My 133rd hospitalization for asthma

My 133rd hospitalization occurred on 10-9-2017. The trigger wasn’t the usual environmental allergies or resp infection, this time it was smoke from wildfires that have been devastating portions of northern California the past couple weeks. I woke that morning (4am) to a house full of smoke . It was so bad, we had to put […]

Paying my own way

After 12 and half years of receiving free healthcare benefits from my partner’s employer, the ridiculously increasing costs to maintain those benefits became unsustainable for the small company, forcing them to ditch the premium plan for a bare bones plan with such high deductibles, that the plan is virtually useless for someone like me. So, […]

Treatment overload

Yes, another update about treatment options. Things seem to be changing at a lightening pace now and it’s making my head explode. Too much for an over-thinker like me to think about. Gotta slow down and literally catch my breath. So my 3rd hospitalization and 5th intubation in just the first 4 months of this […]

What’s it like to be intubated for asthma?

The search term “Intubation” comes up fairly often on my blog’s traffic logs, so I thought I take a moment to write about it. Heaven knows I’ve had my share of them(39 times as of Dec 22, 2017). I truly hope your asthma never gets to point where you actually need to be intubated for […]

23rd time’s a charm

No..not as in hospitalizations ( I’ve lost count of those,) I’m talking about my 23rd endotracheal intubation with mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure. You heard that right, Ive been intubated 23 times now! (as of 5-23-2018, make that 42 times). That’s gotta be some kind of weird worlds record or something. How is this even […]

6 times a day

I had planned to write a post about my nebulizer treatment routine, but then I thought what the heck… I’ll just video it! The point Im trying to make in the clip, is that the daily nebbing routine for many of us is a lot more time consuming than one would think. Managing asthma, COPD, […]

PFTs Du Jour

For those interested, here are my latest spirometry results from last weeks SARP follow-up visit at UCSF last week. It’s kind of a bad-good-bad then good-good-bad story. Starting with the not so good news… my initial FEV1 was only 28% (.83 liters) this time. That’s down 4 percentage points from last years visit. The good […]

The wonderful side effects of frequent asthma flares

Think a severe asthma exacerbation only effects your lungs? Check out the photos below. Each photo was taken appx 2-3 weeks after being discharged from the hospital after a serious asthma flare. Dehydrated? Perhaps, but interestingly, most people retain water while on prednisone. The thing about frequent severe asthma exacerbations and frequent use of steroids, […]

Techno-Patient

The Hospital I go to when my asthma gets really bad, recently upgraded their electronic charting and patient care computer systems. They’re using the EPIC system, which includes a patient portal via the web. It’s pretty cool because things like labs and xray results are made available to patient almost as soon as they’re available […]

For the 112th time

Gee I haven’t written about a good ole hospital admission for quite sometime. Since I just completed my 112th, maybe now’s a good time. The theme for this latest admission is fun with steroid psychosis and why IV fluids should always be monitored closely. The fun begins The trigger to the flare leading up to […]

Self Service

Just one of the advantages of being an asthmatic Respiratory Therapist, though the hospital staff might not be so thrilled. They get a little grouchy when the patients start adjusting ventilator settings 🙂 Now for the serious educational part: The rational for using non -invasive bipap therapy during a severe asthma exacerbations is simply to […]

Breathin Basics—ABG’s

“ABG’s” is another one of those medical acronyms that you hear all the time when you have asthma or lung disease. And if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be hospitalized for your asthma, no doubt you’ve had one of these tests done on you. ABG stands for “Arterial blood gases”. An ABG is a […]

Breathing Basics —O2 Saturation and Oximeters

Today’s Breathing Basics review is all about Oxygen Saturation and Oximeters. If you have lung disease of any kind, no doubt you’ve come across the words “Oxygen saturation” or “O2 Sats” , “Pulse-Oximeter”? I use those terms on my blog all the time, but do you really know what they mean ? I suppose you […]