Police Chief, Martial Arts Practitioner, and Grandpa
"Did it impact my ability to exercise? Well yes, but I am still short, fat, and old but I smile like a Cheshire cat now!"
My Life Prior to BT:
I started with environmental allergies in my early twenties and was diagnosed with asthma in my early thirties. It just grew worse over time despite all the medications I tried. I tried Xopenex™, Singulair™, albuterol, prednisone, Xolair™ shots and various inhalers. In the years leading up to BT, I was using my nebulizer 2-3 times per day.
As it grew more severe, my asthma impacted my life in many ways. I developed a sleep disorder; I was often fatigued during the day and cranky. When you have to take steroid bursts it affects your mood. I actually apologized to the force at our annual banquet for being a cranky boss!
I had always kept very active. I practiced martial arts for many years and ran rigorous training programs for the police force’s new recruits. As my asthma worsened I had less and less stamina for the physical demands of my job and my martial arts training. I knew I wouldn’t be on the mat teaching cadets much longer if I didn’t get my severe asthma under control.
In the year leading up to BT, I was doing Xolair™ shots but it was very time consuming to go biweekly for them and I really wasn’t seeing a major change in the control of my severe asthma. When my doctor told me about BT, I knew I wanted to get this done. I was actually his first BT patient at Mt. Carmel East in Columbus, Ohio.
Once we decided that BT was for me, we had to go through an approval process. I was initially denied but we went back to the insurance company. We wrote a detailed letter explaining that in the long term BT would save them money. I am a figures guy. I am responsible for the budget for the entire police force so I thought why not set it out in numbers for the insurance company and show them that this will not only help me, but save them. It took about 30-60 days but I was approved.
My Life Today
The procedures went really well. I went home the same day after all three treatments and didn’t experience any pain or soreness. I am a very good and compliant patient. I knew it would take time to see big improvements.
It was about three months after the last procedure when I really began to see a difference. Even one of my training partners noticed I was on the mat more, doing more of the physical fight training. Then several months after BT I earned my brown belt. This was thirty years in the making! Then this year I earned my black belt. It was such an accomplishment and I believe it wouldn’t have been possible before BT because my severe asthma would have kept me from completing the physical challenges required to earn that belt.
In 2016 I was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame, for Martial Arts. This is an organization for the betterment of all martial arts and honors people who’ve been instructing for years and helping younger generations learn.
It’s been an incredible time for me since BT. I’ve been able to advance my training and continue with the rigorous requirements of my job. I still have the disease and recently had pneumonia because of a staph infection in my lung but my asthma did not flare up like it would have before BT.
Before BT I spent my days trying to avoid triggers. Now I don’t even think about it. I go about my normal activities. I park my car farther so I can walk more. I work 40 hours a week and spend several nights a week teaching martial arts.
BT has made such an improvement in my life. I am enjoying life more now! I have one daughter and five grandchildren. I am the fun Grandpa who can’t say no.
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.