Asthma attacks and Flare-ups

Have you or someone you know ever had to be on prednisone? After such a flare-up were you able to fully identify what the triggers were that lead to the asthma attack? Most of the time it is hard to know EXACTLY what the trigger/triggers were. Sometimes it is a combination of things and our body is not able to handle it.

The last 10 days have been hard as I had a flare up with my allergies and asthma which has resulted in my being on prednisone. As annoying as the side effects can be, I am glad to be feeling better. This is the first serious flare-up for me in quite some time and it makes me realize that though I have lots of support, a great allergist and family doctor, there are still some actions I can take, which would make me even better prepared for any similar attacks in the future.

Do you have an adequate “Asthma Team” in place? Here in Victoria, BC we have an Asthma Clinic which has a pulmonary specialist on call. Do you have a pulmonary specialist? What is your action plan, or the action plan for your son/daughter or loved one? Having a proper plan in place is very important. Do you have a peak flow meter and know how to use it? Knowing what your lung capacity is when you are feeling at your very best and when you are feeling tight provides a great way to monitor your lungs. The American Association of Allergy Asthma & Immunology has a great article on peak flow meters and how important they are; “A peak flow meter for asthma is like a thermometer for a fever. It helps monitor what’s going on inside your body.” AAAAI

I highly recommend having a glance through National Asthma Patient Alliance – Asthma Society of Canada‘s website. Do you know many others who struggle with asthma? Are you wondering how others deal with their asthma and how they might have overcome some of the challenges we often face on a day to day basis? Have a read through some real-life stories on the Asthma Society of Canada’s website! It’s always nice to know you are not the only one 🙂



XXI World Congress of Asthma is around the corner!

I am very excited to be attending thanks to Allergen NCE. There is a little more information on their website now about the topics that will be discussed and the FINAL Program is also up!

Looking through the numerous sessions, titles and keynotes & speakers has been extremely inspiring, as my primary concerns and interest lie in why asthma is on the rise, and, how to manage asthma in the work place or school. It is one thing to have a home that is clear of mold and dust and is controlled, however I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with alternate environments which have multiple triggers that are beyond my control.

Over the next few days, I will be looking through the program and trying to figure out which sessions I will be attending! It’s like looking at a menu! Hopefully I will be seeing some of you there!

BTW, I can’t seem to find abstracts yet either…


There’s still time to sign up!

Does your child have asthma and or anaphylaxis? Are they between 7 and 15 years of age? Here’s an opportunity you most definitely won’t want them to miss out on! After 2 pilot studies the University of Alberta Social Support Research Program and Anaphylaxis Canada and several others, are launching a full scale 8 week online program, lead by Investigator; Dr. Miriam Stewart.

“Based on [the] comments, from parents after the pilot study, the answer is an overwhelming “Yes!” Yes, this study is a worthy investment of your limited time! Yes, your son/daughter will want to participate” – SOS website Kids Want to Attend

By week 8 your child will be wishing there were more sessions. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to talk, share, laugh and make new friends from across the country who they might actually share an awful lot in common with! Check out there site

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me! I was a mentor in both pilot interventions and am always excited to discuss. I know as a mentor, I learned a lot from the children and youth and had an amazing experience. Great people, a fun time and so much to take away with you after the fact! Even some role playing. =)

An amazing study worth reading into!

The Social Support Research Program, Asthma Society of Canada and Anaphylaxis Canada have partnered up to deliver an online support program for children and youth with asthma and severe allergies. I was a mentor in their Pilot studies and both were extremely successful and rewarding. Does your child have severe allergies and/or asthma? Have a quick read and see if you think your child may be interested in participating. You will find contact information on the website.


XXI World Congress of Asthma 2012

It has been a little while since my last post as there has been a lot going on. Most exciting is that I will be attending the XXI World Congress of Asthma in Quebec City, Quebec thanks to Allergen NCE’s support.

I am extremely keen to meet researchers and leaders who are trying to better understand the hows and whys of asthma. I also look forward to the recent research and theories that will be presented and discussed.

What questions do you ask yourself about asthma? If you have asthma, do you know all of your triggers? What makes your asthma worse? I know I spend a fair bit of time playing detective… “Why was my asthma worse today than it was yesterday or the last few days?”. “Am I coming down with a cold?” “Is my asthma controlled as best as it can be?” So many questions, and most can provoke a decent amount of thinking and discussion.

If you’ve got questions, post them here and I’ll see how much I can find out for you.

A list of all the presenters and sessions is available on the website.

I have also joined the Asthma Society of Canada / National Asthma Patient Alliance (NAPA) as an asthma educator. They will also be present at the XXI World Congress of Asthma in August and I look forward to meeting them there!

Allergy and Asthma Walks in May

Have you ever participated in one of these walks or runs? Maybe you have sponsored someone who has. One I recently stumbled upon definitely sparked my interest. Asthma UK has a fundraising event that is 100km in length. Sounds like quite a trek. I know this event is definitely on my radar. Maybe a trip to Europe in the future for this event… 🙂 Take a look at London 2 Brighton Challenge

Do you know of any other events out there to raise awareness and funds to help with research, outreach and support? Have you ever considered starting one? If you have, contacting one of the major Allergy/Asthma Organizations might be your first step. Many are keen to help out and support initiatives. Check out the “Allergy/Asthma walks in North America” tab for some of the walks in North America I am aware of. There are likely many more all over the world. A simple search on the web and you might discover there is one going on near you!

For events that are longer than a few hours, the one thing that always gets my mind going a mile a minute is what to do for food? Most events of this nature offer food for participants, however are you really going to take a chance if you are in the woods and/or far from home? I participated in the Canadian Ski Marathon when I was a competitive cross-country skier and I had to pack all my snacks with me. My friends would grab trail mix at the rest stops and checkpoints, and whatever snacks they provided, yet I had to carry it on my back. Seeing others get the snacks they served kinda made me feel left out, though I quickly realised how much safer I was having my own FUEL 🙂