inhaler wobbling on top of a Jenga tower

Murphy’s Asthma Laws

I’m sure we’re all familiar with Murphy’s Laws. It’s an adage that says “Anything that can go wrong will.” For instance, you drop a piece of bread and it will always land butter side down. In this article, I thought I’d list Murphy’s Laws of Asthma.1

Murphy’s inhaler law

Your inhaler was right there until you need it.

You just got three rescue inhalers. As soon as you open one you’ll lose it. You open the second one, you lose that one too. Before you know it you have three lost inhalers.

You always have lots of spare rescue inhalers lying around. But, when you need one you can’t find one.

You won’t realize you forgot your inhaler until you’re a long way from home.

When you realize you don’t have your rescue inhaler you need it.

There’s always a lost inhaler under your couch cushions unless you’re looking for it.

When you get to your car your rescue inhaler will be in your house.

When it comes to doctors and medication

When you’re asthma worsens to the point you decide to seek help. Chances are pretty good it’s after 5 p.m. on weekdays or on a weekend.

The day your lungs decide to act up is the day your doctor is out of the office.

The day you need medicine right now will be the day the pharmacy is swamped. The line to the cash register will be long.

Whenever you decide to leave your house you must first do something like hunt for your medicines and pack them.

The awesome medicines that make you feel better make you feel bloated and miserable.

If there’s a very expensive medicine you’ll be the one to need it or benefit from it.

If a medicine is taken off the market you will be the one person left in need of it.

The doctor keeps telling you that most asthmatics outgrow their asthma. You are the one who doesn’t.

When you need a steady hand yours will quiver, a nice side effect of asthma medicines.

The same doctor who tells you to lose weight puts you on systemic corticosteroids.

You can’t breathe very well. You finally decide to see a doctor or go to the emergency room. As soon as you get there you feel fine.

The medicine that works for everyone else won’t work for you.

You're in need of a nebulizer

Nebulizers only break when you need them most.

You are feeling good. You clean your house and toss out that old nebulizer you never use anyway. And then a few days later you find that you need it.

When you’re in need of that spare nebulizer you can’t find it.

Of course you get sick when...

When you get a bad cold and it affects your asthma. This will almost always happen just prior to your three day weekend at work.

If you catch a respiratory virus it will be one that causes the most asthma.

If one person in a crowded room has a cold, you will catch it.

If you have plans to go on vacation you will catch a cold the day you leave.

Anything that can go wrong will

If you think you will get better you will get worse.

If your asthma can’t get worse it will.

The moment you allude to your asthma being cured, gone, or in remission, it will get worse.

If there is a rare side effect you will experience it.

You are the first person to help your friends decide when to seek help. But when you need help yourself you can’t decide when to seek help.

One pill falls to the bottom of a drawer when you open the pill bottle. When the pill bottle is empty and you forgot to get a new one, that pill at the bottom of the drawer will elude capture.

Only 10% of the world’s populace has a diagnosis of asthma, and it so happens to be us.

You have an asthma attack and find that you’re not prepared for it. You can’t find your rescue inhaler. You can’t find your controller. You can’t find the doctor’s number. You say, I won’t do this ever again. I’m going to be prepared next time. Then you get very prepared. And then a long time passes before your next asthma attack. And you forget you have asthma, per se. You fell back to your old ways. And, when you have that next attack, you find yourself in the same boat as before. Doh!

Something interesting to ponder

These are things we don’t want to happen. According to Murphy’s Laws, “If anything can go wrong it will.” Or, “If anything cannot go wrong, it will anyway.”

There’s another saying I find interesting: “We learn from our mistakes more than from our successes.” As we review this list of Murphy’s Asthma Laws, we are reminded (at least I am) of the importance of always being prepared.

So, what about you? Can you relate to any of these? Any laws we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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