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diverse crowd of people saying things about asthma

What Have You Learned From Fellow Asthmatics?

I am very up on my asthma knowledge. I think that’s stating the obvious, considering I’m an asthma blogger. But you’re pretty asthma smart too. And I’ve learned a lot from people like you. I’ve learned a lot from people in this community. So, here’s a pithy list of things I’ve learned from my fellow asthmatics.

Devilbiss portable nebulizer

I wanted to get a portable nebulizer. I knew they existed. But, I had no clue which one to get. It was one of you who recommended this nice little nebulizer. You championed how nice it worked for you. And so, based on your recommendation, I purchased one for myself. I love it. So, thanks. It cost about $100.

Flyp nebulizer

These are hand-held mesh nebulizers. They produce a fine mist for inhaling respiratory medicine. And the treatment times are 7 minutes compared with 10-20 for the traditional jet nebulizers we’re familiar with. They are battery operated and require no tubing. They are easily charged in a USB port. And they are hand-held and easily portable. Nice! I’d love to get my hands on one of these. But, I’m not quite ready to dish out the $200 to get one. I’m wondering if they’d give me one for free if I said I was a writer. I could do a positive (or negative, if I wanted) review on it. So, it would be free advertising for them if I liked it. And I’m sure I would, if it does exactly what it says in their ads. Anyway, I learned about this from one of you.

Other nebulizers

I also learned about similar type nebulizers in this community too. Another one is the Respironics Innospire Go. These are just two mesh nebulizers. There are others as well, so I’m not championing for any one in particular. I know some of you have also inquired as to whether these nebulizers work as well as the traditional jet nebulizers we’re familiar with. If it’s any solace, I’ve also learned that researchers are considering using only mesh nebulizers in future clinical trials. So, it sounds like this is the nebulizer wave of the future.

Medicine organizers

Okay? Close your eyes and ears a second here. I don’t want anyone to read what I’m about to write. Despite being an asthma professional, I have a horrible medicine organizational system. As a result, I sometimes develop streaks where I forget to take medicine. Anyway, fellow asthma writer Andrea described a neat system she used to organize her medicines in her post, “Is it my Asthma Inhaler Or Yours?

There was another idea in the comments to that article that I have decided to try. I like the idea of using a shower caddy system to organize my inhalers and my kid’s inhalers. I think I’ll put my pills and my son’s pills in it too. You know, the ones we have to take every day. I’m going to try it. Hope it works. Thanks.

Deepest airways

I described once how I feel symptoms when my peak flows are normal. In fact, my peak flows are normal even when I’m having asthma attacks. They were even normal when I was admitted for asthma 20 years ago. It was a fellow asthma blogger who helped explain this for me. He said my asthma was probably occurring in my smallest airways. And airflow obstructions in these deepest airways probably doesn’t show up in your standard peak flows.

Also interesting is that inhaled controller medicine may not even get that deep. And that may explain why I still experience some shortness of breath on a daily basis despite relatively good asthma control. This was an interesting theory that makes quite a bit of sense to me.

You are not alone

Yes, this is one of the first things we learn by hanging out in communities like this. Often we asthmatics, particularly those of us who experience it to some degree on a daily basis, are rare. Most of us are the only ones in our circle of life. And communities like this bring us together.

So many times I hear, “Wow! I thought I was the only one to experience that.” I have had those moments too. A good example is when a fellow blogger wrote a blog about “Hiders.” This was referring to hiding around the corner to use inhalers. Yep! I do that too. And, as this article portents to show, we learn from one another. And this makes it much easier living with a chronic disease. It’s a sort of psychosocial support. And it’s a neat new tool to utilize in our efforts to cope with our chronic disease called asthma.

So, we all learn from each other

It’s a neat perk of getting together and sharing our experiences. So, this is an example of what I’ve learned from you folks. What about you? What have you learned from your fellow asthmatics? Please share in the comments below.

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.

Comments

  • Shellzoo
    4 months ago

    First being a nurse, I have seen some seriously ill people with asthma. So, when I was told I had asthma, I figured it was not as bad as those asthmatics and did not take my asthma seriously. Forget I had been having chest tightness and wheezing for a good month or two before I said anything. I learned from the articles here to take my diagnosis seriously and work with my provider to achieve good asthma control to avoid hospitalization.

    I don’t have a nebulizer. My provider has never suggested one or that I get one but with cold and flu season coming this winter and being that I work around sick people I am wondering if I should get one so I have one available if I get sick this winter and it is a weekend and I end up needing a treatment. So instead of ignoring the nebulizer articles I am gleaming information in case I do end up needing one. Do they require a prescription?

    Last I also don’t have much variance in my peak flow levels but when my chest feels tight it usually is in the bases of my lungs so I have learned now from this article why I still have daily symptoms even though I feel really good and have good control. So glad you wrote this article today.

  • tonytoshiba
    4 months ago

    Shellzoo,
    Most sites state that you need prescription, not so, you order it and it is on your way.
    When the asthma hits you hard and you cannot inhale your emergency inhaler the nebulizer will continue to provide the medicine into your lungs, going deeper and deeper as you are able.
    As you know you must inhale using diaphragm.
    I am having trouble with my daughter because she only takes asthma serious when she can’t breathe.
    Peace and grace.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi again, tony, and thanks for this tip, too. That is exactly how we instruct patients as well. The time it takes to complete a nebulizer treatment is thought to allow the airways to relax/open up. The continued treatment will then penetrate and deposit the aerosolized medication deeper and deeper in the lung. We appreciate your input here as well.
    Leon (site moderator)

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    4 months ago

    Um, you do not necessarily need a prescription to get a nebulizer. But, if you want your insurance to cover the cost, then you do need a prescription. But, you do definitely need a prescription to get the medicine. I find that nebulizers are nice for a couple reason. Nebulizer solutions are usually much less expensive than inhalers. Likewise, there’s asthma episodes that truly benefit from longer breathing treatments as compared to a couple puffs on an inhaler. That’s my opinion. John. Site Moderator.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi Shellzoo – reading all you’ve shared with us over time here on asthma.net, I would agree with your thought process. Having your own nebulizer at home will probably put your mind at ease and, naturally, be available should you need a treatment after hours.
    Please keep us posted moving forward.
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Shellzoo
    4 months ago

    I might look into asking my provider about a prescription since asthma attacks so often seem to happen after office hours and I don’t want to find myself in the future running around at 2 in the morning trying to find one.

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