Peter's Comic Book Ramblings

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


For those that don't know, for most of my life I had on-again/off-again bouts with asthma. I don't remember how early it started, but I can remember being younger than 10 and having breathing problems. I was put on pills for the longest time - not that I would take them as prescribed - until I started to use albuteral inhalers. Again, I would never use them as prescribed. Most of the times they would say take two puffs every ___ hours, wash, rinse, repeat. I would only really use my inhaler if I needed it, which meant, if my breathing was getting bad. I've used inhalers all the way through to my thirties with pitstops along the way to use something called Seravant (Seravent?) as well as Advair. You know, that purple circular disc pump thingy. I could dance in a tap concert for two hours and be totally fine. But then I would walk to my car, sneeze, and my asthma would kick in. I never really knew if it was seasonal based, exercise based or allergy based. It would trigger for any number of reasons. And on a handful of occasions it would be bad enough to wind me up in the emergency room.

So why am I writing all this? Because I just read the following news story:

Inhalers prescribed for serious lung disease may increase the risk of deadly heart problems, say researchers. Trials on more than 15,000 patients found inhaled anticholinergic drugs increased the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death by 58%.

You can read the rest here.

Now. I get that this story is talking about a different kind of inhaler. I suppose. But I want to relate a story for anyone using inhalers for asthma.

Earlier this year, I did the Master Cleanse/Lemon drink diet. I am not a vegetarian. I am not a vegan. I am not into any holistic way of life at all. But for ten days, I did the Master Cleanse (except for the saline flush part. ew) and not only did I lose 15 pounds, but my addiction - yes that's the word I want to use - to inhalers went away. My asthma moved to a point that my body is now able to heal itself. Let me say that again:

My asthma is almost all but gone.

For weeks after the Cleanse, I didn't even realize that I hadn't used my inhaler. And when I did realize it, it dawned on me that the inhaler was probably keeping my body from healing itself. Do I still get "wheezy"? Sometimes. Do I feel short of breath at times? Sure. But I no longer rush to the inhaler to fix it. I let my body do it's own work.

If you don't have asthma, you haven't experienced the fear you can sometimes have when an attack sets in. The shortness of breath, the gasping of air. It's not fun. But another side effect to doing the Cleanse, and of not having to rely on my inhaler, is that I realize now that asthma can also be very mental. You can completely work yourself up more than is actually happening.

It's been about 5 months or more since I've done the Cleanse. I haven't done it since. I don't exercise any more or less than I did back then. I still weigh the same. I do eat better (cutting out milk, excessive junk food, candies, artificial juices etc really helps). But I still have the same habits as before.

And yet my asthma is now controllable. After close to thirty years, I no longer carry my inhaler with me.

I'm not offering up a solution or course of action. I'm just giving food for thought for those willing to read.



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