I Already Know Everything There is to Know About Asthma

Do you know how many times I hear this?

I don’t think ANYONE knows everything there is to know about asthma. Not patients, not doctors, not respiratory therapists, not researchers.

Viewing asthma education from multiple points of view

I see things from the patient’s view and the view of a Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C).

I’m a mom of 3 grown children with asthma (and I have asthma myself), so my experiences with asthma are colored by what WE have experienced over the last 18 years.

Years of allergy shots for all 3 kids in hopes that controlling allergies would control asthma. Of course, the kids weren’t on the same “cycle” – one kid was on maintenance (shots once a month), another was still at once a week shots, and yet another was just starting and needed shots twice a week. That was our experience.

We have tried almost every medication that is on the market. I keep our empty inhalers and use those as an example when I need to show families how to properly use an inhaler. I pulled out my bag of “empties” and the family I was working with busted out laughing.  They said, “Are ALL of those yours??????” Sadly, yes! That was our experience.

My kids were hospitalized 12 times when they were younger (can I tell you how much I hate pneumonia?) But the times our kids were in the hospital were probably different from what other families have experienced.

Constant research on asthma treatemnts

We used the first biologic on the market – way back in 2007! Biologics are shots given to people with asthma to help control their severe asthma.  For 7 long years, my son had $1000 injections once a month – with the hope that medicine could keep him out of the hospital.  There are several more biologics on the market now and I’m sure other families have had different experiences than we have.

There are new controller inhalers on the market, like AirDuo Respiclick (which is like Advair), and ArmonAir Respiclick (which is similar to Flovent). What makes these different is that they look like an inhaler, but they don’t have a propellant that mixes with the medicine to make a soft spray for you to inhaler. Instead, they are powdered inhalers, so they are “breathe actuated”, which means that you have to inhale to get the medicine out.

You can find a poster of different asthma inhalers from the Minnesota Department of Health. 

And then there’s inhaler technique. Everyone THINKS they are using their inhaler the right way, but are they? In the last 3 years of helping families, I have had 2 people that have had correct technique. 2! You can watch a video that shows correct inhaler technique.

Those are a few of our experiences as a patient, and mom of kids with asthma.

But I am always willing to learn more.

I watch webinars or listen to podcasts several times a month from EPA’s Asthma Community Network,  state health departments and Allergy & Asthma Network.

I attend national asthma conferences every year so I can learn about the latest research or updates in guidelines. I look for ANY chance to learn more about asthma.

Do I think I know everything there is to know about asthma? Even after managing my kid’s asthma (and my own) for 18 years? No.

The important thing about any chronic disease it to be open to new ideas, be willing to learn from other professionals or researchers, read scientific journals (they really aren’t that bad….) and watch webinars and talk to other families.

We’re all in this together. Let’s learn from each other, help each other, and always be open to learning more.

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

Poll