From the Archives

The photos say it all

What is Status Asthmaticus? Lucky me, on July 23th 2014, I survived my 115th hospital admission and 20th intubation for asthma. I didn't think I was that sick, but apparently I was.

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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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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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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 question....how bad will ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Propofol

Propofol

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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Racewalking for Science

As part of the Shortness of breath self-Management research study that I'm involved in over at UCSF, every 3 months I have to go into the lab where they check my PFTs and then have me do a series of physical fitness exercises. Sometimes they have me get ...

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Boston or Bust!

So in just a few hours Bib# 21619 is off to the Boston area to take another stab at the mother of all foot races. Monday morning I will attempt to finish my 3rd Boston marathon in a row and my 8th full marathon since starting this incredible fitness journey 5 years ago. May not […]

April 14, 2011 11
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Training Complete!

Taking a short break during an 18 miler on the Golden Gate bridge to mug for the camera. Rather than rehash what Ive already been documenting on Dailymile for the last 4 months, I’ll just cut to the chase. I’ve successfully completed ALL of my training for my 3rd Boston marathon, BUT I’m not feeling […]

April 8, 2011 15
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Lunch with Sally

Had the great fortune of having lunch last week with one of my most favorite people in the whole world. Dr Wenzel was in town for the annual AAAAI convention in San Francisco and managed to squeeze in some private time with me in between her busy presentation schedule. Although we keep in close contact […]

April 2, 2011 7
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A Walkman for the Walk Man

Look Ma…No headphone wires…. The kind folks at Sony asked this walk man if he would share his opinion about their Walkman! I’m referring to the Sony Walkman W series wireless MP3 player. First of all, you should know that I practically live in headphones and an MP3 player. Listening to music is as much […]

March 25, 2011 7
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Cross Country Lab-Ratting

I just accepted an invitation to participate in a new clinical research project that studies the effects of a certain oral diabetes drug on people who have severe asthma. The technical name of the study is….. “A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study of Pioglitazone Hydrochloride in Severe, Refractory Asthma” It’s being conducted at the NIH […]

March 18, 2011 5
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Gayle Myrna—Inhale the Future

Meet my friend Gayle Myrna. Gayle is a long time reader of mine and suffers from pretty severe asthma herself. Gayle is also an accomplished performer and songwriter. She recently entered a songwriting contest presented by Billy Ray Cirus, the Country Music Association and DRIVE4COPD to promote COPD awareness. Gayle is probably one of the […]

March 13, 2011 3
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My New Rabbit

Rabbit Air Purifiers Related Posts:Just call me Bubble Boy.Boston or Bust! Keeping the dust out.23rd time’s a charmSurvive an attack, register for a marathon6 times a day

March 7, 2011 5
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Mixing pleasure with business

With almost 2 hours to kill in between medical appointments last week over at UCSF, I decided to put that otherwise wasted time to good use and do something Ive always wanted to…. I racewalked the Kezar stadium! That’s right…. I racewalked 5.5 miles around the track, and I did it while wearing jeans and […]

February 28, 2011 6
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Bloated

Everyone experiences a little indigestion and bloating from time to time. Did you know that it’s very common for people with chronic lung disease to experience frequent abdominal bloating? What’s not so normal however, is to actually become so distended that it impairs your ability to breath effectively, but that’s what was happening to me. […]

February 21, 2011 4
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Boston training… off to a rough start

I knew that jumping into a marathon training regime on the heals of a methadone detox wasn’t gonna be easy, and boy was I right. These first few weeks have been really tough and I haven’t even gotten into the longer distances yet. It’s bad enough that Ive had to shorten my training schedule to […]

February 8, 2011 8
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Use Me !

The marathon walking–severely asthmatic–RT is in the house and is ready to take your questions. New for this year I’m introducing a new a feature I call “USE ME”, where I answer your questions relating to respiratory therapy, asthma, lung disease, fitness walking or just about anything else you think I might be able to […]

February 2, 2011 32
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Third time’s a charm

Not sure the title of this post applies, since Ive already succeeded at this two times already, but it has a nice positive ring to it and it puts me in a good mood. So after months of contemplation and a series of decent test walks , Ive decided to take a 3rd shot at […]

January 27, 2011 10
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Alin

I probably sound like a broken record when I say this, but it’s true… I might have crappy lungs, but it’s because of those crappy lungs that I’ve been able to meet so many wonderful and interesting people. My friend Alin certainly fits in that category. Alin has Autism, Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy and an […]

January 24, 2011 8
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