I love gadgets, I have loads of them, most of them I love and use regularly, the list is endless but most of my gadgets come under two categories. The first of which is my every days gadgets that I use for entertainment, this includes things such as ipad and iphone etc, but then there is a second category, this includes all of the gadgets and toys that I have to help me control and monitor my medical conditions, most of them are for my asthma but there are others, such as blood monitoring devices. Below are just some of my ‘toys’
Peak Flow Meter, I previously used the standard issue NHS meter which did its job perfectly well but was big and bulky, it wasn’t particularly portable and you had to always manually record the reading.
Because of these reasons I decided to get myself a digital on, the Piko, which was absolutely tiny, only a couple of inches in size, this also had an inbuilt memory and so could record your peak flow.
This was a great little device until it died on me and so I then managed to get hold of an emini wright which though was slightly bigger only cost a fraction of the price, I also find it easier to use and does virtually the same job as the Piko. Both digital meters are very portable and both seem to be accurate.
Personal Air Purifier, I am not convinced as to how good these are but they are worn around the neck and basically are supposed to clean the air that you breathe.
The most important ‘gadgets’ that I have are my nebulisers, I currently have two that I use, one is a portable which hardly ever leaves my side, I have previously written a fair bit about this nebuliser, the Philips Respironics Innospire Go.
My second nebuliser is mains powered and is also made by Philips, the Innospire Deluxe. Both are excellent nebulisers, they are very reliable and can take a lot of hammer (which is vitally important).
My Finger Pulse Oximeter is another important gadget for an asthmatic, you just slip it onto the end of your finger and it gives you your SP02 reading. This is usually a pretty good guide as to how well you are. They range from just a few pounds on eBay to in excess of a hundred pounds for something more state of the art. These handy little devices also provide other information such as your pulse rate. The one that I currently use is just a fairly cheap bog standard one but it appears to be pretty accurate.
Not all of my asthma gadgets and toys are electrical, I also have my PEP Mucus Clearence Device. (PEP stands for Positive Expiratory Pressure). A PEP device creates pressure and sends vibrations down your airways to keep them from closing and is basically physiotherapy for your airways and lungs. These devices often look similar to a pipe and if you use as instructed and use it alongside various breathing exercises it will help loosen mucus. Probably the most well known device is the flutter device which contains a metal ball inside. The flutter is often used in hospital and was the first mucus clearance device that I was given.
There are other types of devices available and though they may work slightly differently they all do the same job. One such device is the acapella which is what I currently use. I find it easier to use and slightly more effective.
Another non electrical toy that I need is my spacer, I currently have two, these are used to help deliver medication from an inhaler. The first one that I have is the AeroChamber which is quite big and looks more like a sex toy.
In addition to the above toys and gadgets I also use various other items of medical equipment. This includes my blood glucose monitor which I use regularly to check my readings, this helps me work out how well controlled my diabetes is and also to guide me on what insulin dose I should be taking. I currently have the accu-chek mobile which uses a cartridge rather than test strips. The cartridge allows for 50 tests and saves having to carry the strips about with you.
I also have a blood pressure monitor, these are wide available in pharmacies and online. They vary in type (upper arm or wrist) and vary dramatically in price. The one that I use, the KooGeek is pretty good in that it automatically syncs to my phone.
Then of course there are all the the apps that I have on my phone but that would be whole new subject to write about.
Who said that asthmatics only needed a little blue inhaler?