From the Archives


3 and half years ago I wrote about the exciting news regarding a game changing drug called Dupilumab. Dr Wenzel and others believed that this drug was going to revolutionize the way certain forms of severe asthma are treated. Well, very soon now I'll get to try it out myself! ...

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Thank you,  I  try very hard to give that impression.

But you look so healthy

How many of you with asthma problems can relate..... "But you don't look sick", or "Your sats are OK" or " "Maybe it's just anxiety" or "If you're so sick, how are you able to exercise and do normal things?" As a person with very severe lung disease who publicly ...

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Don't forget the upper body!

If you've spent much time reading my blog, you've probably figured out that Im a huge promoter of daily exercise for people with lung disease. My favorite fitness activity of course, is distance walking. Aerobic exercise such as walking, uses large muscle groups to move at a steady, rhythmic pace. ...

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Exercise like your life depends on it

Everyone knows how important daily exercise is for maintaining good health, but I believe this is even more true when you suffer from a chronic breathing disorder such as asthma or COPD. And I don't make that claim lightly. For 10 years now, Ive demonstrated through my own example, what ...

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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. I truly hope your asthma never gets to point where you actually need to be intubated for it, ...

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Im not crazy, I swear

I feel your pain

Feeling like shit right now? Is your asthma, COPD or other breathing disorder flaring up or bothering you more than usual? Were you searching the web for asthma related stuff as a way to cope with your own crappy breathing? Is that how you reached my blog? Well ...

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The Recovery phases of a severe asthma exacerbation

Suffice it to say, I wasn't exactly a happy camper when I wrote that

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Do you know when it's time to go in?

The idea for this post came to me during the middle a recent severe exacerbation. Actually, it was the same exacerbation that put me in the hospital for 12 days, for which I am still recovering. Foremost on my mind during an asthma excerbation is the bad will ...

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O2 sats and asthma attacks revisited

After 9 years of blogging about life with severe asthma, I still get a lot of traffic from people searching the web for specific information about O2 saturation and how it relates to asthma or the severity of an asthma attack. So for those who might have missed my earlier ...

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Double Whammy Asthma

I often find it frustrating that here I am, a life long asthmatic, a Respiratory therapist and an asthma educator, yet still unable in normal conversation, to describe what makes my type of asthma so different from others. When asked to define asthma in general, I usually give the ...

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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 ...

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Not just Asthma, Severe Asthma!

Not to downplay the heartache and suffering that people with milder forms of asthma have to sometimes contend with; obviously it's a big deal when you can't breath, but the healthcare establishment needs to stop lumping all asthmatics together under the same general heading of "asthma".This is a problem because ...

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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 ...

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Recovering Albuter-holic

Rick, the author of the Respiratory Therapy Cave , wrote to me the other day talking about what it was like growing up with severe asthma. One of the things he mentioned that I thought was kinda funny, was how he used to sleep with an inhaler ...

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Asthma Purgatory

Whenever the weather is bad, so is my asthma. My lungs are extremely sensitive to humidity in the air and/or the slightest changes in barometric pressure. Changes in the climate, changes in the seasons, you name it.... my lungs will react to it. I'm a walking weather ...

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Venous Access Port ( VAP)

After an estimated 104 hospital admissions for asthma and probably 10 times that number of IV sticks, I have no peripheral venous access left. A half a century of IV steroids has rendered my veins useless. The only place they can get lines in, are in my knuckles and toes. ...

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The not so glamorous side of being a severely asthmatic marathon walker

Yeah, I made it to Boston , Ive walked the Rome and Portland marathons a couple times, and yeah Ive been written up in lots of walk magazines and medical journals, but I think a lot of people who hear about me or read my blog, assume that ...

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Just another week in the life of a hardcore asthmatic

I usually don't post about my hospital experiences because its not a subject I like to re-live. Its an unwanted , terrifying , but necessary part of my life. When it happens , I just try to get through it and then I try to blank it out ...

