Asthma: When You Have Asthma (cont.)

Samantha's Solutions

Samantha has been living with her asthma and coping successfully for six years. The adjustments haven't been easy, but she's made them. No more smoking. No more red wine, which can trigger her attacks. Regular use of the proper medications (she has three inhalers). Regular planning, too. A peak flow meter, which measures breathing capacity, enables Samantha to predict attacks a day or two before they occur.

It sounds like a lot of effort, but it's not too bad, she says. "Unless I'm really ill, I don't notice the difference."

Her husband has adjusted well to the measures she takes to stay healthy and ready for romance, she says. Above all else, he wants his wife to be healthy. Having a healthy and happy partner isn't the only dividend of patience and understanding. His health has improved, too, Samantha says. "He stopped smoking in the house, in the car, and anywhere near me!" That's better for his health, as well as hers and their child's.

Scott Winokur is a San Francisco Bay Area journalist who often writes about health and human behavior.

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