When You Feel That You're Not Experiencing The Same Level of Asthma Control
No two asthma days are the same for me. While I have been enjoying an upswing and many better days. I, like most asthmatics, will have an increase of symptoms which may come up, out of the blue which usually resolved and I go back to living my everyday. Other times I have experienced, the slip, slip sliding of increased symptoms and lack of control. How do you gauge when your control is slipping? While I do not always take peak flows they are an excellent way to get a handle on what may be happening. You can simply keep track of them on a piece of paper or in a spreadsheet. There are lots of techie apps and digital monitoring systems as well. I usually go old school on this so it is as painless as possible. My experience in clinical trials and tracking twice daily symptoms and peak flows, sometimes make we feel like a slave to my asthma. Just a personal feeling and honestly while participating in a trial, it usually just takes a few moments to do the daily reporting, so it is really no biggie. I like to keep my recording as simply as possible.
Right now, my medical notebook is bursting at the seams with notes and data. I usually do a journal entry after each medical appointment I have. Especially, if I meet at new to me doctor or I need to present data at the appointment. If having a super scientist as my specialist has taught me, anything, it is the need to present data.
There are lots of different camps of people who take peak flows. Some asthmatics, take them all the time, others, take them sometimes. I take mine periodically. If I find I am loosing some of my asthma control, I will take them for a few weeks, to see if there is data to support my theories. Are my peak flows staying consistent? It is important to take them at the same time of the day, to have good comparable data.
Track changes in normal activities
In addition to peak flows and tracking symptoms, I like to track changes in my normal activities. For example, I usually notice changes in my ability to go up and down stairs. In particular up the stairs. I will track or take note if it is becoming more difficult to tackle them. Is it taking me longer to recover at the top? Also, the little things, going to work, any challenges or discomfort doing little things like walking or carrying groceries or carrying the many sporting goods that are in my car.
Once you have your data or at any sign that your symptoms are increasing, you should be connecting with your health team for evaluation or discussion. You don't want things to slip so far that you are now putting yourself at risk. This is definitely a moment to exhibit safety first! If some of the big symptoms, increase a cough, increased wheeze I know it is time for me to get myself into being evaluated.
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?