Dear Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators: I Miss You
One day in university, I was doing research for a paper, and the database I was searching kindly asked if I would like a free subscription to the Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators. Well, I am not exactly one of those people, but why yes, yes I would! I figured it would be interesting because I am a nerd like that. I referenced this publication many times in my writing on Asthma.net, because It had interesting content that actually is applicable in the everyday lives of patients, like you and me. So, once again, I have realized my sadness of the termination of this publication, and it is time to get it off my chest.
Dear Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators,
At some point, you, my bi-monthly lung nerd journal friend did not arrive in my mailbox. I realized your absence, hit up Google and was sad to find that you, the Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators (JAAE), was no longer being published, and the last issue would have arrived in my mailbox in December 2013.1 For whatever reason, I missed this memo and was unable to properly say goodbye.
In the years of my free JAAE subscription (I am now questioning if free publication with you, Journal, are now dead), I irregularly explored topics that were relatable to people with asthma—you, JAAE, were a beautiful, evidence-based, scientific work, yet you were still social and understood my life. The perfect combination of all things we nerds with asthma need—friends, a touch of psychotherapy perhaps (as in, professionals who get it!), and science. You were a fascinating combination that I had to look up just the right amount of outside information: I did not have to slog through your articles sitting at my laptop opening Chrome tab after Chrome tab. We got each other, and I didn’t have to slog through as many articles irrelevant to the question at hand to get you. Nor did I have to slog through articles that may not be scientifically sound to get the real life type of pedagogy that you provided to me. Scientifically sound, relevant, and with the right balance of words I didn’t understand that made me learn stuff, and words I understood so I did not again feel like I was in Religion and Pop Culture, googling every third word out of the prof’s mouth.
There is no one like you, JAAE. Sure, there are other asthma journals, other health education journals in existence that cover these subjects, but not in the compact way you presented me with topics I enjoyed—coaching, exercise, adolescent asthma, and adult asthma education. In your absence, finding that information that is what I need takes a lot more digging. While you did not quite offer a patient-level reading experience, you were closer-ish, and you got tangibility. Sometimes, I need that: I need to not have to spend time with big words and big science and big numbers. I need to not have to read 7 articles to understand one sentence. You were my people, JAAE: I would scan my bi-monthly publication, and hold it in my hands—not on my screen—and scan the entirety of your publication, and learn things that I probably would have clicked by in the digital world. There is something to be said for paper, sometimes. (If you came back in digital format, I would deal. I promise.) Because of you, JAAE, I grew to read things I’d previously thought I’d be disinterested in.
There are people who never got to meet you. Outside of myself, a nerdy blogger, I think that you could have provided immense benefit to primary care physicians had you met their acquaintance more frequently than I am sure you did in your short life. While these people do not have an extravagant amount of time, I am sure, to read excellent works such as the JAAE, they still have 10% or more of their patient population that probably has asthma. Some of your articles could have been of great benefit to these people—even if it was only on the role of the people you served, the asthma and allergy educators, and when patients should be sent to one; or even teaching these people about environmental trigger reduction techniques, and what you might suggest rather than repeatedly telling patients who simply cannot to pull the carpeting out of their bedrooms, or invest in costly mattress covers.
There’s still a special place in my nerdy blogger heart for you, Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators. I’ll be sitting here with my 2011 to 2013 copies, reminiscing about the good old days. If you want to come be friends again, I will be waiting.
PS. Please send me all of your archives?
PPS. Or just start publication again, I’d like that—I’d be happy to be your patient editor.
Do you experience allergies and/or sensitivities?