Dad, Grandpa to 8, avid reader, jazz enthusiast, and master griller!
"I still have severe asthma but it is night and day from before. I still use my inhaler when I need it and I am getting allergy shots but my life is not limited by my asthma anymore."
My Life Prior to BT:
I’ve suffered with respiratory problems most of my life. I was first diagnosed in 1981. My asthma was severe right away but also grew worse over time. I was always congested and always trying to find the right balance of medicines to keep it under control.
It impacted all parts of my life especially my career in the military. I served 12 years in the army and three more inactive, but I was discharged because of my asthma. I was deemed unfit for duty. After that I worked in a warehouse unloading shipments from trucks. In the summer the warehouse was extremely hot, and the trucks would be 110 degrees. I would have to take FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) time because my asthma couldn’t handle that heat.
My severe asthma really limited me. I had to avoid being outdoors if the pollen was high or the temperature was too hot or too cold. If I didn’t go out early in the morning for a walk, that was it. The humidity later in the day would trigger my asthma. I had to avoid the smell of bleach and nail polish. I had to avoid pollen and dust. At a traffic light, just being behind a car with a bad exhaust system would trigger an attack.
We tried a lot of medications like Advair™, Singulair™, albuterol, Xopenex™, and Spiriva™. I would need my nebulizer 3-4 times a day, my rescue inhaler at least 4 times a day, plus my Advair™ inhaler 2 times a day. Sleeping was always an issue. I would wake up 3-4 times a night just gasping sometimes and I would have to use the nebulizer. My inhaler stayed in bed with me.
Even with all that medication, I would have to take a lot of steroids and the side effects were really rough on me. I gained a lot of weight and developed diabetes and bone issues. In the years before my BT procedures, I was in and out of the ER about 6-7 times per year, and the year before my BT I was admitted twice. It was pretty horrible for me at times.
Dr. Patel first mentioned BT to me and I was a bit hesitant. I had to get on the computer and look it up myself. The doctor kept bringing it up though because we had reached the end of the rope with the medicines.
My Life Today
I was nervous of course for the first treatment, but after that one I thought it was a piece of cake. I went home the same day as the procedures and recovery went smoothly. It took a few months for me to see the benefits though.
I first noticed small differences. I remember I was outside messing around on my grill, and I opened it up and the smoke came up. Normally that smoke would bother me but it didn’t this time. Now it’s been almost a year and the difference is night and day.
I still have severe asthma but it is so much more manageable than before. I don’t wheeze as much. I haven’t been to the ER or hospitalized for my asthma since before BT. It’s just nothing like it used to be.
I am just enjoying life. Being able to breathe better makes just about everything else better too. It’s easier to play with my grandkids, easier to grill up a feast for the family, and easier to be outdoors now. I feel I have a long life ahead of me that I will be able to enjoy.
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.