Thursday, February 02, 2006

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Asthma

My wife has asthma. I'm sure I bug her to no end with my constant reminders to take her inhaler with her wherever she goes, and to always have it reachable, just in case.

Sure it's common sense. Sure, I'm paranoid. But I don't want to lose her.

So when I see statistics that show skyrocketing rates of asthma, my usual fear grows even more. Something's going on, and we're not even remotely close to understanding what's driving it. That should keep more people awake at night.

Tying it in to our almost-prime minister and using it as an opportunity to get a shot in on his policy positions was a nice by-product.
Asthma epidemic prompts fear, action
Published Saturday, January 28, 2006
The London Free Press

Prime minister-designate Stephen Harper’s hospital visit this week may have ended up being due to a chest cold and not asthma, but a wake-up call has nevertheless been delivered.

A report released yesterday by the Montreal-based Commission for Environmental Co-operation says childhood asthma rates have quadrupled in the past 20 years. About 20 per cent of Canadian boys and 15 per cent of girls aged eight to 11 have been diagnosed with it. Harper is among 2.5 million Canadians who suffer from asthma.

Frighteningly, we don’t yet know what causes it. Indoor and outdoor air quality plays a role, and skyrocketing rates of atmospheric pollution make a bad situation worse. Southern Ontario’s record-setting smog puts us at additional risk. We've become the proverbial canary in a coal mine.

Our PM-to-be, who ironically has promised to review Canada’s plans to comply with the Kyoto Protocol, can breathe easy for now. But our failure to actively reduce emissions and prioritize research into a cure means Canadian asthma sufferers won’t be doing so indefinitely.

-30-
Your turn: How has asthma touched you? Do we as a society do enough about it?

40 comments:

knitti-me said...

It's curious, but my husband was born and raised in New Zealand and suffered from asthma. He left NZ at the age of 22 and moved to the USA. He hasn't had any problems since.

mommyof4 said...

I have read that mold spores have a lot to do with the asthma epidemic and it also contributes to children having any type of lung infections. My two-year-old had pneumonia three times in her first year. We took out our old bathroom walls behind the tiles in the tub/shower, they were covered with mold. We put new stuff in and she has yet to have it. Her nebulizer is gathering dust. People do not know the dangers of mold and do not know how to check for it. It hides and can make the whole house sick. A good book I read about it is "my house is killing me" it taught me a lot.

Chele In {dot} LA said...

whew that was hard work getting here..

Lisa said...

I don't have any personal experience, but I do work with two women who developed asthma as adults. I find that really odd. It does make you wonder.

Joan said...

Carmi, what started out as a comment turned into a blog entry of my own: Fish out of water. Thank you for the inspiration.

kenju said...

I only know a few people who have it, carmi, though the rates are skyrocketing in the US also. I think we need to promote lots of research into the causes and possible cures. I did read one article that said it is probably an auto-immune disease.

~A~ said...

My husband has cold (as in cold air) and allergy induced asthma and Pixie has allergy induced asthma. I was really excited when GSUSA (Girl Scouts) came up with an Asthma Awareness Patch Program. My troop will be completing it early next year since this year is all planned up.

I'm not sure in the case of my family (since their asthma is aggravated by the natural elements) if there's anything that can be corrected by society as a whole other than more awareness and studies to work towards prevention. I know that with my husband herbal teas containing ephedra work well in controlling his attacks, the only problem is that ephreda is hard to come by since the big phen phen craze and the USFDA has banned the herb to be carried by anyone except by Chinese herbalist. The nearest (reputable) Chinese herbalist is 40 miles away. But that's a rant for another day.

Dak-Ind said...

my MIL has asthma. she is constantly having to do breathing treatments from a nebulizer, as well as her inhaler. with the recent plumping cataptrophes in both her and i's apartment (she is my neighbor on the left) she has been having to sleep with a "dust mask" because the mildew and dust in the air is making her asthma worse and she cant breathe. its awful.

greetings from michele

kenju said...

Exile? What exile?


Michele sent me back tonight!

Plumkrazzee said...

Asthma scares the daylights out of me. My mom has a friend who was testifying in court during a murder trial, and she had an attack, and died on the witness stand. That made it all so very real to me....it's such a scary thing...literally having the breath taken from you, I can't imagine. Michele sent me tonight.

jude said...

my wife has asthma that is dormant 95% of the time. Last time she had flair up she was taking steroids that caused her to start having heart pvc's that now seem to be more of a problem than the asthma. I am dreading the next spring pollen flair up... here from michele's...

Anonymous said...

