13 Things We Asthmatics Can Be Thankful For

John Bottrell Health Pro
  • You and I have come to grips with the fact we have a disease called asthma.  Sure it's caused us some hardships along the way, and for some of us lots of hardships, yet in the end we asthmatics have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.


    1.  Asthma wisdom:  In the 2,000 years since asthma was first described, this wisdom has come a long way.  Scientists have yet to find a cure, but they have taken giant strides in that direction in recent years, beginning with the discovery of the asthma genes.  And while there is no cure yet, doctors and asthmatics are now equipped with some great asthma wisdom to help us asthmatics lead a normal, active life.

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    2.  Asthma medicine:  I read a book called "Mornings on Horseback" which was about Teddy Roosevelt's struggles with asthma when he was a kid.  When he lost his breath there were few options to help him find it short of a ride in horse and buggy in the cool night air (and that buggy probably kicked up a load of dust mites for him to inhale too). We modern asthmatics can be thankful for Ventolin, Xopenex, Advair, Symbicort, Singulair and all the modern medicines available to treat our symptoms and, in some cases, prevent them altogether.  We should also be thankful these meds are relatively safe too.


    3.  MyAsthmaCentral:  Sincerely and honestly, sites like this are the greatest things to come the way of the asthmatic.  When we were growing up, many of us thought we were alone.  When new wisdom arrived we had no way to learn about it short of an expensive and hard to read book that came out once every several years.  Now, not only do we have our community, we literally have access to all the greatest and latest wisdom at our fingertips. 


    5.  Asthma books:  I don't know if it's just me, but it seems modern asthma books are not only relatively inexpensive but they make asthma a simple disease.  One such example is "Asthma for Dummies." Asthma is a very complicated disease, and this book makes it easy to understand.  Every asthmatic should have an asthma book at his or her bedside for reference, and for the fact we now have access to many easy to read books on asthma is something we should be thankful for.


    6.  Science:  We ought to be thankful for all the wisdom that is so complex most of us have a hard time even fathoming it.  All those test tubes, the formulas, the discovery of mast cells, T-cells, cytokines, DNA, RNA, and all the other pieces that make it possible to prevent and treat this disease, and some day come up with a cure.  For this we are thankful.


    7.  Scientists:  Let us not forget all the great people who are working so hard to make it easier for all of us to breath.


    8.  Gallant Doctors:  Let us not forget the other half of the patient-doctor team.  These doctors work hard all year long to keep up on their asthma wisdom so they are better equipped to take care of us, and for that we are greatly thankful.


    9.  The doctor educators:  There are institutions that house the scientists and do all the research (such as National Jewish Health) and make sure regional asthma doctors are educated on the latest asthma wisdom.  In the past communication here was poor, and now it should get an A+ grade.  For this we are thankful.


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    10.  It's preventable:  Thanks to those scientists listed above doctors now know most asthmatics have some degree of chronic inflammation in their air passages that is treatable with medicines like Advair and Symbicort.   Thanks to this preventable medicine asthma episodes should be far and few between, if they show up at all. 


    11.  Pharmaceuticals:  Some people complain they gouge us out of too much money for their product, but we should be thankful that they have taken the financial risk to search for, invent, and manufacture the medicines that allow us to lead relatively normal lives.  Thank you.


    12.  Pharmacists:  Let us not forget these fine folks for whipping up our prescriptions and serving them with a smile.  We should also be thankful for the wisdom they provide about our medicines.


    13.  It's treatable:  Teddy Roosevelt didn't have access to a medicine that gave him relief from his asthma until 1903 when epinephrine was discovered.  Today we have medicines like Ventolin and Xopenex that can help us catch our breath real quick.  For this we are definitely thankful.


    When you think about it, we asthmatics are pretty fortunate to be alive in an era of great asthma wisdom and wonderful asthma medicines, and for this we should be especially grateful. 


    Thank you, fellow asthmatics, for taking the time to hang out with us.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Published On: November 24, 2009