A woman leaves her house with a packed bag while her forgotten medication is front and center on the table.

Don’t Forget Your Medicine!

“I felt so good I just flat out forgot my medicine!” said a COPD patient of mine from out of town. He was referring to his nebulizer and rescue inhaler. He forgot both of them on his vacation to my hometown.

Small town on Lake Michigan

I live in a small town. It has about 10,000 or so residents. It’s sort of out of the way on the west shore of Lake Michigan. You don’t just accidentally drive through my town. You literally have to go out of your way to get here and what drives out of towners here is the Lake. Although, we also have many other reasons for visiting us, such as our many other lakes, streams, and rivers that are ideal for fishing.

So, there are times we get vacationers in our emergency room. Or, sometimes it’s a person who has two homes: one in sunny Florida and one in my town. They usually go to Florida in the winter and here in the summer. Sometimes they forget things, like their COPD medicine. Or, they forget their rescue inhaler or nebulizer.

Emergency room

  • The Lake.
  • The beach.
  • Nice to get out of busy Chicago.
  • We have a cottage on the lake here.
  • I love fishing up here.
  • I like to ride my snowmobile on the trails up here.
  • I mean, it’s not like you come here to see me. It just so happens that we are here to help you if you need it, and we are here to help you if you forgot your nebulizer. This happens more than once during the course of a year. So, if you’ve done this, you are not alone.

    Easier said than done

    You plan ahead. You pack everything you need and take off on your trip. It's time for a vacation. You are going to stay at your summer home and you are excited and eager. In such situations, you may forget a thing or two. You may forget your so important medicine. You may forget your nebulizer. It happens.

    So, how do you prevent this? Well, as an asthmatic who has lots of medicine, including inhalers and a nebulizer, I know what it’s like. My strategy involves making a list of what I need to take and I keep this list in my top desk drawer. Whenever I’m going somewhere for the night or longer, I take out my list. As I’m packing, I check off things when I pack them.

    The night before, I go over this list again. I make doubly sure everything on this list is packed. Sometimes I find that I checked something off and still didn’t have it packed. Or, I forgot where I put it. This is sort of a nice little system I have developed.

    Packing extras

    I always make sure I take more than one inhaler. I pack one and the other I make sure is in my pocket. Or I put one in the console between the two front seats. Even though I don’t use it very often, I pack my nebulizer and I pack the medicine I use with the nebulizer. You might have a different system that works for you.

    One of my COPD patients said he has three nebulizers. He has a tabletop at his home in Florida and a tabletop at his home in my town. He also has a portable nebulizer he keeps in his car. This way he has one no matter where he goes or where he is. It works for him.

    Not alone

    If you've forgotten your medicine, you are not alone. If you've had a flare-up after forgetting your medicine, you are not alone there either. If you have a story about forgetting your medicine, I would love to hear it. Please share it in the comments below.

    By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

    More on this topic

    This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

    Join the conversation

    or create an account to comment.
    poll graphic

    Community Poll

    Have you taken our COPD In America Survey yet?