Selling Masks since 1995
A note from the Founder who after turning 80 retired from active participation, Adrien Bledstein,
I Can Breathe!® Inc. began when I experienced adult onset lung disorder. Out of desperation I developed masks to take control of my environment by reducing exposure to cold air and airborne irritants. Other people's mask envy encouraged me to create a business to manufacture and distribute quality masks. Avoiding environmental challenges with masks improved my health. "If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am for myself alone, what am I? If not now, when?" Hillel, c 140 BCE.
As business grew, my daughter Hannah who has taken over running the business since my retirement, joined I Can Breathe!® Inc. Hannah comes with an MFA in theater and is a milliner. She worked for the Muppets at Jim Henson's in NYC, and was a costume crafts artisan at the Guthrie Theater, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder, CO. She teaches millinery at the University of Illinois at Chicago Theater Dept.
I Can Breathe!® Masks continues to exist for me and people who like me want a high quality, comfortable option to reduce exposure to environmental irritants..
We wish you the best of health!
An exert from Adrien’s experience:
GETTING WELL: One Journey Toward Taking Control and Thriving with a Chronic Disorder.
Following is a summary of the results of my experiments leading to higher energy and greater strength. This is not advice, just a record of what works for me.
At 50 years old I was teaching 5 literature classes and 8 individual students (reading comprehension, critical thinking and writing), doing research, writing (See Adrien’s CV) and swimming several times a week in Chicago, IL. After a viral infection in 1994, at 55 yrs old I was physically and mentally exhausted much of the time. Unable to concentrate, I cut back on teaching and research. If I taught a one hour class in the morning, I was wiped out for the day. Wheezing in Sept 1994 impelled me to see doctors. In 1995 I was inhaling three types of asthma medication every day, and twice took prednisone. Plaut's Peak Flow Diary was important to me at the time. I adhered conscientiously to everything my doctor prescribed and kept a record of my experience.
To avoid airborne triggers, I tried wearing a disposable mask for 24 hours. I noticed a dramatic difference in energy. A search for comfortable, washable, good looking masks prompted me to create my own masks then this business to share with others. All of my research focused on becoming well again. I developed my Trigger Detection Diary to get a handle on what was affecting me.
Now, at 79 years old, most of the time I am symptom free of asthma with a high level of energy and creativity (running a business, teaching, and writing: publications https://adrienbledstein.academia.edu/research#articles). When challenged, I wear an appropriate mask to reduce exposure to airborne environmental irritants. For me known irritants are: dust, mold, latex; vehicle fumes, perfume, fabric softener, paint, chlorine, some plastics, printer’s ink, ozone, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, gasoline, natural gas, smoke; and cold. When traveling by plane I wear a Honeycomb Mask with Classic Carbon Filter and do not suffer ear pain or illness while flying or after. I remove the mask briefly to drink or eat. My ears don’t get stuffed up and I am not fatigued after the flight. At home, in a room full of books, I used to wear a Silk Comfort Mask which I slept in for years. Since 2009 I rarely need to wear a mask. For sleep I enjoy the magical I Can Sleep . . .™ Eye Shade.