Inhaler Delivery (Again)

As I only work a handful of hours a week on the university campus, I sometimes use my office there to get writing done before I move on to my actual university job. Wednesday morning was one of those mornings—write for an hour or two, work, board meeting semi-nearby. I grabbed an iced latte from Starbucks a building over, told our office administrator I was in-but-not-in (but if anyone asked for me they were free to knock!) and settled in for some writing.
Eventually, as I was flaring-but-didn’t-yet-realize-it, my lungs started to bug me and I decided some Ventolin may help. I was in no way in any sort of trouble, but my asthma was starting to annoy me. I unzipped the front pocket of my backpack—there was no inhaler, but I didn’t actually think it was there, anyways, it was in my jacket pocket. I got up and checked my jacket pockets—no inhaler. I repeated the sequence. I don’t know why I checked my jacket again—magic, perhaps? You will be unsurprised to read there was again no inhaler.

Weighing the options

Had I been going home after work, I may have pushed my luck. I mean, I probably would’ve been just fine. Alas, I was not going home after work, and I had to go be smart at a board meeting. So not having access to any Ventolin was a problem.
I wracked my brain. While I am sure there were at least several inhalers floating around with people on campus (a lower number than normal since the students are not about in mid-December!), I am aware of exactly zero of them. I texted my friend Russ that I really needed a radar for these things, and he said if he was still working at the mall two blocks from the university like he used to, I could’ve used his. Heck, I considered using Twitter for the purpose of finding a few puffs of Ventolin, but I didn’t want to freak people out! I also considered going home, but I wasn’t feeling bad enough that it seemed necessary to bus back home and then back downtown for my meeting.
I considered calling the pharmacy at that mall and having them transfer the prescription over from my “home” pharmacy (which Russ also mentioned), but that seemed ridiculous given I have three Ventolins at home! And I didn’t even want to touch the pharmacy delivery method I had to use a few years ago!

Fortunately, before all these contemplations, I had texted (and called, multiple times) my mom, who was at that point ignoring her phone because she was at a curling Christmas lunch, living that retirement life.

“Hello,” I said, “hate to ask you this but is it possible for you to bring me an inhaler? (The blue kind.) I am not dying (clearly) but I don’t have one with me and I sort of need one.”
She informed me she was still at her lunch but would be home around 2 and would touch base with me then. I told her where to find my inhaler and, non-specifically, that it was blue. “Lighter blue. Likely has a cap on it unlike the other blue one that won’t.”

Drive-by inhaler delivery

My mom called me as she approached the university and I headed down three floors to where she was meeting me. I appeared at her window, where she’d pulled over to wait right outside the door, which she rolled down to hand me my inhaler. I thanked her, though I can’t remember what else I said although I did feel bad for making her come all the way downtown because of a stupid inhaler! She just said “Better to drive here now than have to pick you up from the hospital later!”
I took a couple puffs in the empty stairwell en route back to my office, snapping a photo of my inhaler (which I texted to Dia, aware of my plight) just after 2:30.

Thanks, Mom!

Disruption

I hate when asthma disrupts my plans, but I hate even more when it disrupts someone else’s. While I rarely forget my inhaler at home, it’s certainly annoying when it does happen—and needless to say, even more annoying when I actually need it! Thankfully, I’ve never had any significant consequences arise, but I don’t like living that close to the edge! This is only the second time I’ve needed my mom to bring it to me (and the other time she was coming to get me anyways), a pretty amazing feat considering I also have ADHD and how often I forget my keys due to that! Either way, it’s extremely frustrating when it does happen

However, situations like these remind me of how lucky I am to have people who help me, whether it’s my mom bringing me an inhaler, having Russ and Dia brainstorming solutions with me, my coworker who asks questions to understand more—and when people do these things happily, it makes things so much easier, and I am thankful for them!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (6)
  • schwabl
    2 weeks ago

    I, too have this problem. I have had people come to save me from “choking”. While this makes me feel better about man-kind, it can be most embarrassing. If I am hot, it can be even worse. Crowded situations are avoided. People stare. Sometimes I wish I had a song that says, “it’s asthma”.

  • LeighAnn
    2 weeks ago

    My asthma causes me to cough loudly. Really, really, loudly. If that’s not bad enough my biggest trigger is cold air and I live in the Midwest and teach in a district with mobile classrooms, requiring frequent trips outside. I rather abnoxiously announce my presence all the time ‍♀️

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Hi LeighAnn and thanks for this post. It certainly sounds as if your asthma, environment, weather and working conditions are a real challenge for you. What are you able to do to control your condition during these situations? Please let us hear back from you. Leon (site moderator)

  • krishwaecosse
    2 weeks ago

    It’s a horrible feeling though when you forget your inhaler.
    Once, after the birth of my 3rd child, I took him along to a local breastfeeding group. He was only 6 days old, so had a lot on my mind. The room felt warm, and my lungs couldn’t cope. I felt wheezy and tight chested but realised I’d forgotten my inhaler in my attempt to bring my new baby out. Luckily I managed the 15 miles home without any major incident, but it isn’t something I want to repeat in any hurry.

  • Christine.Fitzpatrick moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing your experience, @krishwaecosse. I am glad you made it home for your inhaler without any major problems but I am sure it was scary especially with a 6 day old! We are glad you are here. Best, Christine, Asthma.net Team Member

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Hi krishwaecosse and thanks for your post. I’m with Christine on this one, that must have been some harrowing experience – glad you were able to get through it! Thanks for sharing it with the community. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

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