Insurance Adjuster who loves traveling, spending time with her close family, and shopping!
My Life Prior to BT:
I was diagnosed with asthma as a baby. Some of my earliest memories include using an inhaler at pre-school. My triggers were environmental, like changes in the weather, and activity, like any kind of exercise. I was the kid who couldn’t play so much. Then when I was around 8 the disease went dormant, but came back strong when I was a senior in high school and just grew worse over time.
We tried all the meds. I was on Singulair™, Advair™, many antibiotics, Solu-Medrol™, albuterol, Pulmicort™, DuoNeb™, and Asmanex™. I also tried the Xolair™ shots for 6 months but they didn’t work for me. The worst of course was the prednisone which varied from 10mg to 40mg. It had a big negative impact on my overall health.
The year leading up to my BT was the worst. I was classified as disabled and couldn’t work. I required neb treatments every 4 hours and was on 2 liters of oxygen a day. I was hospitalized 6-8 times not including the frequent ER trips. My quality of life was just horrible. The Thanksgiving before my treatment I had a bad flare up and my lung collapsed. My family is very close and my parents and brother were worried sick about me. My brother is in the military and had a chance to go to Japan, but he passed on it to stay close to home in case something happened to me.
I was young but living like a very old person. I missed out on so much. I spent Christmas and New Years in the hospital. I missed my brother’s reward ceremony from the United States Air Force and a big family reunion cruise. It was just too dangerous for me to do much of anything.
When my doctor first recommended BT, I was really nervous about it. What made a big difference for me was talking to other severe asthma sufferers who had already had the procedure. My doctor also had a support group where you could go in and talk to other severe asthma sufferers. After speaking with other BT patients and suffering yet another severe asthma attack that landed me in hospital, I knew I was at my wits end and needed to try this. Unfortunately I was first denied by insurance provider, but because I was classified as disabled, I was able to go on Medicare and they approved it right away.
My Life Today
The first BT procedure went great. It was very smooth and I went home the same day. After the second treatment I developed pneumonia and had to stay in the hospital for Thanksgiving, but then the last treatment went very smoothly.
Even with the issue after treatment #2, I would have BT again in a heartbeat! I still have severe asthma but now that it is better controlled it does not hold me back. I am constantly on the go now. I have a career and travel for work and pleasure all the time.
I went to DC for a family vacation which I hadn’t been able to do for years because my severe asthma held me back. I even went to Bush Gardens and rode a roller coaster! My mom got so emotional that day. She couldn’t believe I was able to ride a coaster without having a severe asthma attack. I think she had just worried for so long.
I am back exercising. I can walk 5 miles at a time and lift weights. I am training to do a step challenge to help raise awareness for severe asthma. I will do 188 stairs (12 flights). I am up to 7 flights already in my training. I know I still have the disease, but it is so much better controlled thanks to BT. I am glad to help spread the word about this option for some with severe asthma that is not well controlled.
Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.
Brief Statement of Relevant Indications for Use, Contraindications, Warnings, and Adverse Events: The Alair™ Bronchial Thermoplasty System is indicated for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists. The Alair System is not for use in patients with an active implantable electronic device or known sensitivity to medications used in bronchoscopy. Previously treated airways of the lung should not be retreated with the Alair System. Patients should be stable and suitable to undergo bronchoscopy. The most common side effect of BT is an expected transient increase in the frequency and worsening of respiratory-related symptoms. ENDO-551804-AA
As with any procedure, there are risks, and individual results may vary. The most common adverse event of BT is a temporary worsening of respiratory-related symptoms. These events typically occur within one day of the BT procedure and usually resolve within a week with standard care. There is a small risk (3.4% per procedure) that symptoms may require hospitalization.1
- Castro M, et al, for the AIR2 Trial Study Group. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;181:116-124.