Itemized Hospital Bill for Asthma Exacerbation

Well, the hospital bills have reached new levels of absurdity. I thought my medical bills from a few years back were crazy, but this one takes the cake. I particularity like the $1900 charge for an Advair inhaler ( listed as “FLUTICAS/SALMETER INH 500/50″) on the bill, and $900 for Fluticasone nasal spray( ie Flonase). […]

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Do you know when it’s time to go in?

UCSF ER

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 question….how bad will it get? Is […]

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104th trip to the slammer for Asthma

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Greetings from the 14th floor isolation room a top the Moffitt building at UCSF medical center in San Francisco. Your guest host for tonight’s show is..well, me of course. I’ll be discussing how much fun it is being a patient in the hospital with severe asthma. Just happy to be alive, I was hoping to […]

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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 […]

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Asthma guilt trip

operation self-esteem

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 […]

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An expensive New Years party

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I wasn’t going to post this, but I just couldn’t resist. Here’s the bill for my little New Years week stint at the local pokey. For fun, I threw in one of the 12 pages of itemized charges to give you an idea how much individual things cost. Like for example, the Ventilator charge per […]

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#97 , misinformation and a virus from Hell

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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 […]

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The Recovery

A lot of attention is focused on what goes on during a severe asthma exacerbation, but very little about what occurs after. What a lot of people ( and even some physicians ) don’t often realize, is that once the initial asthma crisis is over, the party has only just begun. There’s a perception that […]

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Number 96

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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 […]

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Out of commission

Ive been trying my best to tough this one out at home, but I’m starting to get really tired which is not a good thing. If I end up on a ventilator because I waited too long to come in , I’ll really look like an idiot. So, I’m gonna bite the bullet now, and […]

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Brief race update.

Had a great time and a stronger than expected finish at yesterday race. My final race results aren’t in yet due to a technical glitch, but I think I finished in about 3:07 , which is much faster than I anticipated and probably why I’m having problems today. I felt fine immediately after the race, […]

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Flaring again?

I was going to blog about a nicer topic this evening, but my breathing kinda put a damper on that. Ive been flaring mildly on and off all week, but on Monday afternoon, my peak flows took a nose dive. In a matter of minutes my chest got really tight and my peak flows dropped […]

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Number 94….

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…………..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 […]

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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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Winston