Spaced out on Asthma Spacer Replacement

Recently I was taking a look at my trusty old spacer as I pulled it out of the dishwasher. It was looking a bit worse for the wear. My controller inhaler had stretched out the rubbery end. The printing on the side was just a ghost of the legible instructions once there. Time for a quick trip down the pharmacy receipt rabbit hole to try to satisfy my curiosity. Just how long ago had I gotten this spacer?

My asthma spacer really needed replacing

Some sifting through receipts proved fruitless, no spacer receipt to be found. I’m pretty sure this spacer is from sometime President Obama’s second term. The exact age isn’t particularly important in the decision to replace it. It is no longer forming a tight seal around my rescue inhaler so I will have to bid us adieu.

One of the things that I love about my asthma doctor’s office is how the electronic chart system is central to the staff workflows. I clicked a few buttons on the patient portal as I sat on the couch in my PJ’s one evening. Typed in a quick note letting them know I needed a spacer script sent over to the pharmacy. Boom! A day or two later they’ve sent over the order for a brand new spacer.

The convenience of replacement

I hate picking up the phone to get things done. Above all else, I look for clinical competency and shared treatment philosophy when picking a member of my care team. All other things being equal give me the doctor with a robust patient portal any day. Finding the time and energy to make a phone call during normal business hours would’ve delayed my ability to get this spacer replaced for a few days if not a week.

I know technology adoption rates vary greatly. If you also have some phone phobias to stare down it’s probably worth checking if your doctor’s office offers a patient portal. You just might be able to get that new spacer script called in or schedule your appointment without ever picking up the phone.

Getting my new spacer replacement

Fast forward a few weeks, my spacer arrives in the mailroom at work. If your work will allow you to use the office address like mine, ask your pharmacy if they can ship to work. My pharmacy has been more than happy to ship to one address and bill to another. Sending it to work saves me anxiety over if I’ll be home to sign for it, or if it will be safe sitting on the porch if the carrier leaves it. Unfortunately, the pharmacy side of this equation comes with a few phone calls to get everything squared away to ship.

I’m happy to report that my new spacer forms a tight seal with my rescue inhaler. Plus in they’ve innovated a good bit over the years. The new version disassembles into 3 pieces for easy cleaning. Which reminds me I should go rinse out my spacer. One of these days I should also sit down and put this spacer’s end of life into my calendar.

Have you lost track of the replacement timeline for your spacer, too?

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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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