Business management student and barista who loves hiking!
"Now that my severe asthma is under control, I am building my bucket list! This Fall I am going on my first camping trip ever!"
My Life Prior to BT:
I had severe asthma most of my life. I was diagnosed with severe asthma, allergies, and eczema as a toddler. As a kid I wasn’t allowed to do much because you never knew how my asthma was going to react. I had so many triggers. Mold, dust, pollen, the weather – when it rains it was the worst.
Over the years we tried many things to get it under control. I did Xolair™ shots which were so expensive! I took Singlair™, Advair™, and of course so much prednisone. The steroids took their toll and I ended up having four eye surgeries because I developed cataracts. I relied on medications and rescue inhalers around-the-clock but would still end up in the hospital once or twice a month in intensive care, often for days at a time. My flare-ups were so severe that I sometimes wondered if my next attack might be the last.
It was awful living in fear all the time. I was supposed to be in the prime of my life, but I missed work and social events all the time. My severe asthma was at the forefront of every decision I made. Can I go watch dad play hockey or will it be too cold? I can’t go to party to see grandma or will the dogs cause an attack? It impacted all aspects of my life. It became so bad that I made the difficult decision to drop out of college. My quality of life was not good and it took a big emotional toll.
When the doctor first mentioned Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) I was a bit hesitant because back in 2012, BT was still fairly new. Deep down I knew I needed to try something though because the medications alone were not working. My doctor was very confident that BT would help me but even once I decided to do it, it was a year-long process to get insurance to agree to cover it. There were several rounds of appeals and my doctor’s office sent many letters on my behalf. When it was finally approved, I was the first patient treated with BT in North Texas.
My Life Today
Having BT was one of the best decisions of my life. It took a few months after the last (of three) procedures to see the difference but now I can say my severe asthma is finally under control.
Since BT I’ve only had one hospital stay in six years. That’s incredible considering I was a frequent flyer there before BT and the hospital staff new me by name. Since BT I’ve just felt better and better. I still carry my rescue inhaler, but the disease no longer runs my life! I no longer make every decision based on my fears of triggering an attack.
Now that my severe asthma is controlled, I am back in school for business management and work full time without being restricted by my severe asthma. I’ve even been hiking! I went to go see my friend in Utah and hiked during the cold season there. It was my first time being outside of Texas and doing something so fun and exciting. Things I should be doing at my age.
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.