A Tale Of A Traveling Asthmatic

Last updated: June 2018

So, I was all packed for my trip to Philadelphia. I was ready to go. I had my clothing in a small carry on bag. My medicine was in my work bag. Before leaving home, I did one final scan of my work bag for my Ventolin inhaler. I knew it was there. But, you know, I had to make doubly sure it was there.

I unzipped the zipper of the front pocket. That was the first place I looked. That was the pocket I usually stored my medicine in. It was not there. There was no blue inhaler to be found.

So, I shuffled through the medicine bottles. I removed some of them. I felt around for the familiar feel of that blue rescue inhaler.


I unzipped another pocket in my bag. I don't normally keep medicine in there, but it was worth a look. I removed my chrome book. I removed the cords.

No albuterol.

So, I start walking through the house. I looked on the table, the end table, and the couch. Heck, I even removed the couch cushions. I walked up the stairs. I looked on the floor by my bed, and under the bed. I looked in the bathroom.

No inhaler.

Then I retraced my steps to the door. I pause by the door.  An unexpected feeling of joy entered my mind.

“Forget it!” I say out loud “I haven’t used you in over a month anyway.”

I grabbed the handle of my suitcase. I strapped my workbag over my shoulder. I opened the sliding door. I stepped out. I closed the sliding door. I locked it with my key.

Then, as I stood there on my porch, a cool breeze rustling through my hair, I hear a voice in my mind. It's the rational voice of my mother. It said, "All asthmatics should carry a rescue inhaler with them at all times and today is no exception!’


Don't leave home without it

As a lifelong member of the albuterol inhaler club, I cannot ignore that advice. For most of my life, I did not DARE leave home without it. It was like a clutch in my hand, never leaving. I best not make today an exception lest I live to regret it.

My grip tightened over the handle of the suitcase. I carried it down the steps. I lugged it the short distance to my garage. I set it down by the garage. I opened the door. I stepped across the threshold into the garage. I closed the door. I used my key to open the sliding door of my Minivan. I tossed in my suitcase and my workbag. I closed the sliding door.

I opened the garage door and waited for it to slide all the way up. I backed out into the alley. I hear my mom's voice again. I put my foot on the break. I stop the vehicle.

I looked at the time on the car radio. I was very early for my trip. Technically speaking, I had plenty of time to find that inhaler and make my flight. I grabbed my workbag. I unzipped that first pocket. And, lo and behold, there it was in all it’s blue glory, is my albuterol inhaler. It was right there all along.

Peace of mind!

To be honest, I never used it once during my five day trip. I didn’t even give it another thought. I knew it was there, and that was good enough for this modern day asthmatic.

I tell this story as a testament to what good asthma control is like. You go about your life. You do what you enjoy doing. But, you still have to plan. You still have to have that rescue medicine -- just in case.


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