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Bassist extraordinaire , Rick Shaw

Bassist Extraordinaire.... Rick Shaw

A couple of Saturdays ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite bassists of all time, Rick Shaw. Rick has worked with all kinds of recording artists and is also the bassist for Johnny Mathis and Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, my favorite jazz band. ...

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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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Boston 2011 Race Report

Boston 2011 Race Report

They don't call it the best marathon in the world for nothing , and this year was no exception. The weather was near perfect and the spectators and volunteers outdid themselves. The moment I entered athletes village and the disabled athletes staging area early Monday morning, my worries and stress about ...

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15 months Intubation Free!

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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Do you know when it’s time to go in?

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 one of these really bad flares is the ...

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Asthma guilt trip

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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Double Whammy Asthma

Double Whammy Asthma

( updated 2-2014) 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 ...

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I’m a recovering  Albuter-holic

I'm a 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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My Trip to Churchill

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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Lung Lingo

Yes it's true, we asthmatics have a language all our own.   Here's my current list. Please feel free to add new words and definitions to it .   Yellow Zoning When someone is stuck in their yellow breathing zone. Cradle Asthmatic A person who has had asthma since earlier childhood or ...

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Healing Walks

Healing Walks

Carolyn Scott Kortge's new book is finally out and guess who's in one of the chapters? Carolyn contacted me about year ago for this project. She thought I had an interesting story to tell, and that it would fit in nicely with the motivational theme of the book. It's really ...

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My New Old Passion

My New Old Passion

It's actually not a new passion, more like the reigniting of an on again, off again love affair Ive had since early childhood. I'm referring of course to the bass guitar, or for that matter any other heavy string instrument. My introduction into the world of making music actually ...

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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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The SARP experience

The SARP experience

Welcome to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the

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Lung Transplant Evaluation Approved.

It's been way too long since I posted to my blog. Been doing most of my updating via my asthma support group on Facebook. So anyways, after 6 months of going around and around with the insurance company, they have finally agreed to pay for a full lung transplant evaluation. ...

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Buried Alive

Buried Alive

The photo is from the movie "Awake", but what happened to me last September was not fiction.. It was the real deal I'll share with you now, what I couldn't 9 months ago because of pending legal action. Ive since withdrawn my lawsuit against the parties involved and am ...

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A quarter million puffs

A quarter million puffs

Care for some Albuterol? (Hey.....how did the primatine mist get in there?) I sometimes jokingly claim that Ive

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Questions for Dr. Wenzel

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 ...

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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! Its  spontaneous , unedited and kinda lame, but it's the real deal and it's what I have to do at least 6 times a day. ( recorded on 1-28-2009) ...

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Boston Scare

Imagine the look of horror on my face when I went to the Boston marathon website a few weeks ago to register for next years race and saw this…. How could this be? How could they have sold out all 25,000 slots in 8 hours? At first I thought… is this a spoof or something? […]

November 16, 2010 7
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SARP Follow-up

Wow, has it been an entire year already? I guess so, because I just completed my one year follow-up interview for SARP. This time it was just a phone interview. One of the researchers called me last weekend and asked me a bunch of follow-up questions. Most of the questions had to do with whether […]

November 10, 2010 6
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Trapped in the yellow zone

We all know what it’s like to be in asthma purgatory for a few days or maybe even a few weeks, but for 2 months? Geeze, cut me some slack would ya! Seriously, except for a string of 6 days in the middle October when I still on high doses of pred, Ive been in […]

November 8, 2010 10
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Eating Organic, the first 4 months

Time sure flies when you’re eating well. It’s been 4 and a half months now since we switched to an all organic – low sugar, HFCS -free diet, and all I can say is…. food doesn’t get any better than this! Without exaggeration, this is probably one of the wisest live style changes we’ve ever […]

November 2, 2010 8
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And the Winner is ……

Thanks everyone for making this a fun contest and thank you Microlife for donating the awesome pf meter. I wish I had prizes for everyone. Some of you came very close, but there can be only one winner, and that is (drum roll please)…….Kris of Ontario, Canada. Congrats Kris! Kris came the closest with her […]

October 29, 2010 6
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Alfie’s Attack

Meet Alfie the fish…. When the publishers of this new childrens book about asthma sent me a copy for my opinions, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to give it a fair review. I mean, an asthmatic fish who saves the live of shark who also has asthma? My background as Respiratory Therapist […]

October 24, 2010 6
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It’s been a rough couple of months

October has traditionally been a bad month for my asthma (and I’m sure I’m not alone on that), but this is the first time Ive been sick for most of September as well. No doubt about it… this has been a humdinger of a flare. Ive been out of the hospital for an entire month […]

October 19, 2010 4
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My first Halloween Contest

The following is a perfect example of what prednisone can to an otherwise intelligent and creative mind…… I was at the town grocery store the other day, where I noticed they were having a contest to see if you could guess the weight of this huge pumpkin they had as part of a Halloween display. […]

October 12, 2010 22
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Considering BT ?

As this new treatment for severe asthma becomes more readily available to the general public, I think it’s important that prospective patients arm themselves with as much information as they can about the procedure. A physician by the name Steve Gupta, a board certified internist and an allergy immunology specialist practicing in Southern California, has […]

October 8, 2010 4
peakflowmeters
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Asthma Breathing Zones

This is the 2nd installment of my “ Breathing, the mini series“. This one is more for the non-asthmatics out there, but I think some of our lung challenged friends might learn a thing or two as well. If you hang around asthmatics or browse as many personal asthma blogs as much as I do, […]

September 29, 2010 18
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No Cowbells for Stephen

You train hard and wait months in anticipation to accomplish a goal you’ve been aiming for, and then BAM! ….in a matter of hours, a severe

September 26, 2010 14
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Running on empty

I actually had something else prepared for this weeks post, but since there’s a good chance I’ll be heading to the slammer shortly, I thought Id do a quick update on what’s been happening. If you’ve been watching my sidebar lately you probably noticed that my numbers have been all over the place. Ive been […]

September 13, 2010 6
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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 case for me for as long as […]

September 7, 2010 29
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Most frequently asked question

"Can you have an asthma attack with a normal sat reading"?
The answer is..YES!
While it's a little unusual to see a person with a perfect O2 sat of a 100% during a severe exacerbation, its pretty typical to see sats in the 94-97% range. The reason for this, is that asthma is a disease of the airways , not the alveoli where gas exchange takes place. Most asthmatics dont desaturate during the early stages of an attack,unless theres a secondary problem such as pneumonia. You have to be extremely ill with asthma if your sats are low.

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