Paris At Christmas - Avec Asthma

Old Jul 4th, 2006, 08:19 PM
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It's a done deal ... apartment, upgraded tickets and Zebby found a temporary home for the Holidays. DH asked at the dog park a few hours ago if anyone knew a dog sitter. Turns out that a woman we see there every day and whose little Cairn Terrier, is ONE of Zebby's little girlfriends, takes in dogs that she knows. Her other dog Cupcake is also a Shih Tzu, but is very aloof, but tolerates Zebby. We'll have an audition in her home to see how they all get along there.

Thank you for the help, and the asthma suggestions, which I will follow.

Life is good - the fireworks are exploding right now over the SF Bay and we can see them from our window.

Happy Independence Day.

Nina
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 06:14 AM
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Good for you, Nina

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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 05:30 PM
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Nina,
You sound like your problems are solved but, I too, was going to suggest inhaled steriods with your doctor's okay. I am a mother of a mildly asthmatic child & do this when traveling unusual places. Just for peace of mind. Have a gret trip! Betsy
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Thanks Betsy. HOPEFULLY my problem is solved ;-) I won't know for sure until I'm there.

I have been using a steroid inhaler daily for years, Aerobid. Plus two different daily bronco dialators. None of them helped me much in NY, or maybe they prolonged the attack until the last night of our two week.

I'll be seeing my doctor in a few months - two months before my trip and I'll see if he want to add or change my inhalers.

Nina
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 06:22 PM
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One of our children has asthma, and the cold air actually helps his breathing problems. When we lived in St. Louis when he was small and had an attack, the doctor recommended that we keep him outside as much as possible in the cold air. I have heard this from other doctors and asthma sufferers as well, and would guess that your asthma attach in NYC had nothing to do with the weather.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 08:22 PM
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I am also a severe asthmatic. My pulmonologist prescribed a purse sized nebulizer for me which runs on batteries or can be plugged in. When I "get in trouble" asthma-wise I can use it to rescue me. My usual meds, Maxaire as my usual inhaler, and Advair, an inhaled steroid usually do the trick, and I use them a couple of times daily, but every so often something affects me and I need to use the nebulizer. He also gives me small samples of liquid Albuterol for it to use as needed. It's basically the same thing they use in the ER that makes the mist. Before I had it I also had trips to the ER and in one instance wasn't sure I'd make it! Having the nebulizer makes for great peace of mind.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 09:41 PM
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Nina,

First, Paris winter weather, like New York winter weather, varies in severity. Sometimes the city is covered in snow and it's freezing while other times it's calm.

Second, perhaps you will feel better with a little advance planning. Here is a list of hospital emergency rooms in Paris:

http://www.aphp.fr/site/urgences/urgences_adultes.htm

Do you speak French? If not, why not write down the most essential things you would need to say in the event of an attack and have it translated beforehand? (I am not the only one here who speaks French, I am sure.)

I have been to Paris many times but to a Paris ER ("Urgences&quot only once, at night on a weekend. I was the only person there who spoke English and my French language ability got me the consultation I needed.

The Pharmacie Anglaise at 62 av des Champs Elysées, corner of rue La Boetie, has staff who speak English. (Telephones: 01 43 59 22 52 and 01 43 59 82 30)

Should you go? The lights at Christmas on the Champs Elysées, the Rond Point, the Avenue Montaigne, etc. put most other cities' displays to shame.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 11:09 PM
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Aileron -Thank you so much for the emergency hospital site. I'll print it out just in case.

The ER in NYC thought that it was the cold weather as I was doing nothing to exert myself, just walking. The last night that we were there was probably the coldest night in the two weeks of our stay and that is when it hit me. The rest of the time I was fine. I did have a cold though - DH and I bought caught were sick for a few days prior to the attack. That could have been a factor. But on the other hand, I've caught cold numerous times in Europe, and using it turns into broncitis. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

I've had Asthma for about 11 years, and never never had an attack like that one. In fact, I haven't had an attack since that one and that was a year and a half ago. Even the ones before I was diagnosed didn't last for more than an hour, and in those days, I had no medications as I had no idea that I had become an asmatic.

Mine is exercise induced, ie; heavy breathing sometimes when I walking up stairs or hills or move fast - I don't think that anything else has ever effectived my breathing. That's why I suspect the cold air.

I am definetely going to ask my doctor about getting a pocket neulizer, battery & plug in. I don't think that my insurance will pay for it, but if necessary I will pay for it myself - any idea how much they cost?

Also, does Paris have a 911 type of emergency phone number like we do - just in case I needed an ambulance?

I finally had to call 911 in NYC because I couldn't make it to the hospital on my own.

We will be in an apartment, so I have to be prepared as there will be no hotel front desk to help, just poor DH.

I must be turning into a basket case, I have never planned a trip or written a post, with the word ambulance in it ;-) Maybe I should just stay home, curled up in a big blanket by the fire, eating bon bons and reading a steamy novel! NO WAY (well maybe the bon bons and the steamy novel).

