My grandma often talked about the word frugal, and the importance of living within your means. At the same time, however, she preached that there are two things every person must have regardless of cost: a good pair of shoes and a good mattress.
Playing along this same theme, and having lived with asthma my entire life, I have come up with a list of 10 things every asthmatic must have regardless of cost.
Bronchodilator inhaler (also called a rescue inhaler). You must have one on your possession at all times, and you must purchase a new one at least once a year to make sure the medicine does not lose its potency. You must never leave home without it.
Preventative medicine. The good thing about asthma is asthma attacks can be prevented. Whether you are feeling good or not, it's important you always take your preventative medicine. Some of these can be quite costly, but the cost of not taking them can result in poor asthma control and possibly even death.
Good asthma doctor. I can never overstate the importance of a good asthma doctor. Likewise, you must see this doctor at least once a year. In some cases you may need more than one doctor, which would be the case if you required a pulmonologist or allergist to control your asthma.
Asthma Action Plan: When your asthma is acting up, you need to know what to do. You must work with your doctor on devising a plan on when to use your rescue medicine, when to call your doctor, or when to simply call an ambulance. What do you do when your asthma acts up? Make sure you know the answer.
Allergy free home. Whether you have an old house or a new one, allergy triggers seem to find a way of coming out of the woodwork. HEPA filters and air purifiers work to clean the air. Mattress covers work to prevent dust mites from getting into your bed.
Asthma safe job. Youll need to find a career that allows you to work in a clear, fresh air environment. Since humidity can trigger asthma, you'll probably want to work in an air conditioned building.
Good family and friends: It's very important that those around you are aware that you have asthma, and that at times you may need help deciding what to do. I know from personal experience it's easier for someone to tell you it's time to take action, than to make that decision yourself. For this reason, it's essential to have good friends and family.
Compliance: This is key If you don't see your doctor regularly, and take your medicine as prescribed, then you won't maintain good control of your asthma. This is why it's so important that you be a good boy or girl and become a compliant asthmatic.
Asthma book. You'll need to purchase and read a book with all the latest asthma wisdom. Since asthma wisdom is changing so fast, you should probably purchase a new asthma book at least every five years. A good asthma book: Asthma for Dummies. Estimated cost: $20.
Asthma website. Asthma wisdom is growing so fast there's no way a book can keep up with it all. That's why it's important to have access to an asthma website where you can get all the up to date asthma wisdom. Likewise, aside from your doctor, it's nice to have an asthma community where you can share your asthma stories and ask questions. Thankfully we provide this service for free. How's that for a bargain.
So while most of us won't sell ourelves short of a good mattress and a good pair of shoes, we must also never sell ourselves short of the 10 things that are esential for all asthmatics.