Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Awareness Time


November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month


Pulmonary Hypertension is often not diagnosed in a timely manner because its early symptoms can often be attributed to those of many other conditions. Some of the symptoms of PH include:

Chest pain
Breathlessness
Low energy
Dizziness and fainting
Swollen ankles and legs
Bluish lips and skin

These symptoms may seem common and simple, but they severely impair a PH patient's ability to lead a normal life. Simple activities like walking, dressing oneself, and cleaning can become difficult to perform. Thus, a normal, healthy-looking individual might be incapable of some basic functions due to PH. 



I am one of the few who have mild secondary pulmonary hypertension, caused by another illness, in my case, severe sleep apnea. By treating the apnea aggressively and by taking my oral medication, my PH has stabilized. Many other PH patients are not so fortunate and must have a drug (Flolan) directly infused into their heart twenty-four hours a day. This drug is enormously expensive, totaling over $100,000 a year. 


Research centers around the world are working hard to find a cure for this devastating disease, and they are getting closer. Because of their passion and dedication, new treatments are being developed. 

More information can be found at Pulmonary Hypertension Association website.



3 comments:

  1. Great post! I have other health issues, and have to see my dr. every three months. Best checkup in several years! Blood pressure down, lipids down, sugar down, weight--lost one more pound! Dr. was thrilled. Can I have a potato chip now?......

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  2. Thanks for making me aware of this disease. I knew nothing about it until I met you.

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  3. I just got a very good article in one of my nursing magazines on Pulmonary Hypertension. Would you like me to send it to you? I know you already know tons about this subject, but I saw the article and thought of you.

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