit outside the box.

What are some asthma problems you’ve had and solved even somewhat creatively?

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