Environmental Buyer for Clean Harbors who loves to bike and garden!
"Having my asthma under control really is such freedom! I don't have to think about it anymore; I just go on living my life the way I choose!"
My Life Prior to BT:
I was diagnosed with severe asthma when I was a baby. It was always severe but the severity went up and down. I would have a year or two where it was okay and somewhat manageable, but then there were years where it was horrendous. I had both allergic and non-allergic triggers which meant I had to avoid an awful lot. I missed out on things as a kid because of my asthma. I never played sports or did too much outdoors because of the fear of an attack.
I had tried many medications to keep my asthma under control including Advair™, Xolair™, albuterol nebulizers in addition to the albuterol rescue inhalers. I used my nebulizer daily and my rescue inhaler at least 2-3 times per day. Of course I was on and off prednisone too and suffered with the side effects.
I was hospitalized twice during my life, and my asthma definitely limited my quality of life. I was always so focused on managing it and avoiding anything that might set it off. As an adult, I missed work often because of my asthma and I struggled with weight gain because I wasn't able to exercise. I would barely get through work, come home, and just go to bed. I had no energy. I was worn out from just trying to breathe!
I heard about BT from my doctor and also from searching online. I'll be honest; at first I wasn't so sure. It sounded really invasive to me, especially compared to taking medications for asthma control, but then my asthma grew so severe, I finally said 'let's do it.'
My Life Today:
The first two procedures went very smoothly and then after the third one I had a worsening of symptoms that required a short hospital stay. Overall, though, it was a breeze; much easier than I thought it would be.
It was about two months after being out of hospital that I really started noticing a difference. I had a real increase in energy and my asthma seemed better controlled. It has steadily gotten better since then. In fact I feel like I am still improving as time goes on. I only see my pulmonologist once a year now instead of every 4-6 weeks.
I have more energy and ability to do social things. I never miss work now because of my asthma and I haven't hesitated to travel. I am planning to go see my cousins in Abilene, TX. It's about a four hour drive and I could've never done that trip before BT. It would have been too taxing, and oh the gear that I would've needed to bring with me!
When you have severe asthma you have to make decisions that healthy people don't even have to think about. You are constantly worrying about what might happen, even from doing the simplest tasks. Now I don't have to worry about those things. I cleaned my storage unit out the other day, another thing I wouldn't have been able to do before BT. I go biking, see movies, and garden now without worrying at all about my asthma.
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.