Rick, the author of the Respiratory Therapy Cave , wrote to me the other day talking about what it was like growing up with severe asthma. One of the things he mentioned that I thought was kinda funny, was how he used to sleep with an inhaler under his pillow. Boy, can I relate to that. To this day I still sleep with an inhaler under my pillow, and one on the bedside table, and one next to the laptop….
Ever see the movie the 1954 classic “The Lost Weekend” with Ray Milland who plays a hopeless alcoholic? Well, it got me to thinking. Short of keeping one on a string dangling outside a window or hiding one in the chandelier for safekeeping, Ive got Albuterol inhalers laying around just about every where.They’re all over my house. Under the couch, under my bed ( tons of them under my bed). Ive got them in my car, in Doug’s car. I even have a few in my travel luggage. Occasional I’ll find one in the pockets of clothes I haven’t worn in months. I don’t really “stash” or hide them , at least not conscientiously , they just seem to accumulate .
It’s important to note that I don’t abuse the drug (though I probably use more than I should.) When I was young it was a different story. I’d, sometimes go through an entire inhaler in less than 3 days . And we’re not talking about the newer,much safer beta agonist drugs like Albuterol, were talking about the heart pounding over-the counter concoctions like Primatine mist. Seems like my life revolved around having enough inhaler medicine to get me through the day ( and more important, the night.) We were so poor, sometimes my friends would shoplift the stuff because they couldn’t stand to see me suffer.
After using inhalers for 50 years, I’ve developed quite a tolerance. Nowadays, I get more relief by inhaling the drugs through the nebulizer instead of the MDIs. A mixture of Albuterol and Atrovent 4-6 times a day, and as needed, seems to works the best. I still use the inhalers , but mostly for their convenience and portability. They’re still very handy during my walks.
So anyway, to satisfy my curiosity, today I scoured my house to take inventory….. and this is what I found: