On a Mission for Gelato!

In March a number of the Asthma.net contributors descended on Philadelphia for the HU connexion conference. 3 of us decided to go for a walk in search of a sweet treat on lunch break. We each grab a few things out of our backpacks or purses to toss in jacket pockets. I take two quick puffs of Ventolin and grab my wallet, phone, and EpiPen's out of my bag. Unlike a perfect asthma patient I toss my Ventolin back in my bag. I just took a dose, so the chances I'll need another one are pretty slim. We're only going a few blocks away and should be back within a half hour or maybe less.

We head down the stairs and out to the sidewalk. About a block from where the conference is occurring the conversation turns to who has a Ventolin on them.

In a moment of poor planning, we have 3 asthmatics out in a strange city and no Ventolin inhalers. I did at least leave with my Epipens. We decide to continue walking as no one is worried about having an asthma attack and we're halfway between the conference venue and the hotel. Group consensus is that the quest for a sweet treat is more pressing than going back for rescue inhalers. There is a gelato bar about a block up the street that has been recommended to us by various Health Union staff members. Yes, it's a beautiful 50*F day and I'm that one eating a frozen dessert. The Gelato did not disappoint! I had a delicious creamy cup of gelato as did my fellow contributors.

We returned to the conference with our dessert and no asthma troubles. No harm no foul, this time from leaving without our inhalers. This is much like what you learn in CPR training: tell a specific person to call 911. We all assumed that it wasn't important to double check having our own rescue inhaler because we were among other asthmatics who would surely have theirs. We should have each like responsible prepared asthmatics had our rescue inhalers in our pockets. Thankfully we were just on a gelato mission and which was not fraught with peril. Yes, an asthma attack can happen anywhere at anytime, but a leisurely stroll down the street isn't usually a trigger for me. I know we were lucky this time, nothing happened.

Maybe someday we will be organized enough people that the equation will be 3 asthmatics leave the conference with 3 or more rescue inhalers. As much as I can try to rationalize our behavior, ultimately I am the only one responsible for my own health and well being. I'm an imperfect human who gets a bit discombobulated when I travel. Next year you can bet I will remember my Ventolin when we venture out for gelato. Although I'm thinking perhaps, we can find a cupcake place next time. Have you forgotten your inhaler while traveling? How did you deal with it? Any favorite ways to make sure you leave with all your medications?

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