Mom and homemaker who enjoys reading, travelling, watching her daughter play music and her son play baseball!
"I was also able to walk in the IDF (Immune Deficiency Foundation) Walk on behalf of my daughter. The prior 2 years I was not able to participate because of how severe my asthma had become. BT allowed me to get back to things I did before my asthma became so severe like being the mom I want to be!"
My Life Prior to BT:
I developed asthma around 40 years old, but I think I had it long before I was diagnosed. Even as a child and young adult I had lots of bronchitis. But around 40, I developed a post-operative pulmonary embolism and after that I just had a rough time with my lungs. Over the last 10 years my asthma became more and more severe.
We tried so many medications like Breo™, Spiriva™, Flovent™, Xopenex™, DuoNeb™, and of course prednisone. I would also do the saline treatments at home with the nebulizer. I used my inhaler multiple times per day and did more nebs when it flared up. In the years leading up to BT, I landed in the hospital several times with severe exacerbations and pneumonia. Everything was a trigger for me; odors, smoke, dust, even laughing. The kids reminded me recently me that mealtimes were rough because we would talk and laugh, but then I’d end up in a coughing fit.
I am a mom of two beautiful kids both of whom suffer with chronic illnesses. My asthma became so bad that I struggled to take care of their needs. My son had to go to a hospital 7 hours away for treatment and I had to take my daughter with me because my breathing was so bad. Turns out I had pneumonia! Somehow, by the grace of God, we made it there and back.
I also missed so much of the little, but important, stuff because of my asthma. I couldn’t go on my son’s trip to D.C. as a chaperone. I missed so many of his baseball games. If I did go I’d have to sit in the car to avoid triggers, and my coughing was so bad that I was embarrassed to be around people. I was fracturing ribs from coughing and had to get injections for the amount of pain I was in. I missed many of their school events too. I swear people thought we were divorced because my husband went to everything!
I was referred to Dr. Hogarth from a pulmonologist I was seeing. When he first told me about BT, I will be honest, I was not fully onboard. I kept thinking that some combinations of medicines would work. After spending Christmas in the hospital, I finally reached a point where I knew I had to do something. We talked about BT again and I spoke with another patient who had similar severe asthma and had gotten BT. I decided to go for it, and luckily my insurance approved it right away.
My Life Today:
The procedures were not the easiest for me. I had short ICU stays after each one. It’s important for me to let others know that it wasn’t totally smooth. You can experience some rough asthma symptoms after BT, but I would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat. BT allowed me to get control of my severe asthma which has changed my life so much for the better.
It took about 6 months post-BT before I saw the difference, but since then the difference has been amazing. I can say that this treatment turned my life around as a mom and I’m able to do the things I used to do before my asthma became so severe. I can be there for my kids now without worrying about my asthma. Because my day to day is no longer about managing my severe asthma, it’s about being a mom! We can plan things to do as a family and those plans don’t revolve around “will mom be able to do that or not.” We’ve taken a couple of getaways to go fishing and hiking.
I look back now and I am really not sure how I dealt with the level of asthma I had for so long. I didn’t realize how bad it was with severe asthma because it’s a gradual trip to the bottom. I got worse a little at a time but over a long period, so I don’t think I fully realized how sick I’d become with it.
Life is just so much better now. Last year, I accompanied my daughter on a trip to D.C. She is an advocate for her immune deficiency disease and we didn’t want her to make the trip alone. Not only did I go with her, but we walked around that city for three days and my breathing was just fine.
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.