Nicole

 

Age: 35

Hometown: Georgetown, Texas

BT Doctor: Dr. Dekeratry and Dr. Fields, St. David's Hospital, Georgetown, Texas

Referring Doctor: N/A

Insurance: United Healthcare

BT Procedure Date: 2010

Nicole

Mom and Business Analyst for Dell Computers

"One of the best benefits for me is being able to do more with my kids now. I love being a soccer mom! I can cheer my son on from the sidelines; something I never would have been able to do before BT."

My Life Prior to BT:

Growing up my asthma was manageable and I was even able to play sports, but as I grew older my asthma became much worse and I was diagnosed with severe asthma as an adult. 

Allergies were the big trigger for me. I was better while we lived up North but when my family returned to Texas in 2005, my allergic asthma really flared up.

I tried many medications including Singulair™, various rescue inhalers, and nebulizers. I think I tried 90% of the medications that were available. At some points I was using the nebulizer four times a day and the rescue inhaler multiple times in between. I ended up living on steroids and was still a frequent patient at the emergency room.

As a result of my severe asthma, my quality of life was very poor. I had sleep apnea and it would trigger attacks in the night so I never slept well. As a mom, it was hard to see my severe asthma’s impact on my children’s lives. I often missed their sports and outdoor activities. My daughter played softball and I could rarely attend her games. When I did go, I would have to watch from the car.

It also caused a lot of financial strain. I was hitting my maximum out-of-pocket costs for my insurance after a couple of hospitalizations but was still $6500 out of pocket I had to pay. Coupled with copays from medications, the medical bills from my severe asthma took years to pay off. 
The year before my BT procedures I used all of my sick and vacation time from work. The last few times I had severe attacks that year I had to take the laptop with me to the hospital. I was the bread winner in the family so I had to keep working through it. That is when my doctor talked to me about BT.

After hearing from the doctor and watching some of the patient videos online, I decided I was ready to try something other than medications. I prayed about it and felt I was in good hands. I knew I had to do something to try and get a better quality of life.

My Life Today

I would say my BT went very smoothly. Right after each procedure I had some chest tightness and a slight cough but that was expected. The benefits were not instant, but after a couple of months went by the difference in my asthma control became really obvious. 

It’s been years since my BT and I am still reaping the benefits. I never miss work anymore because of my severe asthma. I still have allergies, but they no longer trigger any severe attacks and I have had no hospitalizations since I had BT.

Best of all, I am able to lead a much more active life now. Being overweight, if you can’t breathe, you can’t work out. Now I’ve started an exercise program at a local boxing gym. The workouts are pretty intense and include cardio and strength training. The amount of progress I’ve made since starting is awesome and not once have I had an asthma attack. I just think that is phenomenal.

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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