It was just another day at her job as a staff assistant for a congressman when 28 year-old Katie thought she’d drop by a health fair in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill.
They were having an asthma expo, and it was pretty fun. They had the Wii game Just Dance, and that brought a lot of people in, she says of the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics’ (AANMA) annual Asthma Awareness Day on Capitol Hill, with asthma screenings organized by ACAAI. “I participated in the asthma screenings, and I scored in the questionable range on every test that I took. So I made an appointment to see an allergist.”
Looking back, Katie sees little signs that she might have had asthma. “My sister has had bouts of it, but other than her, I don’t know of anyone else in my family,” she says. “I work out for extended periods of time and would get really winded, but I thought it was just because I was working out for a long time. Then one day I was climbing the escalator out of the Metro, and when I got to the top I was out of breath. I thought, ‘This should not be happening to someone at my age and in good general health.'”
The allergist performed additional tests. “She agreed that I needed a bronchodilator inhaler and a prescription medication,” Katie says. “I initially used both very regularly, but now I just carry the inhaler with me and don’t have to use it too often.”
Katie feels more confident knowing the source of her breathing difficulties, and knowing exactly what to do when they arise. “It definitely made my life a lot easier,” she says. “It’s good to know that I have the inhaler there because when I need it, I really need it!”
This patient successfully found relief after seeing an allergist, but the patient’s photograph is not available to respect the patient’s privacy and identity.