As a kid I always wanted to make my inhaler look “cooler”. I remember each time I was at the GP or in for asthma review I would ask if I could have a different inhaler which was in my eyes more socially acceptable than what I had. I remember the one I always wanted was the diskhaler which once I got I found it to be the most annoying inhaler to have- not only did I need to carry the inhaler but also extra disks for it and keep it clean. I soon learnt what looked good was not always practical.
I always carry an inhaler on me. I feel naked without one, its part of me. They do look really boring though and in this day and age with all the technology you would think there might be something to perhaps make them look a bit nicer especially for kids who don’t want to take medication in public. I think that being able to custom design your inhaler it might make adherence to medication better and then reduce risk of uncontrolled asthma, hospital admissions or even asthma death.
In one of our SPEAK Asthma groups one of the kids mentioned how good it would be if there was such a thing as inhaler skins similar to the covers for mobile phones which are changed to keep on trend. I racked my brain on how to do this and looked at various things on the internet such as the puffa pouch and sports haler but there was nothing that you can customise totally. Quite by chance I had left over decals from my lacrosse goalie helmet and decided to see how they went on my inhaler. 3 weeks down and it is still stuck, not peeling and I am pretty chuffed with it. This is the trial look:
I emailed LaxWraps who did the decals to see how I could go about getting some made up for inhalers. He said they could do it all he needed was a template to make the cutting shape and would put together some designs for samples. So a lot of sweat, blood and tears and I had a Ventolin MDI template to send off and will await the samples to come through in the New Year.
It is really exciting as it is one of the kids in the SPEAK Asthma group who came up with the concept and being able to put it into place and get a finished product (fingers crossed) will be awesome. My plan is to branch out from the Ventolin MDI to other devices if we find they work out well.
I really hope by having something more socially acceptable and not so medical it might encourage younger people to use their inhaler when they need it. I was briefly in touch with one of the Asthma consultants at the Sick Kids who thought it was a good idea for asthmatics but harder for medical staff because they won’t be able to say take your blue, purple or orange inhaler because of having decals on them. To work around this I have made the template a bit smaller that the inhaler itself so around the top, base and mouth piece and cap all remain visible and identifiable by colour so medical professionals will still be able to use blue, orange purple inhaler etc.
I have everything crossed to see what the end product looks like and to see how it all works out. I do have to give the credit to the creator of the idea and she will be the first one to get one of the decal samples.
Watch this space and see what we come up with!!!