Written Asthma Action Plans

Written Asthma Action Plans (AAP) are great in theory. As a professional, I think every asthmatic should have one. But they don’t work for me. I do not have one. Sorry! I know I’m supposed to be a good influence on you. But, here’s 5 reasons why I don’t have one.

  1. No doctor has suggested I have one. Can you believe it? Here we are in 2017, and not one doctor has ever suggested the idea to me. Maybe it’s because all the doctors I’ve ever had went to medical school before asthma action plans were a thing. You know. No offense, but it’s hard to teach old dogs new things, so the saying goes.
  2. I wouldn’t do it anyway. I have never been good at keeping things up like this. I do not write things on calendars. I do not keep track of calories. I do not do peak flows every day and write them down. I do not do these things. I mean, sometimes I do. But, I forget. I lose track. And then I just give up.
  3. I’m an old-school asthmatic. This is similar to what I just wrote about my asthma doctors. I grew up in the days before asthma action plans were a thing. I”m 48-years-old. I’m old. It’s hard to teach an old person a new trick. Like, I was in my 30s before asthma action plans were even thought of. I was already set in my ways.
  4. I’m too forgetful. I don’t even remember to get my lab work done. My current doctor doesn’t bug me about this. But, my past doctors have. I am known to just forget to do things. My doctor looks at the chart. He says, “Where are your labs?” I say, “Oh, I forget to do them.” It’s just the way I am. I’m a procrastinator about these types of things. Sorry.
  5. I don’t want to think about it. Look, I’ve had enough trouble with my asthma over these 48 years. On good asthma days, I don’t want a reminder of it. I don’t want to look at that AAP every time I look at the refrigerator. I’d rather see pictures of my kids. I’d rather see their homework marked with A’s. I’d rather see my Al Kaline magnet. Okay? It’s that simple.
  6. I wouldn’t update it. Ideally, “they” say, you should update it every six months. Um? Yeah! Right. Like, I do see my doctor every six months. I don’t even want to do that. I don’t even see him every six months because of my asthma. We discuss my asthma at each appointment. Even tweak my asthma regimen sometimes (and usually on my request). But, I see him this often because of my blood pressure issues. It’s usually high.
  7. I have obtained control without one. It’s been a long road for me. I had it bad back in the day. There was a long time I struggled with the task of taking medicines every single day. I have come up with a good routine that works for me. I take my medicine every day now. I know what to do if I need help. So, I guess you can say I do have an asthma action plan, it’s just in my head.

So, what now?

Look, I am all for asthma action plans. I highly recommend you do them. I highly recommend you don’t be like me. They are truly a great idea! It’s good to have your daily plan in writing. It’s good to have a written plan to help you decide when to take actions. But you won’t see one on my refrigerator. Now you know why.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the author and not of Asthma.net or Health Union. Please always speak with your healthcare provider for any medical advice.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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