The following is a perfect example of what prednisone can to an otherwise intelligent and creative mind……

I was at the town grocery store the other day, where I noticed they were having a contest to see if you could guess the weight of this huge pumpkin they had as part of a Halloween display. As I was walking home I thought to myself hmmm… I should have a contest of my own, but rather than pumpkins, I’ll have people try to guess how many empty albuterol/atrovent vials I have laying around. Out of this, the inaugural Breathinstephen Halloween Contest was born.

The rules are simple:
All you have to do is guess how many vials are in the bowl and send it to me via email or comment by Oct 29th.

The person who comes closest to guessing the actual number of vials, will win a brand new digital peak flow/FEV1 meter valued at $75.00, courtesy of the kind folks over at Microlife . The Microlife peak flow meter kit comes complete with batteries, a nice carrying case and a usb cable so you can track your data on your computer. I love this flow meter, because in addition to peak expiratory flow rates, it also measures FEV1, which is a better indicator of lung function.

Only one entry per person please.
I’ll announce the winner on the Friday before Halloween or thereabouts.

*********Check out the photos carefully and give it your best shot*********

**Here’s a hint…The empties in this bowl represent roughly a month and a half of neb treatments for me.**

Good luck!

(PS….Wait till you see what I’m planning to make out of these things when I get enough of them.)

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22 thoughts on “My first Halloween Contest

  1. kerri says:

    You're nuts, guess that's why we're friends ;-). Funnily enough, i was totally just about to email you about Halloween, until the school internet messed up and ate my message [it'll be on it's way in a bit].

    My non-math brain, calculator, recollection skills and I are going to guess 435.

    Hardest. Contest. Ever. [I tried to count the top layer and failed ;-)]

  2. Olive says:

    Awesome idea!!! I had to do some maths but my guess is about 395. I worked on the basis of a 4 a day ventolin and 4 a day atrovent for 45 days (about a month and a half) and then added and extra few for days you may ahve had to increase the nebs etc!

  3. danielle10 says:


    I'd forgotten how much you love Halloween 🙂

    Feel better soon Steve <3

  4. Cris Dopher says:

    I think about 299.

  5. breathinstephen says:

    Thanks everyone. Keep those guesses coming!

  6. GayleMyrna says:

    Just a wild guess: 300???
    By the way, cute cat in one of the photos.

    1. Hi Gayle, that was Duke. He\’s one of our outdoor cat ( we have 3 indoor and 5 outdoor cats)

      1. danielle10 says:

        8 cats??? The way you talk about Winston, I thought he was your one and only ;p

        1. I love them all, but Winston is my baby.

  7. Piper says:

    350, give or take? by the way, i love my microlife FEV1 meter. not entering to win, b/c i already have one, but love the idea of the contest!

    1. Hey Piper, I was just on your blog. Thanks for taking the time to play my silly contest.
      And Happy 4 Month Anniversary with your new lungs!

  8. Clare says:

    Hmmmm having looked at the pics carefully I'd say around 333 🙂

  9. melissamashburns says:

    My guess is an even 400.

    That digital peak flow meter looks great!

  10. HeatherK says:

    I'm guessing based on my own neb dosage – my lungs are crap too…360. I am very happy I found your blog, BTW. I am doing Galloway running, which is run/walk intervals. It's helped my asthma a lot, but in spite of this I still have bad flares from time to time. My last one knocked me out of the second event that I've trained for and had to miss. 🙁 I was actually surfing around looking for ideas on how/what to talk to my Dr. about when I see her again, and your site is very helpful. Thank you for talking about this so honestly.

    1. Hi Heather, Thanks for stopping by and congrats on your running achievements. I know several people who use the walk/ run method and it works great for them. Unfortunately my lung function is so diminished that I cant run at all. I do something similar with racewalking, but even with that the best I can do on a good day is about a 10:1 ratio. As far as questions to ask your doctor, feel free to email me privately. Maybe we can come up with some good questions.

  11. HeatherK says:

    Thanks Stephen. I emailed you.

  12. vickyk2209 says:

    I'm guessing 390?

  13. James says:

    I am going to try 410! Thanks for the contest, Stephen! 🙂

  14. Mikki M. Vatrano says:

    Hi Stephen, I'm with several of your friends there, I figured between 360 and 380. I also have to use the nebulizer and oxygen but I don't talk about it on facebook, I have grandchildren that use ( oh my goodness those eyeballs just popped out and scared the living hell out of me, can I say that?) My daughter gets too upset and she has problems of her own. There's a ghost, you are so talanted. I wonder if you'd let me know where to get a meter like that, I would send for ome, I use that little contraption you use on your finger for my oxygen level… Anyway, I know I've read your post with deep humility, you have been through hell and back, I have COPD and it progressively gets worse. It's really helpful talking to other people. But I do not want to do it on facebook. You have my e-mail now and I will keep you in my prayers…There goes your green witch…Sweet Dreams my friend, <3

  15. Christine says:

    I'm going to guess 362

  16. Patrice says:


    Way too many!

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