RN, Grandmother, and World Traveler
"Before BT, I was desperately ill, with a small life on a death track. And now my asthma is controlled and I have a big life with lots of plans. I have a life to share and give!"
My Life Prior to BT:
I developed asthma after a significant chemical exposure. I was a professor of psychiatric nursing for the University of San Francisco and one of my groups met at one of the city of San Francisco's mental health clinics. The clinic was moved to a new building that had been poorly constructed and did not have proper ventilation. For two years I was exposed to chemicals like formaldehyde that were seeping through air vents from a dialysis clinic above the room I taught in.
By the time I was 60, the asthma and effects of the chemical exposure had taken my voice. You can't teach if you can't talk so I had no choice but to retire. My sweet husband of forty years chose to retire with me. He saw how sick I was getting and said if I was going to die, he was going to spend the most time with me until then.
My asthma just grew more and more severe. I tried several medications to help control it. Some of those medications included Combivent™, the highest dose of Flovent™, Singulair™, antihistamines, and of course periods of prednisone. I was in a cycle where I couldn't stop coughing so I would have to take prednisone which would weaken my immune system and I would get an infection and end up on antibiotics. This went on over and over again. In 2008 I got pneumonia and it was just one lung infection after another.
Before asthma I was a real outdoors person. In addition to a full RN career, I loved to scuba dive, hike, and travel. Then my asthma came and my life became so little. I had no energy. I couldn't do anything.
The long term use of high doses of steroids left me susceptible to infection and eventually I knew I would get an infection somewhere they would not be able to fix. Being a nurse, I knew I had to try something other than the medications.
I actually heard an ad on the radio about BT and my son worked on the packaging of the product. We immediately looked into it.
My Life Today
Within a few months after BT I was noticing the benefits. The coughing was a big issue with my asthma. After BT, I still cough but I am not desperately gasping or out of control.
As time went on, my asthma became much more manageable. I was no longer stuck in the steroids-infection-antibiotics cycle that I was in before BT. I haven't been sick where I needed antibiotics treatment in five years!
Having my asthma under control has allowed me to gain control of my life again. Before BT I could barely walk a few blocks. Now I do my 10,000 steps a day!
The biggest impact of BT for me though was my return to travelling. I have a fabulous life now. I just spent 30 days in Asia. And this coming summer I am taking my granddaughter to South America.
I've also been able to go back to doing nursing research, something I am so passionate about. I am back with my research team. I am researching, writing, and presenting on psychiatric issues with schizophrenia. I am a useful member of society again!
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.