If I were you, I would encourage her to look into naturistic treatments - such as the romanian salt mine treatments. Look for Slanic Prahova over there. She would spend about one month per year going for four hours daily into a salt mine and doing nothing but reading/walking/rollerblading. The results appear after the second year, generally. I have met a person down there who was at the fifth year and did away with the puffer. Good luck to you...

Karen said...

My husband was severely asthmatic as a child (ER visits nearly every weekend)... not so much anymore, but he does have major allergies to anything with leaves, spores, or hair (except humans... and sometimes I'm not too sure of that!).

Hi, Michele sent me!

thegoodgeeks said...

The only time I've ever experienced asthma type symptoms was during a summer in Texas.

Hello, Michele sent me!

used*to*be*me* said...

My brief encounter with asthma could be called the “non asthma episode.” We went through a
period in Utah when the doctors were all convinced that small children with a cough had asthma.
My then 4 year old was sick with a fever, cough and runny nose. I took her to the local pediatric
non-emergency clinic as it was late in the evening. The doc checked her heart, looked into her
ears and throat and pronounced that she had asthma. Walla, just like that. No x-ray was given.
He put her on a breathing machine there at the clinic for an hour and then sent us home with a
prescription for Albuteral (sp) and told me she would need to follow up with our regular doc for
inhalers, breathing machines, etc. depending on the severity of her asthma.

I was very speculative but since I didn’t possess my own Ph.D I figured I’d give her the meds and
make an appointment for follow up. The side effects of the Albuteral (sp) were horrific. Luckily she didn’t have any. After a week, her cough was gone and she was fine and our doc deemed her healthy and sent me with a list of symptoms to watch for.

A few weeks later, my boss was in Alaska visiting the in-laws and his 4 year old was not feeling
well. Upon taking her to the local clinic she too was diagnosed with asthma and givin Albuteral
(sp) also. Unfortunately she suffered many of the horrible side effects including the violent
vomiting, which further induced her cough. Upon their return to Utah they found out she had
bronchitis and needed antibiotics.

My daughter is 8 now and has a clean bill of health. She never had another episode and neither
has my boss’ daughter. I wondered if there was some epidemic of bad diagnosis for a period of
time or if asthma was the quick fix for busy clinics.

I don’t doubt that many people suffer from this disease. I’ve known one or two. I don’t think
we, as a society nor our governments are taking the air we breath seriously enough. Sadly, I also don’t know what I, as a single person could do other than some stern letter writing.

David said...

we live at altitude - in a clean air forest, we don't do much asthma?
but thaks for asking
Michele conscripted me and made me march here 1 2 3 4

Marisa said...

My asthma is triggered mainly by my allergy to cat hair and when it hits me it's awful. Because I don't get it that often, I RARELY carry my inhaler with me, which was almost a problem during a recent vacation where the people I stayed with had a cat. Luckily, I remembered by allergy meds, but by day 4, I was wheezing pretty badly. Thank goodness that was the last day!

Michele sent me your way.

Crayonsetc said...

Stopping by to say Hi, Michele sent me... from yet another asthmatic ;)

Ms Mac said...

I'm asthmatic too and my husband is just like you. I wonder if your lovely wife is a bit like me.... hmmm.....

Anyway, I once read a very interesting article about asthma which laid the blame for the epidemic at the door of overuse of antibiotics. The experts seemed to think that we are not letting our bodies enough fighting of bacteria on it's own and using antibiotics too freely. The human body is made to fight infection on its own and therefore it's becoming a bit mischievous, finding more new things to become allergic to, in order to be able to fight off any resultant infections... or something...

I haven't explained it very well but the article was just one of those things that made sense.

Beanhead said...

I have two kiddos with Asthma. I have been dealing with it for 6 years now. And no we do not do enough as a society to deal with it.

I am always in a battle with teachers and school staffa about my childrens health. My oldest ahs a cold right now that caused her to need a neb last night and they are shocked that I would keep her out of school for three days. Last time I didn't she ended up in ICU for 4 days!

Sorry about the book Carmi you just hit home with this one.

Oh and one more thing. People that smoke... If you could just think for one second before you lite up right outside the doors to a store or resturant. My kids already have a rough time catching their breath and when they get a lung full of smoke it just sends them into a fit!

Sheesh said...

Surprisingly, I don't know anyone close to me with asthma. But, I can imagine how stressful it must be to live with the constant fear of an asthma attack. You do a great think by watching out for your wife.

Here today via Michele's.

Viamarie said...

Asthma is hereditary so that explains why all of us in the family have it. We have to religiously take anti-allergy drugs aside from having the house free of all the carpets, draperies, etc. It sure is scary when you get into an attack. Btw, you should have a small oxygen tank at home, so when she starts the attack, you can start the inhalation to prevent oxygen deprivation while waiting for medicines to take effect.

