Striking Out on Having an Inhaler.

Striking Out on Having an Inhaler

Halfway to the south end of the city, I did a habitual check for an inhaler. Jeans = fake pockets. Hoodie = shallow pockets. I felt the outside of the Tallygear bag on my hip, and the one attached to my crutch. No inhaler.

Am I missing something?

As I’ve written before, it’s not often I head out without an inhaler in my pocket. It feels weird, like something is missing. I had my phone, earphones, keys, a phone charger, a phone cord, my wallet, two bus cards… but not a single inhaler.

According to Propeller, I used my rescue inhaler 9 times last week: spring dust, four mornings in a hotel room (which are usually a tad rough), visiting a new city, and some ill-timed flights for taking my control meds on time and “supplementing” with Ventolin are contributors. That’s life on the road, and I’m more than okay with it. I feel I’m doing well overall: this is well controlled severe asthma—it is what it is. But given last week's track record, I really should have that inhaler with me. Like we all should.

I was headed out bowling. I wouldn’t be back home for several hours. It’s spring-ish so my asthma isn’t terrible, but with the road dust everywhere, it’s not great either. Well, what could I do? Traveling by bus means turning around to get it would have added at least an hour to my trip. I just had to hope for the best.

Treading carefully

Not having an inhaler with me means I try to be a lot more careful. It’s not like I go exposing myself to triggers purposely or anything, because that’s crazy, but I realize just how much my thought-process shifts when I don’t have an inhaler with me. So, after I met up with one of my friends and we awaited our turn by the bowling alley doors, I found myself in between a cloud of smokers.

I moved my arm toward my friend’s hand—he’s blind, and he instinctively grasped above my elbow. “Sorry,” I said as we started moving, “We’re going to have to go awkwardly stand in the middle of a parking lot island—curb down—I don’t have an inhaler with me so I definitely can’t wait by the doors and the smokers.”

He understood. We moved our conversation to an island in the middle of the parking lot. I texted our friend where to find us (not that a relatively small girl, a big tall dude, and a big black guide dog are that easy to miss in a parking lot!) and all was well.

Five-pin bowling, of course, isn’t a real cardiorespiratory sport, so I didn’t have any real worries when bowling. We went to the mall after, and I was alert but not terribly avoidant. After catching my homebound bus, I headed back to the mall to drop off a prescription, and then got on my final bus, then walked the ten minutes home.

I made it!

Things were fine. Totally fine. But it’s always a bit nerve-wracking not having my rescue inhaler with me! After a decade with asthma, it’s become a constant in my pocket or bag, and when it’s not there, it almost feels like how leaving your phone at home does—except more important.

At least I won one of two bowling games today—but I think I have bumpers to thank for that..! I did get a strike—though I “striked out” on having an inhaler with me.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

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.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.