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Monday, October 26, 2015

Time for flu shots!

It's that time of year again - flu season. It can start now and last through spring.  

Anytime I am around someone who is sneezing or coughing, I back away.........I don't want to catch it! Any cold or flu is always worse when you have asthma. 

CDC estimates that 226,000 people are hospitalized every year thanks to influenza (the flu.)  3,000 - 49,000 people DIE every year from complications of the flu. Yikes!

Complications can be pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections. When my kids were little, they were hospitalized 12 times for asthma - and almost all of those were because they started with a cold or flu and ended up with pneumonia. It's scary stuff to watch your child struggling to breathe. 

I also have asthma and have had pneumonia numerous times, so I know what it feels like. For me, it feels like I was hit by a truck. I get a fever and chills and my body hurts all over, and I am so weak that I can't eat or drink. It's also a big job to try to just breathe in and out. I really have to concentrate on that. 

Once, I was so sick and coughing so hard that I pulled a muscle in my rib cage! You can search online and find many people who share their experiences. It is awful. When I get pneumonia, I have a hard cough that hurts my chest, but then I would also get a sharp pain in my side every time I coughed from the pulled muscle. It was miserable stuff. :(  

Talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot. CDC recommends everyone over 6 months of age should get a flu shot every year. 

My insurance pays for any immunization, so for me, it will only cost a little time. Many pharmacies chains also give flu shots. So I can get a flu shot while I am picking up bandages, heart burn medicine, etc.  

Nobody likes to get shots, but if you get a flu shot now, it could protect you from a miserable case of the flu later.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Teal pumpkin project

Teal Pumpkin Project™ "The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)."

I blogged about the Teal Pumpkin project last year. It was a new idea to let kids with food allergies be able to Trick or Treat on Halloween!

How? If there is a teal pumpkin on the front porch, or a Teal Pumpkin sign on the lawn (or front of the house), that lets parents know that are non-food treats at that home.

The kids could score some really cool stuff - like bubbles, glow sticks, small toys, stickers, etc. So, they can still Trick or Treat, but instead of worrying about food allergies, they can get some really cool stuff! 

If you have a child with food allergies, you know how hard it is to always have to check food labels. If there is a candy bar with tree nuts (Almond Joy) in a big bowl of candy, can my son eat any of the candy in the bowl? For us, the answer is no. Because it has been cross - contaminated. 

You can avoid worrying about candy and food allergies and go to houses that are supporting the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can also buy something for kids with food allergies that come to your house. If you want to help, you can also print off free posters from FARE. There are several different small posters in English and Spanish. Here is one example:

They are free and easy to print out. You can put one in your front window or glue it to cardboard, tape it to a stick and put it in the lawn.

What a great idea!!  Now I just need to figure out a costume for this year!

Monday, October 12, 2015

What I wish people knew about asthma....

(Shutterstock image)

I saw a story on abc NEWS about Kyle Schwartz, who is an elementary teacher at Doull Elementary school in Denver. She wanted to get to know her students better, so she had an assignment for them. They had to finish the sentence, 

"I wish my teacher knew ____________"

She was surprised at the what the kids wrote. Things such as:

 "I wish my teacher knew that I don't have any pencils at home to do my homework"

"I wish my teacher knew that my reading log is not signed because my mom is not around a lot."

She started a hash tag #IWISHMYTEACHERKNEW  If you watch the video in the link above, make sure you have some tissues handy, it tugs at your heart strings!

Her idea went viral, there were so many people who LOVED what she was doing! Others have copied her idea. 

It made me think - what do I want people to know about asthma?

Everyone with asthma has a different story to tell. So, tell me yours! My sentence has a little different wording than the one Kyle Schwartz started, but is the same idea. 

Leave a comment below and let me know: 

"What I wish people knew about asthma....."