And.....I can

And…..I Can’t Stop Talking About Asthma

Recently, I was at the hospital to have a couple of minor procedures done. As the nurse was prepping me, I told her that I have asthma, and to please watch my oxygen level during the procedure. I know from past surgeries that my oxygen level always drops once they put me under anesthesia.

She mentioned that her young son had asthma and was on an oral steroid for his asthma. 

Once I got in the operating room, I told the OR nurse the same thing – to please watch my oxygen level because of my asthma. He said his wife has asthma too. I asked if it was under control and he said yes. I asked if she coughs during the night, and he yes, frequently.

Asthma Education

So, there I was, in my hospital gown, lying on a gurney, trying to educate both nurses about asthma control. Nurses know a LOT, but many of them might not have special training in asthma. As a Certified Asthma Educator, (AE-C), I am always trying to educate others. In fact, I explained to both nurses that I manage an asthma home visit program and asked my husband to pull a business card out of my purse so they could contact me. We provide one on one asthma home visits to help people understand more about asthma.

Here’s the thing…. many people think it’s normal to cough all the time because they have asthma. It’s not.

Don’t take my word for it. Dr. Millard of Baylor University in Texas created an assessment called “The Rules of Two”

Basically, you shouldn’t need to use your rescue inhaler more than twice a week, wake up more than twice a month coughing, or refill your rescue inhaler more than twice a year.  You can also take a short online Asthma Control Test 

If you are having frequent asthma symptoms, it can mean that you have swelling in your lungs. To control the swelling, you can take a daily controller/maintenance inhaler (a corticosteroid)

It will usually help prevent the coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath we get with asthma. You may not cough as often or need your rescue inhaler as much.

What’s the big deal about coughing?

So, what’s the big deal about coughing and using your rescue inhaler all the time? Well, you can permanently damage your lungs.

WebMD says:

Untreated asthma can permanently change the shape of the airways. The tissue of the bronchial tubes becomes thickened and scarred. The muscles are permanently enlarged. And a person may wind up with reduced lung function that can never be healed.

So, am I going to keep talking to people about asthma? Yep. I talk to taxi drivers, random people I meet at the gym, teachers at parent teacher conference, etc. I can’t stop talking about asthma!

Do my kids and husband hate it? Probably.

But I want to help people be healthy and happy.

All three of my kids were diagnosed with asthma 17 years ago. I had NO idea what I was doing. Now I do. As an (AE-C), I want others to help others learn how to better manage their asthma.

So, I’ll restock my purse with more business cards and keep talking to people about asthma.

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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