Asthma Under Rap
Asthma diagnosis can seem like an end, all the discouragement and all the obstacles you have in front of you are, no doubt, great. But, if handled properly, it’s likely you will be able to live a perfectly, happy, healthy, ‘normal,’ life. Many people have done it before you, there is no reason you should be any different. What follows is a guide to some of the first steps you may take upon first hearing of your diagnosis, in what promises to be a long struggle, battling and living with asthma.
You need to communicate with your doctor. He’s the only one with your charts, he’s the one who knows your case, and even though all asthma is not the same, he or she is the one of the two of you who handles things like this all the time; your questions are their job. So if you have a question, you should always ask. While their experience should arm you with scores of very useful information to start, they can also point you towards a specialist for your longer term education. Your initial doctor may ask you to keep a log of your symptoms to try and determine allergic and non-allergic triggers.
Your first step in keeping your asthma under raps is to have a clear picture of what ‘triggers’ are, what your triggers are, and ways to avoid them. Triggers are anything that may cause an allergic reaction in an asthmatic. Whether it be pollen, dust, pet dander or pepperoni pizza, the two things that are clear about triggers are 1) identify and 2) avoid these things at ALL COSTS! This avoidance is probably going to be pesky at first. And it may involve small things like walking a different route you take regularly or switching brands. It gets complicated if your triggers end up being naturally produced as what happens in nature is out of an individuals control. Things like pollen or smog. But fear not! It has been done before; it is done all the time; and I guarantee, it can be done for you. That’s not to say you need to stay indoors all springtime! But you should take extra care to find out the pollen count for the day (it’s on many local radio stations or news weather forecasts) and take extra care for being outdoors while it is high.
You also should, again, get checked up regularly and take any medication your doctor may prescribe. It’s also important to monitor your “peak flow” – the level of how well your asthma is controlled – and seek immediate attention if it gets too low. If you need immediate attention, the triage unit at your local hospital is always there in an emergency.
Monitoring your breathing, symptoms, and triggers – keep in contact with your physician – and seeking immediate attention when your breathing gets too tight, are all things to help you live a long, healthy life with your asthma.