Tips for the Annual Asthma Appointment
I always feel like a superhero when I take my annual breathing test without reaching for my inhaler.
I went into my allergist appointment worried that I would be prescribed a new steroid. I was sure I’d be given some sort of groundbreaking news that my asthma has gotten worse. I’m not sure why I let myself think the worst, but that’s what happens a couple of months after an acute attack, I guess. The asthma appointment actually was very positive.
My annual asthma test
The asthma test didn’t provide any surprises. I didn’t ask for my numbers this time, but I was told that it “looked great,” by both the nurse and doctor. I didn’t even feel short of breath afterward, which is a huge deal.
The asthma test involves taking a deep breath in and blowing out into a tube as hard as you can for as long as you can. Simultaneously, you have to remember to inhale with your mouth still wrapped around the tube. If you forget? It’s time to go again! Luckily, my three peak flow readings were completed without issue.
Answering all the questions
My allergist asked how things have been with my asthma and allergies. I’ve been getting allergy shots for over two years now. I’m allergic to every tree, weed, and grass in our region, dust mites, mold, cats, dogs, rabbits, and I have some oral allergy syndrome to pollen-related fruits (ie, apples).
Although my allergies have improved exponentially since I began my allergy shots, my asthma has become a bit of an issue in the last few months. I explained how I had an acute asthma attack recently, and that I’d like a prescription for a nebulizer. She assured me that my asthma is actually really great, and that having an attack once a year does not mean I need a nebulizer at home. Although I’m not sure I 100 percent agree with that, I’ll take it.
My next steps
We made no changes to my current treatment plan, and I’m cleared until I see her next year. Until then, my allergy shot serum is being increased for the cat, dog, and dust mite. I’ve never had more than site reactions, so let’s hope it stays that way.
Tips for your annual asthma appointment
I’m so grateful that I can afford to stay on top of my health because that is not the case for many people suffering from asthma and allergies. With that said, here are some tips to remember before you head into your allergy and asthma appointment this year:
Try not to think the worst
If you’ve been doing this for years, you know your body better than anyone else. With my asthma history, I have a fear that I will regress back to some earlier, more severe version of my asthma. The truth is, I was a very sick kid, but that’s not the case as an adult. Stay in the moment, and remember that going to the doctor doesn’t always have to be negative.
Be honest with yourself, and with your doctor
You have to speak up if you are using your rescue inhaler more than recommended. Your doctor might recommend a new medication or suggest helpful lifestyle tips. Your asthma might be flaring because of environmental reasons, stress, or other illnesses. It’s always good to be open with your healthcare provider to determine which one of those triggers it is because it might determine which treatment is right for you.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
If you walk away learning that your numbers are bad, you need all sorts of new medications, or that you have to start going to asthma appointments more often, please remember it isn’t your fault. I often have difficulty letting go of things I can’t control. I’m working on that, but I feel like chronic conditions often make us feel so helpless and scared. As cliche as it sounds, take a deep breath and live your life.
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