I know what you are thinking; you do not need a nebulizer unless you’re sick or there is a drastic weather change if you have the albuterol inhaler. Unfortunately, that is not the case for me because my lungs are weaker than most individuals with asthma. I use the Breo once a day inhaler, the nebulizer, and I have a ton of the ProAir HFA albuterol inhalers that I keep everywhere. When I say everywhere, I do mean everywhere; I keep one in my purse, one in the bathroom in case a shower gets me, one by the night stand incase an anxiety/panic attack gets me, etc!
I am slightly OCD which causes me to like a set routine. Prior to needing the nebulizer on a regular basis, I would get up at 3 am (yes you read that correctly), work out, shower, and get ready for work. Now, I have to factor in an additional 20 minutes every morning to perform my nebulizer treatment. For some people this additional 20 minutes may not seem like much but again I was already getting up at 3 am previously. So this becomes an annoying challenge to impatiently wait for the treatment to be completed. I can definitely say there is a huge difference in my breathing if I do not complete my morning treatment.
Cardio, Oh How I Hate Thee
As if doing cardio workouts were not hard enough before developing lung issues, it is purely evil now! Feeling the all too familiar pressure in your chest should not discourage you to continue to work out. I have learned to do my nebulizer treatment prior to exercising to help keep the airflow going correctly. Additionally, I make sure I have my rescue inhaler just in case I need it. I know many people who have felt embarrassed to have an inhaler while at the gym or studio, but trust me breathing is more important than anything else! You should never allow the possibility of judgements from other people stop you from having what you need handy.
To Nebulize at Work, or not
When I first started using the nebulizer, I was a good girl and followed the every 4 to 6 hours rule. This meant I packed it to work with me and had to use it at work twice during the day. It did not take me too long to realize this was not convenient to have to do and it was annoying to carry it with me to work and home again every day. Eventually, I did what most people end up doing, I stopped taking it to work and just use my rescue inhaler if I need it.
Since I have learned there are supposed to be some nebulizers that are more portable and/or complete their medication cycle in 5 minutes compared to my machines 15-20 minute sessions, I have brought it up with my pulmonologist. I have hopes that something will be considered appropriate for my case so that it is easier to return to challenging myself and being the young active adult that I want to be.
Do you use a nebulizer daily, or only when you need it because you are sick? How has asthma affected your daily routine?