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Like you, I have worked as a radio personality, late night radio. You know what that means- too much fast food and not enough exersize, with predictable results.

Unlike you, I have had asthma since age 2, went through 14 years of allergy shots, all the drugs, and lead a limited lifestyle due to breathing problems.

[B]Now the good news: There is a LOT you can do to improve your situation. [/B]

The first thing to do you have already done: You are seeking out multiple sources of information to help you make informed decisions.

Doctors are wonderful, but they are human. They are also very busy, and some tend to fall into the 'you have this symtom, take this drug' syndrome, and that is all they do. To combat this you need to take a proactive stance, and go into that office knowing as much as you can, with specific questions and goals in mind.

As to specifics, here are some things I have learned the hard way over the years:

The biggest single thing you can do to improve your breathing is to lose weight. That said, it is often not easy to lose weight since exersize might be difficult due to breathing problems. This can be overcome by carefull planning and starting small, and adhereing to a plan.

The second biggest thing is avoiding soft drinks, and drinking all the water you can stand. If you are addicted to soft drinks, like so many of us are, this can be a tall order. But cut back on them, and drink water. Lots of water. The reason is simple: part of the problem with asthma is the swelling of the tubes in your lungs, making air transfer to the blood difficult. Soft drinks exacerbate this problem, by making you retain fluid. Water helps you flush these fluids out. Obviously, I am not a doctor, never even played one on the radio. So my advice may not be as polished, but I can say with experience that these two things helped me a lot.

Next thing would be of course how do you accomplish these goals. All I can tell you is what worked for me.

I never liked 'formal' exersize, always felt out of place in a gym with a lot of buffed bods looking at me with distain. For it to work, it had to be fun. So I pried open my wallet one day and bought a mountain bike that was a bit more expensive that I felt it should be. Mountain bike for strength: at the time I was topping out at close to 250 lbs, and a cheap Wal Mart bike or road bike with skinny tires wouldn't have lasted a week. (FWIW, I got a Trek 7000) It was the best spent money I ever parted with. Didn't think so at first: I rode about a quarter mile up a hill near my house, thought I was going to die. But the next day I rode a little farther, and eventually found a thing called a 'rail trail'... a converted rail road bed now used for walking and bike riding. I know there are a lot of those up your way, try searching for the term "Rail Trail" if you get serious. Anyway the flat, easy surface of a rail trail cured my major problem with exersise: Induced asthma attacks. This done, I rode a bit farther each time, and I noticed after a while that after the first initial problems breathing, if I'd keep a steady pace, would go away, and I'd start breathing better.

Short version here: Over the last 3 years, I have lost weight, increased my ability to breathe, and lowered my BP dramatically. Sept 2005 I finally met my biggest goal: I rode the rail trail I'd been out-and-backing on for 3 years end to end in one day ride. Total Milage: 52.11 miles in 4 hours 15 minutes. For a old, asthmatic fat man, that's pretty good. I was proud.

I can give you a lot of advice on drugs, etc. But perhaps I should wait and see if this post bored you to death first. Will be happy to give you as much advice and help as I can.

Oh, and in reference to your asking about locations to move to,
Prior to radio, one of my many jobs in my younger days was a long haul truck driver. I ran NC to California, also some Great NW, including BC Canada. Some Mexico. So I've been all over. I always noticed I could work the best in Arizona. Dry, warm, air suits me best. It's been noted that NC has one of the worst problems with asthmatics in the country, with all our beautiful pine trees, humid hot summers, cheap cigarettes (Highest smoker rate in the country behind Kentucky I think) it's pretty much a bad place for people with breathing problems. But it's home, and I can't bear to leave it now. If I ever had to move, though, I'd consider Arizona or West Texas for the air quality. Warning, though- if you are like most yankees (No offense) the heat might not be to your liking. Personally, after the years of 90's with 80% humidity, the low 100's with zero humidity felt fine to me.

Let me know if you want me to pontificate on drugs. One tip right now: Don't over use the fast acting inhalers. They make your heart rate go nuts, and that is not a good thing over the long run. Let's get you breathing with as little Rx stuff as possible.

Btw, I was never accused of running out of things to say on the air. :D

Hope this helps,

Ramius in NC

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