Kids and Asthma Twitter Party

With the success of our allergy and asthma Twitter party, we’ve decided that we’re going to host a chat every other Friday throughout May to raise awareness!

This Friday is a topic that is especially important: Children and asthma.

Do you have questions for Dr. A. about asthma and your children? Let us know!

I Was Constantly Fighting for Air

Erich S., a patient of Dr. Apaliski, suffered from severe seasonal and cat dander allergies. As he fought his allergies, Erich was unable to sleep through the night. “I was constnatly fighting for air,” he said.

Dr. Apaliski defined a three-prong approach to beat Erich’s asthma:

  1. Erich was to avoid all direct with cat dander, washing before bed to eliminate all daily irritants.
  2. Erich’s bedroom had to become a cat and dust free zone.
  3. Erich was to adopt a routine of breathing treatments, as well as a rescue inhaler when needed.

The three-prog approached worked and Erich’s breathing normalized!

Erich summed up his treatment by saying,

Dr. Apaliski listened closely to my situation and studied my allergy test results to determine the cause and or causes of my reactions and then we worked together to see which treatments worked best to beat my asthma.   I continue to follow the regiment and treatment that works and through follow up visits with Dr. Apaliski we continue to adjust treatment as needed to maintain optimum breathing.

Goals

I am sitting in the Toyota dealership waiting for my faithful Tacoma to be serviced. It is a crisp December morning in Texas and I am thankful we have no blizzard here. I came here today because I set as a goal to have my truck serviced over this holiday. Made the appointment yesterday and here I sit, scratching that goal off the list. A small goal no doubt, but it does bring a sense of accomplishment at having completed it. A larger goal of mine is to keep it well serviced so that it remains dependable as long as I own it.

So it got me to thinking about the tradition of setting goals that many of us partake of as each new year arrives. If you are like me, then you have made resolutions over the years, firmly convinced you would stick to them, only to find them on the trash heap before February arrives! What’s the use, right?

I have learned that the main reason we fail at this is because we set far too many self regulation goals, and these are difficult to accomplish. Although they seem reasonable, they are not realistic. It is difficult to maintain our motivation over the long haul. The result? Goals not accomplished. Major change takes place through baby steps, not leaps and bounds. Reaching goals is much more a marathon than a sprint.

What about asthma? Have you ever thought about what might be reasonable goals for your asthma for this next month or year? What might it look like if your asthma were better controlled? How would you feel if you accomplished these goals?

In our hectic day to day lives we may not have the luxury of time to ponder these things, but, if you are battling a chronic disease such as asthma, you can’t afford NOT to spend some time thinking about this. Setting a goal such as achieving better control over your asthma over the next year is both reasonable and realistic. It can be done.

How will you know that you have reached this goal of improved asthma control? This may look different to each of us. Let me list 5 things that have been labeled as goals of asthma treatment by the National Asthma Education Program, and published as part of a set of ‘Guidelines’. These are published in 2007 under the auspices of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health here in America).

These include:

  1. Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms (e.g., coughing or breathlessness in the daytime, in the night, or after exertion).
  2. Require infrequent use (2 days a week) of inhaled rescue medications (such as albuterol) for quick relief of asthma symptoms (not including the prevention of exercise-induced symptoms)
  3. Maintain (near) normal tests of lung function.
  4. Maintain normal activity levels (including exercise and other physical activity and attendance at school or work).
  5. Satisfaction with asthma care from your physician.

I suspect some of these may seem suprising to you, because, in my experience many people get so used to having problems with asthma control that they can’t even imagine having a good nights rest without asthma symptoms or needing to use their rescue or quick relief inhaler twice a week or less. Can these goals be successfully accomplished in every person who suffers from asthma? Probably not in some people with more severe disease, but these are reasonable expectations for the vast majority of those who suffer with asthma. Remember, this race is a marathon, not a sprint. Expect progress not perfection, and life with asthma will improve!

So, as this new year begins, think about having these 5 goals as ‘markers’ for achieving the big goal of better control over asthma in 2011 and beyond.

Be kind to yourself!

Category Archives: Goals

Kids and Asthma Twitter Party

With the success of our allergy and asthma Twitter party, we’ve decided that we’re going to host a chat every other Friday throughout May to raise awareness!