Nina
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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Hi Nina,
Your insurance will cover a nebulizer, including Medicare if you are of that age. I've had mine over ten years and there are newer models now. It's an Omron brand, model 03V. Here's a website to show you exactly what they are. Good luck. http://hmint.com/Pages/Nebulizer_neu22.htm
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Mollie, thank you so much. I've been on the phone & online since I read your post. Apparently your model 03V has been discontinued, and replaced with the Omron NE-U22V.

Local store prices for the U22V, ranged from $483 to $500, plus tax, and extra for the
AC adapter.

The site you gave me, HM International, sells them for $225 total, which includes an AC adapter, tax, and shipping. Big difference!

Have you or anyone else personally, dealt with HM International online?
They claim that they are a direct distributor for Omron.

Thanks again,

Nina

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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Nina -- I have asthma and two of my kids have cold-induced asthma....

Chicago winters were great for my asthma. Paris in the winter also did not bother me.

One of my worst attacks as an adult was after going over to someone's apartment. They'd had a hot water leak that the landlord hadn't been prompt in fixing and mold probably was developing (although we couldn't see it). I was there less than an hour.
Often adults who develop asthma are not referred beyond their GP. You might consider a specialist for at least one visit to discuss your situation with him or her. There really is no substitute.

Oh, and check your lung capacity every morning, chart it, and keep ahead of it.

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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Medical emergency number for France is 15...unless you are using a cell/mobile phone then it's 112
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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Nina, I haven't dealt with them but I suppose since they are the distributor there is no middle man, hence the good price. Remember, you have to have an RX from you physician. I got mine from a dealer in the area and paid more at the time although my insurance did cover it. But I don't think I'd hesitate in ordering from them and using a credit card. If you don't get it for some reason, you can contact your cc company and they'll handle a credit for you.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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I would beware of OTHER possible irritants besides pollution and that would include down/feather pillows for some folks.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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5Alive - Since Day #1 over 11 years ago, I have been going to a Pulmonary specialist at Univ. of Calif. here in San Francisco. My primary referred me to him at the very beginning.

I will be seeing him again in Sept. and will give him all the info from here and get his opinion, and ask him for a prescription for a nebulizer He is a wonderful doctor and has always been there for me.

This was a hastily planned trip, conceived, planned and executed in less than 24 hours. This was over the 4th of July weekend, so I left a message for my doctor, and went ahead and booked and paid for my flight - as there were only three frequent flyer upgradeable seats left on the flight that we wanted.

My doctor returned my call a few days later, and said that I shouldn't have a problem and that we will discuss precautions during my next visit. The main thing that he was concerned about was a flu shot, which I do get every year.

I hadn't thought about the nebulizer at the time, so I have yet to mention it to him. My appointment in September will leave me plenty of time to prepare myself.

By the way Mollie, Medicare and my supplemental insurance with Blue Shield won't pay for a portable nebulizer. They will only pay for a large home based unit. I guess they don't want us to travel and be well ;-)

I am ashamed to admit that I do not use regularly use my peak flow meter to monitor my breathing .... I know, shame on me ;-( I will make a point of taking it with me on this trip, and will use it every day.

On a daily basis, my Asthma is under contol with my three inhalents and I rarely if ever have to us my Albuterol for breathing problems. It was worthless in NY during my attack. One attack in 11 years isn't bad - of course all it takes in ONE attack! I've been lucky compared to most, but I am still concerned and will take whatever precautions are necessary.

Nina
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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Cold controls my sister's asthma. France has a very fine medical delivery system should you have an attack.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Nina,

I don't have asthma but wanted to say a couple (eek! three?) of years ago we spent Christmas in Paris and it was wonderful. I'm in SF too and didn't find it too unbearable--some sunny days even.

So...where are you staying?
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 07:19 PM
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Leely, I am going to print out Alleron's list of hospitals and find an apartment right next door to the one in the best area! NO, NO, NO, Just Kidding.

We have rented a one bedroom apartment a few blocks from the Place des Vosges. We love that area and the apartment looks very nice ... but as I tell people, with the right lens, I could make my bathroom look like Versailles.

We've rented about 10 apartments in Paris, some good and some really really bad. So we are keeping our fingers crossed on this one.

I'm being so cautious about my asthma because that attack in NYC scared me to death (well not quite). I think that I was almost as scared as when I got on the Segway in Paris last year ;-) Moi a sissy, now what gives you that crazy idea.

Great day in SF today, eh Leely?

Nina

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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 08:13 PM
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Nina

Have a wonderful time. I, as well, have asthma. Exercise induced or sometimes it just comes on without exercise. I've been to Paris in February a couple of times and also lived there many years ago. I never really had any trouble unless I was running in the cold or going up many steps.

You are right, though, My asthma is always the worst in cold weather because it's so dry. Paris isn't so unbearably cold though so you should be ok, as long as you take precautions, as it sounds like you will.

I'm so glad you've probably found a solution for your little shih tzu. We have two and would have loved to keep yours as well. We are, however, in Dallas. Perhaps he can have some Texas shih tzu pen pals with our two and P_M's little one.

Aren't shih tzus the best????

Have fun, we're hoping to get to Paris for a quick trip this winter as well.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 08:21 PM
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Nina -- I am sooo glad you have a specialist and with ties to a med school, too. I'm sure he'll talk through the issues with you. Follow his advice.... and try not to worry too much!
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