I have now been using my Powerbreathe Medic for 3 weeks. The day I started using it I also reduced my inhaler dosage. This was done with the full approval of the nurse at the asthmas clinic!
I have been tracking my peak flows twice a day to give me an objective picture of what is happening.
The first couple of days my peak flow stayed the same, then on day 3 it dropped slightly, only by 15-20 points. After two days it popped back up again, and has been trundling along since then. The only time I have had any symptoms was after a tough track session, but I always have coughed after those!
Getting into a routine with the twice daily use of the Powerbreathe has been a case of trial and error. In the morning I try and use it before I use my inhaler, in the evening the same.
It did take a few days to get the tension right, but I got there! I am now increasing the resistance quite quickly, especially when I realise that I have done 30 breaths and not noticed! I am intrigued to see how I go over the next few weeks, as I increase the resistance higher.
I am going to see the asthma nurse again and go through the Powerbreathe with her. We are going to discuss my asthma medication again as well as I am on such a low dose of my current inhaler it is not technically therapeutic!
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I follow a lot of triathletes on Twitter, and Mel Ryding was mentioning POWERbreathe and how it was reducing her asthma inhaler usage at track running sessions. I am an asthmatic who uses Seretide inhalers twice a day and have been talking to the nurse at the asthma clinic about trying to reduce my usage. I had got down to three puffs a day and I want to see how low I can go so I swapped a few messages with POWERbreathe and discovered that a version is available as a medical device on prescription!
On my next visit to my doctor, I mentioned the POWERBreathe Medic. She had never heard of it and suggested I spoke to the nurse at the asthma clinic on my next visit. This I did last week but she was not aware of it either! Luckily for me she is keen to improve the service she can offer her respiratory patients in the rural area we live in. She could not find it on the computer, which we later discovered was because POWERbreathe is one word, not two. She persisted and called me at home to say she had written a prescription for me. In return, I am going to be her guinea pig, going back in a month with my POWERbreathe Medic to show her how it works and if there has been any improvement. At the same time I am going to reduce my inhaler dose to one puff twice a day! The nurse was impressed to find research evidence on the device, and is keen to look at it for her COPD patients.
It has been a little frustrating to get my hands on the POWERbreathe Medic, but having finally picked it up from the chemists today, after they had to order it, I am looking forward to seeing what happens over the next few weeks. I will use my peak flow meter and my subjective opinion to track any benefits. Hopefully it will help my breathing during my triathlon training as well!
I’ll keep you updated with my progress.