That in mind, we bronchodilatoraholics created an unscientific definition of bronchodilatoraholic.
You might be a bronchodilatoraholic if you do five or more of the following:
- You habitually take five puffs in a row instead of two.
- You keep a spare at all the places you might need it (school, work, car) and they are all almost empty.
- You don't wait the five minutes between puffs.
- You find yourself sneaking around corners to use it.
- It feels like a security blanket.
- You have to have your inhaler in your possession at all times.
- You have anxiety when you do not have one on you.
- You use it when you think of it rather than when you need it.
- You sleep with it in your grasp or under your pillow.
- You use it while driving.
- You use it when you are irritated at your spouse or girlfriend.
- You keep puffing regardless of side effects.
- If you ever think you should cut down on your puffing.
- People call you a "puffer-head."
- You feel guilt about using your inhaler so much.
- You have strong heart palpitations and are afraid to go to sleep.
- You are jittery or nervous due to puffing too much.
- Family members make excuses for you.
- You use it and your ARE NOT an asthmatic.
- You can't resist the urge to puff.
- You use it to get out of something (gym, yard work, household chores).
- You use it to gain sympathy from others.
- You get up in the middle of the night scrounging the house for the one you lost.
- You spend hours trying to get one more puff out of an empty canister.
- You call a buddy and ask to use theirs.
- You have lost inhalers all over your house (stuffed in the cushions of the couch, under the bed, in the car, behind the refrigerator).
- You trade your favorite baseball card for an inhaler.
- You end up in the ER because your inhaler ran out.
- You often say, "I never leave home without it."
- You use it as a stress reliever.
- You go to the hospital afraid the RT learn you took too many puffs.
Before I moved to my new home a few years ago I had a large, black garbage bag stuffed with my old inhalers and nebulizers. I even had a dozen or so Alupent inhalers and even a spinhaler. In that bag was probably every color and size inhaler ever made.
Unfortunately, when I moved to my new home, I accidentally mistook that bag as garbage and threw it away. I'm still mad at myself for doing that. Otherwise it would make for a pretty impressive picture for this blog.
Now, after reading this post, you should be able to pick a bronchodilatoraholic out of the crowd. Just listen for the puff-puff. Or, if after reading this post you decide you too are a bronchodilatoraholic, now you know you are not alone.
Not all bronchodilators are just abusing their inhaler out of habit. Some are hard-luck asthmatics who just need help breathing often. Others, like I was, are regular asthmatics whose asthma is out of control. But be careful; you become an abuser when you use the inhaler more out of habit than necessity; when you ignore the directions your doctor gives you and when you don't bother to work on as asthma action plan with your doctor.