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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All asthmatics have a little bit of Joe Goofus

The following originally published at on 3/4/13

We all have a little Joe Goofus in us -- even me

I thought it was funny (well, not really) when I visited my mother's house a few weeks ago and realized I forgot my rescue inhaler (So that makes me a goofus asthmatic right?)

My mother said, "You can use mine."

I said, "Awesome."

Then I squirted it and it tasted like rotten eggs.  Plus the puffer worked poorly.  I checked the date on the inhaler and saw it expired in 2010.  The medicine worked -- sort of, but not very well.  I suppose, by my rules, that makes my mom a goofus asthmatic too.

The funny thing about this (okay, so it's not funny) is my inhalers never expire because they never last long enough to expire, unless I happen to find a lost one under a couch cushion or under the bed or something like that (that ever happen to you?)

If you get to a point where your asthma is acting up and you need your rescue inhaler, it sure would be nice if you had one.  And if you had one, it sure would be nice if there was some medicine in it.  And if there's medicine in it, it would be nice if the medicine wasn't expired so you get the most bang for your puffs.

So my advice to all you asthmatics out there, (especially all you potential Joe Goofus asthmatics -- you know who you are) is to make sure you do all of the following:
  1. Get a prescription for a rescue inhaler from your doctor
  2. Carry your rescue inhaler (Albuterol or Xopenex) with you, or have it nearby, at all times
  3. When the counter shows you have only 20 puffs left, call in for a new prescription
  4. If your inhaler is a year old, toss it out and get a new one
Follow these simple rules and you'll be well on your way to removing yourself form Goofus status.

As far as my mom, well, I encouraged her to get a new prescription, and I encouraged her to put a date on it.  I also encouraged her to toss it out after the expiration date.

My mother was raised by parents who lived through the Great Depression, so she tends to be quite frugal.  Yet I explained that when it comes to your asthma medicine, you need to toss the old one even if there's some left in there,and get a new inhaler.  Will she do this?  I have no control over my mother.  

I do, however, have control over my own actions.  I usually am a good asthmatic and carry my rescue medicine with me like a good boy.  However, we all have our off days, which is probably why we'll all have a little of Joe Goofus in us.

What do you think?

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