Monday, September 13, 2010

More than just a blue puffer

So, as of late I've been adding to my pile of asthma gadgets. My asthma life has become so much more stuff than just a blue puffer in the 18 or so months since I got my first blue puffer. While a blue puffer is important to gaining control of my breathing at a moments notice a number of other gadgets as well as a controller (Symbicort) help me to keep my lungs behaving reasonably well.

 My Meters and one of my Ventolin puffers

 I've acquired a digital peak flow meter which I love dearly. It is so much easier for me to remember to write down my peak flow numbers in the spreadsheet when my meter knows them when I get back to the compy. Additionally it doesn't give me randomly out of the ballpark readings. They tend to be much closer clustered than my manual peakflow meter. I still definitely have the manual around quite a bit. However, it's quite nice to not have to use it as much. The downsides to going digital are that it is a bit bulkier than a manual and it beeps when it's ready/saving data. I don't super much mind the extra bulk. If I'm packing light I just grab my TruZone. I do kind of mind the additional attention that the beeping brings to what I'm doing when I check my peakflow on the digital. I mean it's how my life goes. Your life is coexisting with my life on the same plane therefore I'm not gonna hide who I am. Yes, asthma is one small (okay sometimes not so small) part of who I am. However, I most likely have no reason to hide that from you.

My emergency kit

I have as of late tried and failed to affix an Apod to my Ventolin. Leave it to the US to have Ventolins that are not the same size as the rest of the world. Apparently the extra spaced needed to add a dose counter makes them just enough wider to not fit in an Apod. At present I'm giving up on decorating my inhalers other than with stickers since it seems as though that is not going to be a sucessful mission. I have found a hard-ish foamy pencil case that fits an epipen (latex allergy), a couple chewable benadryl,  a (blue) ventolin(puffer), my TruZone, and my Aerochamber just right. Which has been useful for carrying all my stuff with me in my backpack. It doesn't scream hey look at the sick girl with a bunch of meds.

I've pretty well worn out my aerochamber after 18 months of optimistically bi-daily use(realistically, more). It's no longer cleaning out very well. It is also looking worse for the wear on the outside. If you look carefully at the picture above you can see a line in the difference of plastic wear between the part that is covered by the silicone end and the part that isn't. I am debating between being an adult and getting a normal aerochamber, and having fun and getting an AC Boyz chamber(not really a pink person here). I have a Vortex that I use when I'm home to take my Symbicort. I really like it for that purpose. However, it is more easily dentable being made of aluminum. Additionally, not having a mouthpiece cover is not useful for the one who frequently drops it in gross places(read: bus, light rail train, random streets). The final reason why I prefer my AC for Ventolin-ing is that the whistle is really helpful in not inhaling it too quickly when I'm pulling to get a deep breathe while tight.
Medical Bracelet found it's way into my Facebook To Write Love on Her Arms Picture
At present, my Medical ID bracelet is stuck on my arm(not necessarily a bad thing). It probably also should be replaced/updated to include the fact that I carry an EpiPen. It has survived a year affixed to myself which is no small feat. Even though my asthma is so much more than 'just a blue puffer' I do still live a rough and tumble life.  It doesn't really ever leave my arm it gets spun around from being on the inside of my wrist to the outside of my wrist when I work on the computer but otherwise it doesn't really move(sometimes I know how to behave myself).


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