New diagnosis: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

The day before my stepdads birthday, September 20th, I'm at my moms. She is scheduled to go to the dentist but as she's getting ready she feels as if she's about to black out. I cancelled her appointment. I hung out at her place and she's tired having minor spins (dizziness) throughout the day but she's been that way for awhile and again the whole doc issue & stubborness I left that up to her. So, at 3am, I get a phone call my stepdad is telling me he's dropping off my sister. He's taking my mom to the hospital. I knew something was wrong from way before the day had begun.

The story goes... she was trying to catch her breath when she started to feel a not so good feeling. My sister, so happened to come out in the living room wanting to be near my mom, and when my sister entered the living room at 2am, my mom says to her to call her dad. He comes, gets oxygen to her (she's got a portable oxygen concentrater at home) but the cord was too short so he went to move it and BAM she fell to the floor. He rushed to put the oxygen on her, called 911, and tried to revive her. No response. Ambulance arrive.

She's in the ER, hooked up to oxygen, monitors all up in there, doctors/nurses, paperwork, questions.. i'm about to lose control! Seeing my mom helpless and just laying there is not what a daughter wants to see. So, they're saying "her tests came back all normal, but we won't know of brain damage until she's awaken". My heart dropped. My life would change that very second if my mom was brain dead. Thankfully, she was sedated, and as she was waking up she was very upset because she had to be intubated (breathing tube in thru her throat). She tried to talk, she tried to write, she was able to respond (notting of the head, shaking of the head, grip to hands, etc) we knew at that very second she wasn't brain dead.

So, she in the ER, resting for nearly half a day. And, she finally was placed in the ICU. She was okay it's just she needed more oxygen therapy. So, they put her on a machine called the BiPap Machine it's to push oxygen into her body. And, they found that something was working. Even I notice the difference. Well, they didn't diagnose her right away. She was hospitalized for 11 days. They didn't know what was wrong with her yet but they had an idea of what it may have been. She was hospitalized again voluntarily the day after my birthday for 13 days. She got on 11/11/11 (= Veteran's day! She was officially diagnosed. They didn't want her leaving the hospital until they knew well of her condition, she understood, and her medicines and oxygen therapy she needed would be going home with her. About 3 or 4 days prior to her getting discharged her first medication came in the mail. Dr. Melvin Burton, Pulmonologist, warned us that this medication is new, hard to get, and very expensive. It's called Letaris. Then, afterwards, her Tyvaso arrived it's another therapy they wanted to try.

After all that she's been through without the year and a half let me tell you  - my moms life has changed. She can breathe now. Of course, with oxygen still. The BiPap helps her do more in the day. Her carbon dioxide levels when she's not in the hospital and before the BiPap machine was in her life - her levels were INSANELY high. So, that BiPap machine helps get rid of all the excess, I don't think it takes it all completely out, but the excess carbon dioxide OUT of her system. Too much carbon dioxide isn't good for you as it can cause you to have black outs it's not enough oxygen, or something of that sort. Don't mark my words I'm not a MD. lol.. But let me tell you, she's got a life back!

Now for transplant, her name is still on the list as of late. She may not be able to receive a transplant until the doctors says its okay to operate because of her breathing. We'll see.

But, she's doing great thanks to Tyvaso, Letairis, and BiPap!