Am here from Michele.

Debbie said...

Thank you. My husband and my youngest daughter have asthma, and it can be scary when they get an attack. My husband has to take medication for the rest of his life.

Suz said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I didnt put the furnitur company's name in my post cause the name of the city I live in is also part of their name, but believe me they will get theres.

As for asthma, I dont know anyone that has it, but did have a friend growing up that did. It was very hard for her sometimes while we were outside.

Great blog you have here.

Hugs Suz

Radioactive Jam said...

My wife has dealt with asthma for most of her life. Only in the last few years has she "found" a medication scheme that truly seems to work. She went for more than a year without needing to use her so-called rescue inhaler. Recent extensive allergy treatments might be a factor in her overall improved breathing ability. She's never felt better, though.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

You are so right, Carmi....I've known many people with Asthma during my lifetime and it is a terrible terrible disease. I agree that there must be some very big environmental reason for the growing huge numbers of people who have Asthma...it seems so many governments are slow to do anything about these things...I feel for your wife and for you and the children, too.

Ash said...

I have always had a chronic cough, but not asthma. Our highly perserved foods, and poor air quality seem to be a biggy towards the problem. I've had many friends with it as well as their kids.
I haven't heard much of anything being done about it here in the US, good that it is high in the media as a concern in your country. I really hope more can be found out about it.
Here via Michele's!

Karen said...

Amazingly enough, I've never been touched by asthma. But I have noticed that it's most definitely on the rise, and I can't help but think it's environmental.

Your wife is lucky to have you to watch out for her.

Happy Friday.

Cassie said...

I grew up in the countryside, in a small village by the sea.
When I was 11, my parents and I moved to a large city full of... fumes and poulltion and shit like that
Three years later I was dianogised with asthma, despite having had no breathing problems at all living in the country.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

nice work!

Im chele In [dot] LA said...

over while i can from the other Michele's

Carolyn said...

Hi Carmi, Here from Michele's ;)

I had a sleep study last summer and was told I had a 'touch' of asthma. Not sure what that means, but the doc gave me an inhaler. I think it's mainly allergans in the air that get me, and any kind of chemical spray fumes or such. I try to not use spray bottles but unfortunately, I can't control the rest of my environment. Hope your wife doesn't have bad attacks.

Shane said...

Popular radio host Art Bell's wife recently passed away due to her asthma. She was in her 40s.

Most people don't realize how deadly it can be.

Lazy Daisy said...

No personal experience with it but my husband had a very bad case as a child missing 52 days of school. He outgrew it but I have heard that he can get it again later in life. So I'm always aware of it in the back of my mind.

Star said...

There is definately an increase, either in the number of cases or the awareness of them. My daughter did not have it as a child but was diagnosed as an adult.

Michelle said...

Hello Carmi!

I too have asthma. I was diagnosed with it only 4 years ago. Hmmm...

atpanda said...

I live in AZ and have had asthma since I was young. I hadn't had a problem since I was about 15, but then when I was living in England this summer, I had a scary attack. Asthma is terrifying.

Michele sent me.

margalit said...

I've had asthma my whole life (53 years) but it has gotten worse as I get older. I'm horribly allergic to mold and mold spores, most of the outdoor and some cats. Of course we have a cat but...

My son has slight asthma usually exacerbated by cold weather and any respiratory distress, and my daughter has exercise induced asthma, recently diagnosed.

What gets me is that medicaid in my state will not pay for MOST asthma meds and absolutely NO allergy meds. None. Nor will they cover cough syrup with codiene. Can you please explain this thinking when asthma is much more prevalent amongst innercity kids that live in old, non-rehabbed apartments? The very kids who are on medicaid?

Rhodent said...

3 of my 4 children have had asthma... Only one of them outgrew it to a point where he rarely has a problem. One thing you might want to think about... the 2 girls often react to chemical food additives, pool water (chlorine), and meat treated with hormones or with certain fillers. It is not just the atmosphere that we need to be concerned about, although air pollutants and mold spores in the night air are also big triggers.

Chris said...

I have a 6 yr old who has been hospitalized 9 times since 6 mos. of age due to severe asthma. It's not getting any better, at all. The list of medications he is on is a big one.(You can read my post about it here:http://itsallaboutmeithink.blogspot.com/2006/01/momma-will-fix-it.html#links). Now, last Tuesday my 9 yr. old has now been diagnosed with moderate asthma. It's our enviroment and we are the only ones to blame. That's my opinion anyway.
By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog!