Miko

 

Age: 76

Hometown: Moreno Valley, CA

BT Doctor: Dr. Tan, Loma Linda

Referring Doctor: Allergist

Insurance: Medicare and TriCare for Life

BT Procedure Date: Spring 2016

Miko

Mom of five who loves to sing, travel and spend time with her children and grandchildren

"BT has given me my life back to do the things I used to do before my asthma became so severe!"

My Life Prior to BT:

I first developed severe asthma when I moved to Thousand Oaks, CA back in 2004. It started with a runny nose that wouldn’t go away and then the cough started too. I was treated for bronchitis, but saw no change. I took some allergy tests and sure enough it showed 27 different things I was allergic to, and a big one was the oak tree. I lived in Thousand Oaks, so needless to say, I was surrounded by them. 

I started on a series of allergy shots, Singulair™, Proventil™ HFA, and Xolar™ injections, but I still ended up in the ER at least once a month due to difficulty breathing. I was on 60 MG of prednisone bursts two weeks out of a month. The prednisone was needed, but caused problems with my diabetes. My sugar would reach dangerous levels whenever I had to be on the steroids. 

My life became pretty sad. I lived in a 48 foot mobile home and was just stuck on the couch all day. In order to walk from couch to bathroom, I would have to take a break. Taking a shower was an all day job. I had to constantly take breaks, use inhaler and when done, I would need a nebulizer treatment. My breathing was so bad I could not complete a sentence. Just to say “How are you? Isn’t it a nice day?” I would have to pause several times and take deep breaths.

I tried to stay strong, but there were times I would be overwhelmed with it and just wanted to roll over and die to be out of the misery I was living in. I often turned to my faith. I am a practicing Buddhist and the purpose of SGI Buddhism is to establish lives of absolute happiness, an inner state of joy and confidence that can never be taken away, destroyed or defeated. Well let me tell you, I chanted like there was no tomorrow, because for me I felt there might not be a tomorrow.

I was basically a vegetable on the couch, unable to care for myself. I couldn’t travel to see my grandchildren. I was really missing out on so many important moments in their lives. I was desperate for help but my allergy doctor told me “there is nothing more I can do for you and no more medication to try.” Such hopeless words to hear from a doctor. 

Then I was introduced to Dr. Tan and heard about the BT treatment. I knew I wanted to do this right away. I felt it was my only hope because I was going to either die from not being able to breathe or from my blood sugar being so high when I have to take the prednisone to help my breathing.

My Life Today

I had a very easy time with the procedures. It’s been a year now and as time went on the improvements just kept coming. Two years ago I couldn’t leave the house. Now I am back at the chorus singing. I do my own laundry. I can drive again! I am able to see my grandkids whenever I want. I drive 100 miles to see them and even if they have colds, I do just fine. 

I feel like a new person or rather, like the person I was before severe asthma started to control my life. I can go up a set of stairs in one clip. I can mop the floor and change the bed sheets. I can cook. I can go shopping by myself. It feels like such freedom!

I am getting some exercise in now too without being held back by my severe asthma. I walk 3 miles a day. Before BT saying one sentence was hard because of difficulties breathing, now I talk all day long. My son recently joked that he would buy me a muzzle because I talk so much now! 

I am happy to share my story. I had a family member who died of asthma, so if I can share my story and help one person see that there is help for severe asthma, well then it’s worth it.

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

Reference

  1. Castro M, et al, for the AIR2 Trial Study Group. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;181:116-124.
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