Teaching Your Family To Help You With Your Asthma

In our family, my 3 kids and I all have asthma. In fact, most of our family members (on both sides of the family) have allergies and asthma too.

Unfortunately, in our family, asthma is genetic. In fact, we were at a recent neighborhood Halloween party when my husband and I were talking to a college-aged neighbor. After she walked away, my husband said, "You know....too bad our son can't ask her out. But with her health problems and our family's health problems, if they got married and had kids, they would be doomed!"

I had to laugh because it's so true! Sigh.

Hubby is lucky because he doesn't have asthma or food allergies, although several of his family members do. He has learned how to help us when we need it.

The first thing was learning how to use the nebulizer to give the kids breathing treatments when they were little. I love the nebulizer because it changes the liquid medicine into a mist, making it easier for the kids to inhale the medicine. It's also easier for me to be able to give them a breathing treatment while they sleep.

I still use the nebulizer if I am really sick (with pneumonia) or have a sudden and severe asthma attack. I don't feel like I can breathe in deep enough to use my inhaler. So hubby is quick to put the nebulizer together so the kids or I can have a breathing treatment.

It's a good idea to make sure everyone in the family knows how to use a nebulizer. Even the babysitters should know how to use one! There are a lot of videos on Youtube, this one is from Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago.

Hubby has seasonal allergies, as do the kids and I.  But my college aged son is allergic to tree nuts and I am allergic to seafood.

My son and I have been VERY careful over the years to avoid seafood and tree nuts. But we both had an accidental exposure last month. Which means antibodies have formed, and if we are exposed again, we are at risk for a severe allergic reaction - anaphylaxis.

That's why I showed Hubby how to use my epinephrine autoinjector. If I have a reaction, I may be so sick that I can't use my injector on myself. And minutes count during an allergic reaction.

There are 2 auto-injectors on the market now. Most people know about Epi Pens, here's a video from National Jewish Hospital.

I found a less expensive option through my insurance, called Adrenaclick. They have a video that shows how to use an Adrenaclick auto-injector.

In 2017, another auto-injector, Auvi Q, is coming back on the market. It actually talks to you and guides you through each step!

No matter which one you buy, make sure you know how to use it. And make sure family members, babysitters, teachers, etc all know how to use the nebulizer and epinephrine autoinjector.

I'm one of those people that likes to "prepare for the worst, and hope for the best!" I haven't had to use the auto-injector yet, but I am so familiar with our nebulizer, that I can put it together in the middle of the night when I am half asleep!

You never know when you might need the nebulizer or epinephrine auto-injector, but it's nice to know that someone else can help if you're not nearby.

Until then, relax and enjoy life!

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