Friday, December 02, 2011

Back to Philly and Another Doctor

Yesterday I was called back to Philly to see the pulmonary hypertension expert. It was a lengthy visit as I had to do a six minute fast walk to test oxygen level and he reviewed my recent echo and information from my catherization. We already knew I had this condition but he confirmed it. Sadly, this is not "curable" but we can hope to manage it with some meds. Most people don't know what PH is and what causes it. Most people think it's blood pressure related, which it isn't. There are a few different causes of it. Mine is secondary (meaning it was caused by another condition) and was caused by my mitral valve which was recently repaired. The hope was that when the valve was fixed the other condition would significantly improve if not totally be eliminated. Apparently, because the valve was bad for so long it has caused permanent damage. The bad valve was putting so much pressure on the lungs that the arteries in them became smaller. As a result of that, pressure built in my heart to many times what it should have been. Now that the valve has been fixed it's trying to pump properly but the lungs won't allow the blood in and the pressure in the heart remains too high. This causes the right part of my heart to be dysfunctional. The drugs that the doctor uses will open the arteries, dilate them and lower the pressure as well as make me have more energy and feel better. The insurance company has to approve the drugs which are rather expensive. It should take about a week before I know how much the insurance will pay and what my part will be. I have no choice but to use them, my heart cannot withstand the pressure for a long period of time. I am glad there is a treatment but I will feel better when I hear the numbers have gone down. This is a rare condition and I wish I could find a support group in the area but it's not likely.
At least I know now what is wrong, why I have been so ill and perhaps how to fix it. Progress. This means many more trips to Philly but when it's your life on the line, you do what you must.



I am glad there is a way to manage the problem. But I am sorry to hear there is no cure for this Nelle. I hope the insurance company comes through for you and pays for these medications. They are your lifeblood. You will be in my prayers as always. Take care dear friend.

Missie said...

Thank goodness it's treatable. I hope your insurance pays most of the cost. Have a good rest of your week.