Saturday, January 29, 2011


this image is of my echo

So i had an echocardiogram done last week and my numbers are better than I thought they would be! When I was diagnosed, my pulmonary arterial pressures (PAPS) were at 115. I was stage 4 in the New York Heart Association's ranking, extreme shortness of breathe and palpitations at rest. I was basically on bed rest for many years. I was put on an invasive drug called Flolan which is infused by a catheter that is placed right at the tip of your heart. I was on Flolan for four years, and after four years, my PAPS were at 35, almost normal! The side effects of Flolan were so bad that i was weened off of it and put onto a newly approved drug called Tracleer. one pill twice a day, which did the same thing as Flolan did, it kept my pressures down and gave me a quality of life that i have been enjoying ever since.  I can walk for 15 minutes on a level surface, without inclines, without getting short of breath or palpitations. with inclines, i have to stop and rest for a few moments before continuing on.

So what were my PAPS this time? at the most, I'm at 45!! At the least, I'm at 40!! for me, that is very good since I have been symptomatic a lot lately. I've had to sleep on several pillows in order to not feel like I'm suffocating, I haven't been able to walk a lot without getting short of breath.

But what I'm suffering from the most right now is the stinking sciatica!!  A pain in my lower back that radiates down to my legs. NOW I feel disabled. NOW I feel like I'm sick. and it stinks!!!!!

Something I failed to say is that an echo is just an estimated guess at the PAPS. the only way to get a true reading is thru a Right Heart Catheterization, an invasive test where they insert a tube either thru the neck or thru the groin, into the right side of the heart, then the left. that's the only way to get a true measurement of your PAPS, and see how you really are doing.

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