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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hospital stay #97

Battle scars: 4 failed arterial line attempts and 12 failed IV attempts. I have no veins left and my radial arteries are so scarred up from previous insertions, that it’s virtually impossible to get access unless they put a central line in. Very frustrating for the doctors and very painful for me. I’d been having […]

Number 96

Thanks everyone for all your kind emails while I was in the slammer. The hospital volunteer who brought the messages to my bedside, said he’d never delivered so many messages to one person , and that I must be pretty popular:-) Sorry I couldn’t respond to each one individually, but I read all one of […]

Number 94….a Bad One

…………..As in my 94th hospital admission for asthma. I had been feeling really crumby most of that weekend prior. My dyspnea was increasing and my peak flows were gradually trending downward. By Sunday evening, it was pretty evident that this flare-up was getting worse, not better. I bolused myself with 60mg prednisone and decided I […]

That’s a lot of ABGs

Can you believe I’ve had 118 arterial blood gases radial artery. If that were the case , my wrist would have fallen off by now. Some of those samples actually came from arterial catheters that were placed in my artery during different hospitalizations. I estimate that about 50 of the 118 ABG samples sent to […]

The first few days are the worst

First of all , thank you everyone! for all the nice comments. They mean a lot to me. My apologizes for the self pity thing in the previous post. I guess even us butch super hero types carry a bit of the drama queen gene. I don’t care how many times I go through this, […]

#84

Wednesday I was discharged from my 84 th incarceration for the crime of asthma. I hadn’t been breathing well for most of last week, and by the time Monday rolled around I just couldn’t tolerate it anymore (even Superman has his limits.) So at 10:30 on Monday night , Douglas convinced me that it was […]