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Buried Alive

The photo is from the movie "Awake", but what happened to me last September was not fiction.. It was the real deal! Back on Sept 20th of 2010, I was admitted to the hospital for a severe asthma exacerbation(so what else is new). About 8 hours into the exacerbation, my ...

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Bass Guitar Blues

It figures. I have a hobby that I really enjoy that doesn’t require a lot of lung power, only to find out I have to cut way back or give it up all together. You see, musicians are athletes of sorts( especially bass players), and just like with most sports, repetitive motion can cause injuries. […]

February 1, 2015 1
This last one was taken just a couple of days ago.  23 hospitalizations after the first photo was taken. See the difference?
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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, […]

January 1, 2015 0
Instant acccess
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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 […]

December 16, 2014 0
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Im an A hole when Im sick

Most people will tell you Im one of the sweetest, most caring people you’ll ever meet. But make no mistake, when Im recovering from a bad asthma exacerbation, I can become an obnoxious asshole… I get anxious, I get irritable, I get angry and nasty all at the same time. I snap at everyone and […]

December 11, 2014 7
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O2 sats and asthma attacks revisited

After 9 years of blogging about life with severe asthma, I still get a lot of traffic from people searching the web for specific information about O2 saturation and how it relates to asthma or the severity of an asthma attack. So for those who might have missed my earlier posts, here’s a recap of […]

November 22, 2014 29
show off
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Steve – 9, Lung disease—a big fat ZERO!

This might sound corny, but I feel like Ive just been reborn. On Oct 5th I finished my 9th marathon at the Portland Marathon. If you’ve been reading my updates, this was a scheme I had hatched while hospitalized back in July. I was feeling incredibly down at the time and was curious to see […]

October 9, 2014 3
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Self Observations: Severe Asthma and Endurance walking

Ive been doing endurance walks now for about 10 years, and because of the severity of my lung disease, I often experience significant symptom exacerbations afterwards. Well something quite unexpected and encouraging has happened recently during the peak of this current training cycle, or should I say…didn’t happen! On 3 separate occasions over a 4 […]

September 13, 2014 0
lrt license
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Hanging up the stethoscope

The deed is done. As of today Im longer allowed to practice Respiratory Care in the State California. I finally submitted the paperwork to place my RCP license into retirement status, bringing my 3 and a half decade career in this field to an end…at least for now. Ive been going back and forth on […]

August 23, 2014 8
It hurts so good...
( the hell is does)
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Training update Aug 2014

Dang… I haven’t written one of the training updates in years. Trying to get in shape to do this race has been challenging to say the least. It’s been 3 years since Ive attempted something crazy like this and I almost forgot just how grueling it can be when you don’t have any functional lung […]

August 21, 2014 1
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The impatient patient

Oh goody, another post about asthma exacerbation recovery. After being discharged from the hospital only 3 days ago, it’s probably a little early to be writing about this topic again, but something is definitely different this time around. The recovery seems excruciatingly slow( gee, where have I heard that before?). In my mind I should […]

July 26, 2014 5
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Are ER Asthma Treatment Protocols changing?

Is it just me or are things changing? Being a frequently flyer in the ER asthma world, Ive noticed more and more changes over the years in the ER treatment protocols for acute asthma flares. Most notably are the changes in dosage and frequency of administering steroids and certain bronchodilators. When it comes to IV […]

July 24, 2014 3
Portland Finish Line 2007
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Training to walk my 9th marathon

Hard to believe that it’s been 3 years since I’ve trained for a race. I came close to doing one last year, but a lot of stuff was happening and I was getting sick too often. Well except for my little dental mishap a couple weeks ago, things have been much better lately and that’s […]

July 8, 2014 0
Steve marathon
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Uh-oh… He’s at it again

Tell me that I can’t do something and it’s a pretty sure bet that I’ll find a way to prove you wrong. That’s pretty much the way Ive been feeling these past couple years, only it wasn’t other people telling me I couldn’t do things, it was myself. I swore when I finally crossed the […]

June 22, 2014 3
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