Diagnosed with asthma more than 16 years ago, Sherry S. watched her life spiral out of control as her symptoms worsened. Severe shortness of breath, sleeplessness, weight gain, and the inability to perform simple tasks led to numerous hospitalizations and depression that got so bad, she was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“I couldn’t take more than three steps without losing my breath,” Sherry says. “It affected my job as a teacher because I couldn’t walk and talk at the same time. And forget doing laundry or other simple household tasks. I couldn’t do anything other people my age can do.”
Help finally came when a respiratory therapist at her local hospital recommended she make an appointment at the Temple Lung Center. Sherry called and got an immediate appointment.
All the Difference in the World
On her first visit to Temple, Sherry met pulmonologist Kartik Shenoy, MD—who, she says, “made all the difference in the world.”
Dr. Shenoy told Sherry she was a candidate for bronchial thermoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laser to gently shrink the smooth muscles surrounding the airways in the lungs. The procedure is usually performed in 3 sessions and improves breathing by making it harder for the airways to constrict during an asthma attack.
It was after her second bronchial thermoplasty session that Temple Lung Center Director Gerard Criner, MD, mentioned to Sherry that she may be suffering from PTSD. He explained that living with a chronic disease commonly affects both a patient’s physical and mental well-being.
“I am so thankful Dr. Criner let me know it was normal, and now I can accept it,” Sherry says. “I finally got help not just for my asthma, but also for other conditions that were a result of my illness that I never wanted to talk about. I was in denial for so long…now I’m accepting it and getting the help that I need.”
Life-Changing to the Extreme
Sherry says her life has changed dramatically since having bronchial thermoplasty at Temple.