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.

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.

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.

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