Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vote for the Mama!

The Angry Asthma Mama has been nominated for Healthline's Best Health Blog of 2012! Please take 5 seconds and vote for me? I'm entry #263. Lots of competition...
best health blogs contest

Monday, December 03, 2012

Compliance with Asthma Meds, or How Do You Get an 8 Year Old to Take His Flovent?

OK....I know there are some moms and dads who read this blog who have kids older than mine. So here's my question for you:

How do you get your kids to take their asthma meds?

My Ozzy is 8 now, and getting him to take his Flovent (which he can now administer himself) requires something just shy of an act of Congress. I have to take his digital toys away every morning until all his to-dos are done, and even then, Flovent requires three reminders. And if I forget to remind, he forgets to take. 

And let's not even talk about the rinsing after!

I'd love to say I could be there every time to administer, but I have two other kids and myself to get ready in the AM - and one of those other kids requires my nearly constant supervision.

What works in your house? I'd love some suggestions!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Symbicort Question for YOU!

You probably don't know this, but I moved to Canada recently. That's a long story for another day. But the relevant part is, since I'm the only one in the family who isn't Canadian, I have no health coverage here. And, of course, asthma season is upon us.

The past few days, every I time I inhale after 6:00pm, I feel like I'm going to cough. For me, this means one of my lovely bronchitis-like flares is coming on. Since, un-medicated, these typically last for 3 months, I though I'd be proactive. But the only medication I have on hand is Symbicort.
The nice kind of thrush

So Symbicort works well to keep my asthma controlled, but OMG - the side effects!! I get thrush like no one gets thrush! So gross! I will have laryngitis within days (and I sing, did you know that?) and worse, worst of all, I will get thrush in, you know, that other place thrush can occur. And it's so awful and painful that I can't even think about it.

But, hey - my cough will be controlled!

I'm going to try like hell to have my parents send some Qvar up here, but until then...I'm begging you all... how can I take Symbicort and NOT get thrush? I gargle for days and rinse 1000 times, but nothing seems to work. Is there some trick I'm missing? Drinking raw cranberry juice? Eating Greek yogurt while standing on my head?

Please...your advice!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sanofi Markets New Intradermal Flu Vaccine

I read this in one of my industry trades this morning. Sanofi Pasteur actually hired Chris O'Donnell to peddle their new intradermal flu vaccine. Why bother?

A little less ouch, a lot less flu risk.
Well, let's face it: Even if are children are asthmatic, most of us don't get flu shots. Sure, we have our kids get them (unless, like mine, your kid is allergic to eggs or fish. Or because we're scared about thimerosal, but that's another story altogether.), but most of the adults skip the stick. And we do that, most likely, because we hate getting shots.

So this new vaccine is cool. It's not really a shot. My dad is a pharmacist who has to administer flu vaccines, and he says these needles are literally 90% smaller than regular shots, and they just barely puncture the skin. They're fairly painless, and they don't ache for days after like the old needles.

Of course, you can still get the old-fashioned injection. If you're a masochistic and that's you're thing, then have at it, Ana Steele.

For me, if I can't get the intra-nasal vaccine, I'll go the intra-dermal route. I'm scared to death of needles. ;)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

AngryAsthmaMama makes ... Best of the Web? Really?

Another comment worth sharing...

Although I'm late posting this one, possibly because I've moved to Canada over the last month, I'm very proud to have been named one of the best Asthma sites for 2012 by

Here's the note I received:

Hi Aimee, Healthline editors recently published the final list of their favorite Asthma blogs and your blog made the list. You can find the complete list at: 
(in no particular order). We encourage you to share your status as one of the best blogs on the web with your friends, family, & followers. Please let me know if you have any questions. Congrats & continue the great work!
Warm Regards, 
Thanks to everyone at Healthline, especially Tracy, for this honor. And apologies for the late acceptance!

Here's the uber-cool badge, which I may well have made into a t-shirt!

asthma blogs

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pulmicort and Mood Swings

This came in through the comments today, and I thought I'd share it. While my kids never had issues with mood swings related to their corticosteroids, over the years I've had many comments about kids who have.

If you notice your child is have severe mood swings, talking about suicide or doing anything especially weird while on inhaled steroids, PLEASE CALL YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.  Trust your gut: If you feel like something's wrong with your kid, something is probably wrong with your kid!

