At first, Paul took his illness lightly. But now he knows that he must take good care of himself in order to enjoy an active retirement with as few worries as possible.
My dad before me had asthma
I developed the condition in my forties. More and more often, I would get this dry cough. In the mornings I found it difficult to breathe in and out deeply. And I would literally wheeze through the night. It was an imposition on my wife as well. I kept putting off going to the doctor. I just didn’t want to admit that I could have asthma, too. Then I had my first attack. That’s when I knew I wasn’t going to get by without medication any more.
Like my dad before me, the ‘air pump’ prescribed by my doctor, that is, my cortisone spray, became my constant companion. The fact that I was on the road a lot in my job as a sales manager and was always under time pressure wasn’t exactly conducive to my asthma, either. My job was stressful. When I partially retired at the end of my fifties things got a bit better. Nevertheless, I still feel a bit handicapped at times.
I’ve tried all manner of remedies: Besides medication, I also gave acupuncture a go. It didn’t really help. I still have asthma attacks. They’re my weak point. Especially now that I have more time on my hands for the first time. I’d really love to enjoy as carefree a life as possible. That’s why my greatest wish is to keep my asthma in check, so that I can ride my motorbike or mountain bike whenever the fancy takes me.
My asthma and other conditions
Asthma is unfortunately not my only health problem. I have high blood pressure, too, so I’m on antihypertensive meds for that. However, as an asthmatic some of them are taboo – beta blockers for instance. But my doctor gives me good tips. He recommended that I do more to stay fit than just cycling. So I decided to try out yoga at the gym. In the past I dismissed it as women’s stuff. But I have to admit the breathing exercises do me good. I also watch my weight and at the gym do targeted exercises for my abs and back muscles. According to my doctor this helps to keep my asthma in check.
Luckily I’m fit and not overweight. I eat a healthy diet and only enjoy the occasional beer. I’ve realized: You can’t make something out of nothing. And asthma doesn’t simply get better or go away as you get older. Unfortunately the opposite is usually the case. That’s why I have to protect myself from severe attacks as best I can.
Now I’m putting my trust in my new little helper
A friend introduced me to Vivatmo me. The handy little device can measure the degree of inflammation in my lungs. It shows me the threshold values, just like a traffic light. It’s reassuring to be able to monitor my values myself. No need for a trip to the doctor; the measurement takes just seconds and couldn’t be easier. This helps me to plan my day. If my inflammation values are okay, I can get out and get active. If they’re not, I just take things easy. And to make sure I’m not taking more pills than I really need, I regularly discuss my Vivatmo me readings with my doctor. The readings I manage in my app help him to better assess how I’m doing and optimize my medication and treatment.
This handy device helps me feel on top of my asthma. I now have a better idea of how my lungs work – and don’t feel so out of it when I get together with the guys to plan our next motorbike tour. I have a better understanding now of what works for me and what doesn’t.”