| | The Importance of Following an Asthma Plan
I had a follow-up appointment with my Pulmonologist today. The appointment really reminded me of the importance of having and following an asthma plan.
My asthma became extremely flared up in January of 2008 when my asthma made a turn for the worse. I've been through a lot trying to get it back under control. I have had an intensive established asthma plan that is in place. When I have had flare-ups, I have been closely following this plan and have kept my asthma under control enough that I haven't needed emergency care since last January.
My Pulmonologist today said that he had just come from the hospital bedside of a patient with my exact symptoms who is on oxygen and not doing well. If I hadn't been so diligent in following my asthma plan that could easily have been me. His telling me that really hit home.
Even though my asthma isn't totally calm right now, my Pulmonologist has released me from follow-up care. I'm to go see him if I things get really bad again. Otherwise, he said that there wasn't anything else they could do. He said I was a "model" patient and that I could continue treating myself when I have flare-ups. He even gave me refills to accommodate this for the next year. He said it wasn't necessary to spend the money and time for appointments when I can do for myself what he has been doing for me.
The basics of my plan:
*Know my asthma early warning signs.
*Take daily preventative meds of Advair 250/50 and Singulair.
*Increase Advair to 500/50 when asthma is flaring.
*Use Albuterol as needed. I use it during flares and before exercising and going out into the cold.
*Watch my Peak Flow.
*Use Tessalon Perle as needed. (This is to assist with my asthma cough.)
*Carry an Epi-Pen. For asthma emergencies it can give me time to get emergency treatment.
*Use Preventative measures to keep exposure to triggers down. (Ex: cover mouth when breathing cold or polluted air.)
*Take Prednisone if other measures aren't getting the asthma under control. (I have a standing prescription for a 15 day burst of the steroids.)
*Follow acid reflux treatment. (Headboard raised, PPI's, diet, etc...) The reflux can aggrevate the asthma.
*Seek further treatment when needed.
By the way, my Pulmonologist surprised me with his view on many of his patients. He actually got excited and thanked me for being knowledgeable about asthma, understanding my own body and health needs and for following my treatment plan. He said he doesn't get many patients who can actually talk about their disease, symptoms, time frames, treatments/medications, and non-medical measures they are taking. He also doesn't get many people who ask questions. My response to this: What are people thinking? They need to take control of their own health or noone else will. My Pulmonologist is a top practicioner in our area. It is extremely sad to me that he doesn't see many patients who are taking responsibility for their own health.
Hope my experience can help someone else out there.
Last edited by MountainReader; 01-09-2009 at 12:51 PM.
Reason: change format