Prelude to an asthma flare

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So my asthma is acting up again and I feel like I have the proverbial elephant sitting on my chest. I say my asthma is acting up, but in actuality it’s always acting up. So I guess what I really mean is that my symptoms are ramping up from my norm, getting more intense by […]

Exercise like your life depends on it

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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 a positive impact aerobic exercise […]

I feel your pain

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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 I can tell you that you’re not […]

Self Observations: FEV1 and Breathlessness

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Always curious about things, earlier this week I did a series of FEV1 measurements on myself. I wanted to see if my dyspnea(shortness of breath)which waxes and wanes throughout the day, would correlate with my FEV1 readings. I took the first reading early in the morning when my breathing is at its best. I blew […]

The “A” word

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Im talking about the other A word…. ANXIETY As a Respiratory Therapist and a lifelong asthmatic, I know all too well that anxiety and breathlessness usually go hand in hand. Still, I often catch myself getting a little defensive when a medical person abruptly brings up the A word and asthma in the same sentence, […]

Annual Asthma Report Card

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It’s been almost a year since Ive updated my asthma status. Here’s the latest report card. For the year, I give myself a C + In general my lung function has only declined a couple percent which is good. The problem of course, is that when you’re down in the lower ranges like I am, […]

Opiates and Lung disease

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No longer just reserved for severe pain control or to relieve end of life suffering, today a growing number of people with severe lung disease are using opiate medications to help quell their severe dyspnea . Well, you can now add to that list, a certain asthmatic marathon walker by the name of Steve. The […]

Darn Dyspnea Dilemma

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……………….Try saying that 5 times really fast. Before reading this post, you might find it useful to read the first two of paragraphs in the “Rick over at the Respiratory Therapy Cave, does a great job of explaining how asthma can sometimes turn into COPD. *************************** On Thursday I had my first appointment at this […]

The nights are the worse.

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Ever notice the time stamp on many of my blog entries? I usually compose and publish them in the early morning hours…sometimes way before dawn. You know why? Because I’m usually awake at 3 or 4 in the morning. And why am I up that early? Because Ive usually had a bad night of breathing […]

Asthma Purgatory

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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 station! Well, it’s been raining on and off […]

Recording my life for science……(and $125.00 cash)

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This chart represents my dyspnea levels ( shortness of breath levels ), recorded daily for the past 330 days , and is part of a year long research study I’m involved in that deals with dyspnea, it’s effect on ones ability to exercise, and the most effective ways of providing education and support to those […]

The three week cycle

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Seven days ago, I had one of my best racewalking days ever. In a single interval , I continuously racewalked the entire center span of the Al Zampa Bridge… about 3/8’s of a mile. During that particular walk , I remember telling myself things like “Just because you’re breathing well , don’t get too cocky”….. […]

A hyperinflation week

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That seems to be my theme for this first week of July. These annoying and extremely uncomfortable hyperinflation flare-ups ( air-trapping) seem to come out of the blue and can last well over a week. Nebulized bronchodilators can take the edge off, but they don’t ameliorate the problem completely. I fell into the yellow zone […]