Cold Weather and Asthma

Brrr … it’s gotten cold outside — a not-so-balmy twenty-seven degrees. Normally that’s not too cold for me but it feels exceptionally dry and the minute I walked outside the cold seemed to grip my chest like a boa constrictor who wraps himself around a person’s legs.

This is known as asthma-inducing weather — cold and dry. My preparation for this kind of weather is to put an inhaler in every purse and jacket I own so I never forget it. How is this possible for me to have so many inhalers? Ahhh, I knew you’d want to know. (smiling)

When my inhaler expired less than a year ago, I called my doctor and told her I needed a refill and she called it in to my mail-order pharmacy. When I got a large package in the mail I wondered why packaging had to be so large for such a small item until, that is, I opened the package.

Inside were about 10 inhalers. Apparently (although not apparent enough to me) the mail order pharmacies can’t send ONE of anything. They considered this a refill for 90 days, or so the lady I spoke with told me. They weren’t returnable either.

I asked the woman why they wouldn’t call to confirm as I don’t know anyone who uses 10 inhalers in 90 days without having to be admitted into the hospital. She said she would “note” my record for future refills. Uh, no, I’m not planning future refills for one inhaler through your company as you’ve already told me you can’t do it.

The funny thing is that I rarely use my inhaler — perhaps 5 times a year, a day here a day there. I’m an atypical asthmatic who normally gets asthma with today’s type of weather (if I’m unprepared) or if I get a really bad chest cold.

Today I just have to wait for the weather to warm up and I’ll be able to breathe normally again. Thirty minutes have passed and I still have an uncomfortable tight feeling in my chest but have not reached for the inhaler yet as it sometimes goes away by itself.


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