You and Your Asthma Doctor Must Be An Asthma Control Team
By Rick Frea, April 21, 2010 @ MyAsthmaCentral.com
Modern research has proven that the more you're doctor is in tune with you the better controlled your will be.
I recently had a patient say to me, "Every time my doctor leaves the room I feel I have twice as many questions as when he came in."
Later, after he finished his , he said, "I don't even know why I'm getting treatments, they don't do me any good."
While I was searching my brain for a good response, he said, "Well, I guess my doctor ordered 'em, so I must need 'em."
I said, "You're paying him to take care of you. YOU are the boss, not the other way around. You should work WITH your doctor to control your , not for him."
"Oh," he said, "I never thought of it that way."
I used to be the same way with my doctor. It's easy just to "assume" he knows all, and to take it for granted he's doing a good job. But is he really?
A doctor shouldn't simply enter your room, assess you in a rush, check you over and be gone in a flash, leaving you with more questions than when he came. If this describes your doctor, perhaps it's time to seek a new one.
A Gallant asthma doctor should anticipate your needs, answer all your questions, and work with you in deciding what needs to be done to control your .
While you'll want your doctor to live up to his end of the bargain, you need to do the same. You need to keep up on your wisdom too (which you're doing by hanging out here on this site).
Likewise, you'll need to be a Gallant Asthmatic.
- Take your meds as prescribed
- Use a spacer with your rescue inhaler
- Use your peak flow meter daily to monitor your , and record the results in your journal.
- Know your personal signs and symptoms of asthma.
- Know your asthma triggers and how to avoid them.
- Follow your asthma action plan to a T.
- Keep an journal (a simple notebook will do) and bring it to your doctor's appointments. It's hard to remember how your was doing two to three weeks ago, so this can help you and your doctor manage your long-term. (click here for an example journal).
- Show up to your appointments on time and with questions.
- Never leave an appointment with questions unanswered.
Instead of your doctor just "assuming" your is controlled, he can look at your journal to get a true assessment of how well controlled your has been since your last appointment.
You'll need to work with him to learn what your triggers are. He may recommend testing, and you'll have to be vigilant to what else triggers your (such as cigarette smoke or strong perfume) and learn to avoid those things.
You'll need to work with him to create an action plan, and together you can make adjustments based on your description of how well your is controlled, and your journal.
You'll need to work with him to determine the best treatment plan. If your remains uncontrolled, he may recommend new meds to try, and so can you based on your own research.
Yet only through your efforts, by being observant, and by keeping up on your journal, will your doctor get a true and reliable picture of how the current course of treatment is working.
So, you can see, it's important you and your doctor work together, as an control team, to get your under the best control possible.