Anyway, to that point, here's the comment I wanted to share:

My son was recently put on Pulmicort twice daily to help control his asthma. A day or so after he started the Pulmicort, his mood started changing. He was suddenly obsessed with questions about dying, crying everyday, and kept talking about "thoughts" he could not get out of his head. He kept saying, "My brain keeps telling me to kill myself, but I would never do that." He insisted that the thoughts won't go away. The thoughts progressed into visions of other people dying and questioning beliefs in God. We realized all this began when he started taking Pulmicort so we decided to take him to the Dr. that prescribed it. He told us to take him off it immediately and that we should see a difference in 2-5 days. Well today is day 3 and I have my happy, loving, and kind son back. I normally don't write on blogs, but felt this is so important to let others know who may be experiencing the same thing with their child. It was helpful to me to see others going through the same thing and to know that it can get better once the Pulmicort is stopped. 
Thanks so much for sharing this. It's obviously very personal, but I think a lot of other parents benefit from this level of honesty. Let me know if your doctor puts your son on a different medication and how that goes.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Anyone use ProAir?

I'm out of Ventolin and had to start using ProAir over the last few weeks. I swear, I can never tell if I'm actually getting anything out of that inhaler. Is it just me?

My doctor said something this morning about it being a lighter mist or something... I thought it was just that the spray mechanism was crappy and didn't work half the time! Per the ProAir site:

ProAir® HFA delivers medicine in a warmer, lower-impact, longer-duration plume.4-6 I guess the feeling of getting little-to-no mist is intentional!

Interested in hearing how others like ProAir vs. Ventolin and other MDIs.  (For me, the counter is reason enough to prefer Ventolin, honestly.)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Video of Dr. April Wazeka, Our All-Time Favorite Doc Ever!

MorristownGreen, the news site for a nearby town, posted a video of our absolute favorite pediatric pulmonologist, Dr. April Wazeka!  I'm so happy to be able to "introduce" her to all of you!

Dr. Wazeka looked after my boys when they were younger, and really got them on the path to recovery. She's the best of the best, always taking time with us, listening to me, and respecting my choices. There's no doctor I recommend more highly....I can't imagine anyone not being impressed with her. (For the record, the ONLY reason we don't see her anymore is that she's now got two children of her own and works limited hours. Since my work hours aren't as flexible as they once were, it's just harder to see her. But I'm sure as her kids enter grade school, we'll manage to sync back up!)

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy, Healthy New Year.

So...eight years into this blog, who is the most seriously asthmatic in the family?  The mama, natch! B and Ig aren't even on asthma meds anymore!

I'm now on Qvar 80, 2 puffs a day. Oz is down to Flovent 100 (diskus, not MDI now) but he hasn't been sick in AGES.  I just had a major flare in November, so I WIN. Whoopee!

The flare in November felt a lot like what I had previously thought was my twice-annual bronchitis. Stupidly, when the doc had started me on Qvar over the summer, I never filled the prescription. I honestly thought he was over-prescribing, since I only got bronchitis in the winter and spring, and had really mile exercise-induced asthma. (Nothing a puff of albuterol couldn't handle after a rough workout.)

But when the cough got really bad in late October, I realized I probably needed the steroids. I was coughing till I gagged, and could barely get through a sentence without coughing. I called the doctor and tried to schedule an appointment, but due to our freak snowstorm here in the east, I couldn't get in. After phone tag with the doctor over the course three days, I got my Qvar Rx filled.

Within 48 hours of starting the Qvar, I was 75% better. It took a light course of orals to get me the rest of the way through, but the experience taught me something critical: I've probably never had bronchitis.

All those times I was diagnosed with bronchitis, it's likely I was just flaring. Thank God, my GP always assumed it was viral and never put me on antibiotics, but it's amazing to think I'd been misdiagnosed for so long.

So, while I'm not thrilled about being on Qvar every day, it beats the Symbicort and Asmanex I've been on the past. I didn't like the way they made me feel, or the unfortunate yeast infections they seemed to cause. (Ick. Seriously. ICK.)

Meanwhile, while I've always eaten well and exercised daily, I'm taking my diet even more seriously now. No more processed foods. More sleep. Whatever I can do to improve my health overall, I'm doing it. I have three boys to take care of - which is a TON of work all on its own, a full time job, and a singing career that (while small) is still really important to me! I need my health!  And I don't want to be on inhaled corticosteroids forever.

The boys are going off processed foods, too, much to their chagrin. No more KD, candy or packaged cookies. It's whole wheat pasta and 100% fruit leather from here on in! They'll learn to love it. Maybe.

So...wish me luck as I start this new year with optimism and a healthy new direction for my family and me.