Even Respiratory Therapists Get Sick

The majority of people who go into the healthcare field have some sort of tie to it. Maybe they had an illness or disease as a child or as as adult. A family member or close friend might have gone through a health issue or even a tragedy. For me, I became a Respiratory Therapist after growing up with very severe asthma. I’ve written before about the summer camp I attended as a child for kids with asthma that cemented my future career calling. But not everyone has a tie to the medical field. Some just want to help people, and that is an amazing calling.

Being a Respiratory Therapist, I have the vast knowledge of the lungs and how they work, and how they affect other body systems. I have to have many continuing education hours every year to maintain my medical license for both my state and national credentials. I really enjoy keeping up on the latest & greatest treatments and breakthroughs for not only the lungs but the body in general. I guess you could say I’m a medical nerdy sponge. It all fascinates me. But sometimes, even all the knowledge and tools in the world aren’t enough to keep my own lungs in check.

My family recently relocated to the Midwest from the west coast where I had spent my entire life. I had been adjusting pretty well to the new climate with only a few hiccups along the way. Last month I could feel a dreaded asthma flare up coming on. I fought it tooth & nail. I followed my asthma action plan like usual. Yes, even I have an asthma action plan. I am a huge believer in action plans and think that they are essential for all asthmatics. If you don’t have one definitely talk with your doctor the next time you see him or her and have them fill one out for you!! An asthma action plan will tell you exactly what steps to take both when your asthma is under control (your daily medications) and when your asthma is acting up and when to take your rescue medications and when to seek medical attention. They’re quite handy! Despite following my plan my asthma was still really bothering me so I called my doctor and was able to be seen the next day.

I am very fortunate to have an amazing doctor who listens and is caring. I tend to get a bit stubborn when I’m not feeling well which is one of my downfalls that I am constantly working on because I definitely know better. I was put on a short burst of prednisone and ordered to take it easy. It was the taking it easy part that was the hardest part for me to do. But it was on doctors orders so it was off to bed I went for a few days. Thankfully this particular flare up wasn’t too bad and I was back on my feet rather quickly thanks to following my asthma action plan and knowing when to throw in the towel and call my doctor.
When your asthma is flaring up don’t hesitate to give your doctor a call. Even if you are a Respiratory Therapist.

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