Off we go to the buffet-wish us luck!
Monday, May 30, 2011
Off we go to the buffet-wish us luck!
Friday, May 27, 2011
It's that time of year again, it's the annual walk to help support our state's American Lung Association. We have participated in the walk for several years now. In fact, I called my state American Lung Association office to ask how to get involved in helping other people with other people, this is one of the ways I can help. We form a team and help raise funds for asthma research and programs. I've also been involved with several committees that needed input from people with asthma or parents of kids with asthma.
Our state chapter has a lot of information about tobacco, asthma, clean air, lung disease and even influenza. They also have programs they offer statewide, one is Open Airways, which is a FREE six week set of classes that teach kids how to manage their asthma. It's taught in schools once a week, (each class is about 45 minutes) and it has been shown that kids who take it miss less school days and have fewer emergency rooms visits.
Camp Wyatt is a summer camp specifically for kids who have asthma. It's always a worry to have the kids spend the night (or week) away from home, but Camp Wyatt has 'round the clock medical supervision. So kids that might not be able to go to camp because of worries with asthma have a safe place to go.
It's always nice to meet other parents at the Fight for Air walk, you can share stories or frustrations. It makes me feel better to know we're all in the same boat when it comes to dealing with asthma for ourself or our kids.
So check out your state's American Lung Association website and see what they can offer. The Open Airways classes are wonderful (I have even taught them in my area) but we have yet to experience Camp Wyatt, my kids are a little shy. Here's the link to the walk in our area-
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Lowe's "Zero Voc" paint
Friday, May 20, 2011
Did you know that strong emotions can be an asthma triggers?
Me neither! But I found out this week that it is a trigger!
Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America list many triggers for asthma. Here's the part where they talk about strong emotions:
Feeling and Expressing Strong Emotions
I was doing the "ugly cry" as Oprah calls it. The one where you are sobbing so hard, you can't catch your breath. Then the asthma cough started and I knew I was in trouble. I knew I needed to calm down.
I was debating grabbing my inhaler or the nebulizer. I was crying so hard I knew there was no way I could use my inhaler, I couldn't breathe in deep enough to get anything into my lungs.
So, first I started to 'belly breathe." Good thing I had taught the Open Airways class for American Lung Association, and learned how to belly breathe. With asthma, you often times start to breathe shallow, and actually "pant," after all-asthma is the Greek word for panting. See, you learn something new every day!
With belly breathing, you simply breathe in through your nose and slowly blow the air out through your mouth (hold your lips like you are blowing up a balloon.) Open Airways teaches the kids to put their hands on their belly to feel it get big when they breathe in, then get smaller when they breathe out. And it works on grown ups too. It did on me.
I was able to calm down enough to avoid using my inhaler or nebulizer.
But fair warning-any strong emotion can cause an asthma attack. Fear, anger, crying, laughing or any stress can trigger an asthma attack. If that happens, remember to belly breathe but keep your inhaler or nebulizer close by.
And lock the doors so the kids can't leave home.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Hhm, it's been a while since I renewed my driver's license. In fact, I am one of those people you hate. I have NEVER had a ticket (and let's say I've been driving for quite a while.....) So my driver's license division just sends me a renewal every four years.
Check to see what is needed for your state or country.
Where I live, you are fine if you just use an inhaler, you don't need a doctor's clearance. But if you use anything else (I use a maintenance/controller medication every day) you may have to take a form to your doctor to fill out that says it's safe for you to drive.
I'm not sure what the concern is, maybe they think I'll stop breathing suddenly (a possibility for anyone that has an asthma attack) and that could really cause a problem if you are driving! And some people need an oxygen tank to breathe.
More fun with asthma! It's always causing extra little problems in my life. But, I am still alive and breathing, and so are all three of my kids. Always a bonus.
Just another fun little trivia (and warning) if you drive. You may need to take an extra trip to the doctor's office and get permission to drive. The things we take for granted......
Monday, May 16, 2011
This is what you should have in your bathroom to help control the amount of steam that builds up while you (or your kids) shower or bathe.
It helps vent out the extra moisture in the room - and most of us know that extra moisture can lead to mold. And I hate mold. I've shared my experience in this blog about the 2 1/2 months it took us to get the mold fixed in our previous house. (There's a great search box on this blog if you want to try to find any other info-and I have about 100 entries on here!)
Anyway, back to the bathroom. It's a great place for wet, slimy things to grow. Make sure you stop it in it's tracks by washing your shower curtain regularly. Ever felt a little slippery stuff on the shower curtain? Might be time to throw it in the wash.
We have another bathroom that has sliding shower doors, and they're hard to keep clean. My father-in-law uses a squeegee to clean the shower doors off after each use at his house. But we haven't convinced the teenagers that it's a good idea to do the same thing at our house.
The track that the shower doors slide along is a great place for water to sit, and mold to build up. Has anyone found a great way to keep those clean? We just jam a washcloth in the track with a butter knife and slide the washcloth back and forth until it comes out clean.
I'm sure there are some better ways, if you have any great ideas, let me know.
Until then, it's time to unhook the shower curtain and liner and throw them in the wash. My life is SO exciting!
Friday, May 13, 2011
- What are some of the things that you wish you would have known when you first learned about asthma?
- What are some of the things that are still confusing?
- Are there things you have tried that work? (medications, made changes to your home)
- Things you have tried that didn't work? (medications, alternative therapies, etc)
- What would you tell other parents?
- Anything else you would like to see in an educational asthma packet?
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
We decided to have the vents cleaned out before we installed central air. Asthma Doc has always told us not to use a swamp cooler when you have asthma (it increases the humidity level in the home and often blows contaminants through the wet pads on the swamp coolers.) So the first thing we did when we bought the house was call the contractor for a central air unit.
However, we didn't want to install central air and blow 50 years worth of dust and gunk all over the house, so we had the had the vents cleaned out. I'm sure there were some things coming out while the previous owners were using the furnace, but we wanted a fresh start. (And the previous owners didn't have asthma or allergies!)
Most of the carpet cleaning companies offer vent cleaning now, just shop around a little. The company we used charged us per vent, so your cost will depend on the size of your house.
It seems to have made a difference, I don't have to dust that often. Asthma is really strange, it's the only disease I know of that is affected so much by the environment around us. So, anything I can do to make it a little safer for breathing-I'm all for it!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
- 3 bottles of Singulair
- 1 bottle of generic Zyrtec
- 1 Advair 250 disc
- 1 Advair 100 disc
- 1 Advair inhaler
- 1 box of Albuterol for the nebulizer
- 1 Albuterol inhaler
- 1 Peak flow meter
- 1 tubing kit for the nebulizer
- 1 BIG box of tissues (not pictured-because it's empty now ....)
You never know when you might need something, it's better to take things with you and not use them than not have something.
Traveling with asthma can be adventure, luckily we were all fine this time. But pack everything you have! Even if you think you may not need it. You don't want to be in another state and not have medication, a trip to the Emergency room can easily cost $2,000.
So, stock up and have fun if you are traveling somewhere this summer. Make a list and check it twice and make sure you have ALL of the medication, spacers, peak flow meters, nebulizer and tubing kits. Make sure you have enough medication for how long you will be gone. It's better to be safe than sorry......