This Friday is a topic that is especially important: Children and asthma.

Do you have questions for Dr. A. about asthma and your children? Let us know!

Posted in asthma, Goals, Prevention, Twitter Chats | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I Was Constantly Fighting for Air

Erich S., a patient of Dr. Apaliski, suffered from severe seasonal and cat dander allergies. As he fought his allergies, Erich was unable to sleep through the night. “I was constnatly fighting for air,” he said.

Dr. Apaliski defined a three-prong approach to beat Erich’s asthma:

  1. Erich was to avoid all direct with cat dander, washing before bed to eliminate all daily irritants.
  2. Erich’s bedroom had to become a cat and dust free zone.
  3. Erich was to adopt a routine of breathing treatments, as well as a rescue inhaler when needed.

The three-prog approached worked and Erich’s breathing normalized!

Erich summed up his treatment by saying,

Dr. Apaliski listened closely to my situation and studied my allergy test results to determine the cause and or causes of my reactions and then we worked together to see which treatments worked best to beat my asthma.   I continue to follow the regiment and treatment that works and through follow up visits with Dr. Apaliski we continue to adjust treatment as needed to maintain optimum breathing.

Posted in asthma, Goals, Patient Stories, Uncategorized | Comments Off on I Was Constantly Fighting for Air

Goals

I am sitting in the Toyota dealership waiting for my faithful Tacoma to be serviced. It is a crisp December morning in Texas and I am thankful we have no blizzard here. I came here today because I set as a goal to have my truck serviced over this holiday. Made the appointment yesterday and here I sit, scratching that goal off the list. A small goal no doubt, but it does bring a sense of accomplishment at having completed it. A larger goal of mine is to keep it well serviced so that it remains dependable as long as I own it.

So it got me to thinking about the tradition of setting goals that many of us partake of as each new year arrives. If you are like me, then you have made resolutions over the years, firmly convinced you would stick to them, only to find them on the trash heap before February arrives! What’s the use, right?

I have learned that the main reason we fail at this is because we set far too many self regulation goals, and these are difficult to accomplish. Although they seem reasonable, they are not realistic. It is difficult to maintain our motivation over the long haul. The result? Goals not accomplished. Major change takes place through baby steps, not leaps and bounds. Reaching goals is much more a marathon than a sprint.

What about asthma? Have you ever thought about what might be reasonable goals for your asthma for this next month or year? What might it look like if your asthma were better controlled? How would you feel if you accomplished these goals?

In our hectic day to day lives we may not have the luxury of time to ponder these things, but, if you are battling a chronic disease such as asthma, you can’t afford NOT to spend some time thinking about this. Setting a goal such as achieving better control over your asthma over the next year is both reasonable and realistic. It can be done.

How will you know that you have reached this goal of improved asthma control? This may look different to each of us. Let me list 5 things that have been labeled as goals of asthma treatment by the National Asthma Education Program, and published as part of a set of ‘Guidelines’. These are published in 2007 under the auspices of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health here in America).

These include:

  1. Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms (e.g., coughing or breathlessness in the daytime, in the night, or after exertion).
  2. Require infrequent use (2 days a week) of inhaled rescue medications (such as albuterol) for quick relief of asthma symptoms (not including the prevention of exercise-induced symptoms)
  3. Maintain (near) normal tests of lung function.
  4. Maintain normal activity levels (including exercise and other physical activity and attendance at school or work).
  5. Satisfaction with asthma care from your physician.

I suspect some of these may seem suprising to you, because, in my experience many people get so used to having problems with asthma control that they can’t even imagine having a good nights rest without asthma symptoms or needing to use their rescue or quick relief inhaler twice a week or less. Can these goals be successfully accomplished in every person who suffers from asthma? Probably not in some people with more severe disease, but these are reasonable expectations for the vast majority of those who suffer with asthma. Remember, this race is a marathon, not a sprint. Expect progress not perfection, and life with asthma will improve!

So, as this new year begins, think about having these 5 goals as ‘markers’ for achieving the big goal of better control over asthma in 2011 and beyond.

Be kind to yourself!

Posted in Goals | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment