Asthma Attack / Etgar Keret (Translated from Hebrew by Miriam Shlesinger)
When you have an asthma attack, you can’t breathe. When you can’t breathe, you can hardly talk. To make a sentence all you get is the air in your lungs. Which isn’t much. Three to six words, if that. You learn the value of words. You rummage through the jumble in your head. Choose the crucial ones–those cost you, too. Let healthy people toss out whatever comes to mind, the way you throw out the garbage. When an asthmatic says “I love you,” and when an asthmatic says “I love you madly,” there’s a difference. The difference of a word. A word’s a lot. It could be “stop,” or “inhaler.” It could be “ambulance.”
GeckoCap is an up and coming startup that has set out to revolutionize the way people manage their asthma. The (Gecko) cap itself is a small glowing smart button that can be easily added to any asthma inhaler. The fun, colorful, and durable design is made for kids. There are no batteries to replace, cables, or hassle. What’s really awesome is that the cap starts glowing when the next dose is due.
I recently learned that people with asthma have, not one, but two distinct inhalers – one called maintenance and the other rescue. This came as a surprise because my understanding of asthma was mostly shaped by characters like Mikey from the movie The Goonies who puffed on his inhaler whenever something scary or exciting was about to happen. For years, I was under the impression that this was how asthma patients dealt with their condition – by puffing on an inhaler whenever asthma flared up. But like so many other Hollywood-induced misconceptions , that’s not how it works and Mikey was displaying a blatant non adherence to the prescribed medical regimen. In other words, Mickey wasn’t using his maintenance inhaler like he should have.
Patient adherence to medical regimens is a major problem in chronic disease management. Adherence to asthma medication regimens tends to be very poor, with the reported rates of non adherence ranging from 30 to 70 percent. That’s an insanely high number.
What is the medication regimen for asthma?
Long-term asthma control medications: Taken regularly to control chronic symptoms and prevent asthma attacks — the most important type of treatment for most people with asthma. This is the maintenance inhaler which contains corticosteroids (to relieve symptoms).
Quick-relief: Taken as needed for rapid, short-term relief of symptoms — used to prevent or treat an asthma attack. This is the rescue inhaler which contains short-acting beta agonists (to open airways).
Doctors instruct their asthma patients to use the maintenance inhaler once (sometimes twice) a day on a daily basis and only use the rescue inhaler in case of an attack. But most patients don’t use the maintenance inhaler and only carry the rescue inhaler to “treat” attacks.
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Geckocap is a better method to manage your child’s asthma medication. Find out more here