I messaged Kerri and Dia quite a bit in the week before a conference in Philadelphia. In this exchange, auto-correct decided that I should share my musings on “premeditation”. The computer has yet to learn that I always mean premedication not premeditation.
Does one pre-medicate while stepping down treatment?
The genesis of this chat topic is that I am in the midst of a step-down plan. As much as I put on a strong happy face, there is a voice somewhere inside of me that says maybe it won’t work”. Most days I ignore that voice. I continue with the lower dose treatment. Yet, spring is starting to show up after a winter with a rollercoaster of weather. They are forecasting snow tomorrow, April 1, here.
Last year, at this same conference in Philadelphia I came home with a bit of flare. This trip to would test the limits of my lungs on the step-down treatment plan. On the other hand, the only thing worse than flaring is flaring out of town. I was nervous to throw away months with barely a blip on the asthma radar.
The anxious voice inside me said not to throw years of good control away for a few days out of town. My rational side knows that there is no shame in taking the medications I need to be well. I'm not a failure if I never make it below the "step" I'm currently on. Even if I need to "step up" my treatment, that should not reflect on my character or worth as a person.
I'd love to say I was able to quiet that anxious inner voice. Over here in real life, I went ahead and pre-medicated. I decided for my own peace of mind, I would go ahead and switch back to twice a day inhaled steroids. This was a following the spirit rather than the letter of my Asthma Action Plan.
Taking a step back up to my previous treatment gave me some reassurance as I headed off to the East Coast. Who knows if I would have had the same or different wellness without this change. I was well enough to have a meaningful experience at the Connexion conference. Unfortunately, I was not having as good of breathing time as I’d hope. Some part of the blame for this definitely falls to me. I walked many miles of Philadelphia on breaks to see some of the sites. Perhaps, I would not have needed as much Ventolin if I had sat still. I don’t normally pre-medicate for walks, but I also don’t regularly walk long distances. I tend to cover longer distances by bicycle.
I've been home a few days and am nearly back to baseline. I continue my maintenance inhaler twice a day. If I can't get myself titrated back down to the lower step, I will reach out to my asthma doctor. We'll see where this leads. If this is all the better my asthma gets I'm satisfied. I'll take it if becoming a "blue puffer" only asthmatic is in the cards. Time will tell if this is a realistic expectation. Does your treatment plan change when you travel?
Disclaimer: These views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer. Please contact your doctor and medical team before making changes to your treatment and asthma management.
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