The ABCs of Health Literacy
“Hey, it helps me breathe better, so why shouldn’t I use it every day?” I hear some version of that fairly often, especially with kids (or parents) who are new to all this asthma stuff. It seems like a pretty reasonable question…at least until you learn the whole truth.
The whole truth, in a short version, is that if you need your rescue inhaler (your “puffer” or “MDI”), you should use it. But, the full truth is that if you’re needing your rescue inhaler too often, it means that things aren’t good enough, that your lungs aren’t as stable as they should be. And that means that you are at risk.
Using your rescue medicine too often can actually be dangerous. (more…)
Hal and his brother, Sal, were playing basketball at the park near their home. Their neighbor, Smokey Joe, was walking by looking very sad. His head was down and so were the corners of his mouth. He was “in the dumps” as they say.
Smokey Joe was a little older, just out of high school. He still lived at home with his parents while he went to a nearby trade school learning how to do air conditioning repair. He was always just a little scruffy-looking, like he just got out of bed. But, he was a nice guy, someone Hal and Sal had known for years. Joe used to watch them when their parents went out for an evening.
“Hey, Joe. Why so low?” yelled Hal. Smokey Joe, without even looking up, stopped, shrugged his shoulders, and plopped down on a park bench by the b-ball court. He seemed to be ready to cry.
Hal stopped dribbling, passed the ball to Sal, and walked over to Smokey Joe. He noticed that Joe seemed to be having a little trouble breathing. He could hear him wheeze (more…)
Asthma is dynamic; it changes. You may go through spells where you’re having all kinds of trouble and finding it hard to keep your asthma controlled. Then, you go through times when you have no problems with it at all. It’s a tricky little booger!
For better or worse, those good times can be almost as dangerous as the times when asthma is acting up. “Huh? How the heck can no problems with asthma be a problem?” you might wonder. It does seem to sort of go against common sense. (more…)