From the Archives

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 Dr W helped me get through this awful time by reassuring me that what anguish I was experiencing was a normal response after suffering such a severe flare up, and that my complaints were ...

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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 changes. 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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Asthma guilt trip

How many times have you had a really bad asthma flare, but had serious trepidations about going to the emergency room for treatment? How many times have you felt guilty that maybe you weren't sick enough to be admitted to the hospital? Well, that's pretty much been the ...

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Questions for Dr. Wenzel

Last week after finding out just how damaged my lungs really are, the only thing going through my head was..WHY? All of the assumptions I had made about my asthma throughout the years, suddenly didn't seem to make sense anymore. I was beginning to wonder if I really ever ...

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This is a picture of me on a ventilator last year during a severe asthma exacerbation ( what they call status asthmaticus). See the little IV bottle inside the blue rectangle with the milky looking stuff inside ? That's Propofol ! Also known as ...

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15 months Intubation Free!

It feels good to brag about something positive for a change. This week marks 15 whole months since Ive had to have a tube shoved down my windpipe in order to breath. Ive had zero, what I would call "critical condition" type hospitalizations in that time period as well. Granted, ...

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My Trip to Churchill

My journey begins in Winnipeg (my very first time crossing the Canadian border). Just 2 days earlier there had been a pretty bad snow storm and potential weather delays at the airport were a big concern.Fortunately things worked out and I got there on time without any problems. ...

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The Inspiration I needed

Ive been himing and hawing about doing this Kaiser Permanente half marathon for over 3 months now. I haven’t been worrying so much about the race itself, but more about the post race aches and pains . Well, today I got the nudge I needed to go for it. Live to Run, Run to Live […]

January 30, 2006 1
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I give this week a D minus

Except for yesterday’s walk, the rest of this walk week was just plain Bizarre. Monday’s walk was the worst . My legs weren’t connecting with my brain. I felt like I was taking these tiny little steps . My shins were aching the whole way and I just couldn’t get any speed. Tuesday’s walk seemed […]

January 28, 2006 0
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Yesterdays Pulmonary Function Tests

This is the actual spirometry results from my appt yesterday. They do these PFT screening tests on me about every 3 months. Over the past 12 months, they worsened only slightly. The good news is that the rate of declined has slowed since I began walking. If the above looks like gibberish to you, it […]

January 26, 2006 1
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Taking care of Asthma business

About every 8 weeks I have a bunch of asthma business that I need to take care of. I have to get in my “asthma patient mode” and focus on being a good asthma patient. I also like to get into my ” respiratory therapist role”, so that I can sound very knowledgeable about my […]

January 23, 2006 1
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Marathon Anxiety

Last night I had nightmares about this marathon Im planning to do in October. As I was trying to fall asleep I kept thinking about this event course and how it weaves all over San Francisco for 26 miles. I could feel my heart pounding as I visualized myself struggling to reach each of the […]

January 22, 2006 1
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Are you a hardcore asthmatic ?

Hey, are there any other moderate to severe persistent asthmatics out there? I was thinking it would be interesting to hear from other people who have to take prednisone on a frequent basis. Id like to know if others experience steroid psychosis the way I do. I know from years of working with asthmatics and […]

January 18, 2006 2
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A crystal ball for walking

I totally missed the mark on today’s walk. Started off feeling great but, 2 miles into it, I could feel myself breath stacking ( the inability to fully exhale before taking the next breath) That, plus my body was really overheating . My shins were killing me and I generally felt like crap. I had […]

January 15, 2006 0
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Preparation for my daily walk

I wish it was as easy as putting on my walking shoes and heading out the door. For me, its a well -thought out procedure that takes about 30 minutes before I take that first step…on a good day maybe 20 minutes. First thing in the morning I have to make a determination as to […]

January 12, 2006 1
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The Healthcare field, my second choice

Actually, I was going to save this topic for another day when I could spend a lot of time writing it but, for some reason I feel the urge to crank out a few words now.While I was walking in Golden Gate park today , I was thinking back on my 25+ years as a […]

January 12, 2006 0
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A COLD walk but a GOOD walk

Today’s walk was by far, the coldest and foggiest ones Ive ever done. 45 degrees when I started and 47 when I finished , 96 minutes later. The fog was so thick I couldnt see 20 feet in front of me. I wasnt sure how my lungs would react to this cold damp air but, […]

January 10, 2006 0
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Race plans for 2006

RUNSFM ( San Francisco Marathon) , in July……… Half Marathon Nike Womens Marathon, in October ……………………Full Marathon A few smaller Venues through out the year These are the biggys for me. I would have liked to try for the full marathon at the RUNSF but, they lowered the time limit to 6 hours for the […]

January 8, 2006 0
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Walking the Bridge

One of my favorite places to walk is the town of Crockett, California. I begin my walk from the east side of town over the the AL Zampa bridge and back. I try to do this walk at least 4 days a week if I’m up to it. Three of the six miles are uphill. […]

January 7, 2006 1
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Calling all messed up Lung Bloggers

Where are the rest of the endurance walkers/runners in the bloggosphere? lung diseased or healthy?? Other than a handful of forums for asthmatics or forums for walkers and runners , I cant seem to find much about combination of the two . Am I the only marathon walker/runner who has severe lung disease? I don’t […]

January 7, 2006 2
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