As a bunch of you already know from channel & personal text messages I’ve sent out: I have been offically diagnosed with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH/PH) associated with a connective-tissue disease.
Basically what this means is that the right side of my heart, which pumps blood to the lungs to oxygenate the blood for the body, is working twice as hard as normal. In the scheme of things, from a PH perspective, it’s serious but it has been caught really early. Most people with PH, their hearts are pumping 4-10x harder than normal. So you can look at it as either: I’m working double time over the normal people or I’m working only half as hard as the sick-sick people out there — take your pick :P
If you want a lot more information on PAH, here’s a website that was geared specifically towards Canadian treatments: Living with Pulmonary Hypertension.
Because I chose to voluntarily be a part of this clinical study and as a result of yesterday’s findings, I’m now being removed from the rest of the clinical study.
We discovered that I have the beginnings of PH which didn’t show up on any of the other tests done prior to the RHC. So from the study perspective, this is great news, doing an RHC will in fact help to find early signs of the disease. In my case, the odd thing they’ve discovered is that even though the left side of my heart is enlarged (and we’ve known this for at least five years now), it’s working within normal parameters and isn’t noticeably stressed, according to the testing done during the RHC. Once again, I have managed to stump my doctor(s).
Through all this, what Hawt Doc wants to know is if the PAH and liver damage I have is caused by SALLY or the Lupus or if perhaps it’s been the drugs we’ve been using to treat SALLY that’s been the culprit. It’s now time that I be referred to a liver specialist, which I will be meeting sometime in 2010.
As to the little blue pills comment, above?
I’m going to be taking the generic version of Viagra, called Revatio, which is the only thing Hawt Doc can prescribe for me because of my current liver issues. So once again, I am the envy of all the middle-aged men on my block ^_^
The Revatio is a far lower doseage than when Viagra is prescribed for men with erectile dysfunction, so this is a drug that has been approved by Health Canada and the Alberta government will be paying for it, in its entirety. If they weren’t, we’d be in some serious trouble — the current going rate for one year’s worth of Revatio is in the ballpark of $33k.
Some of the things that the Revatio might help with:
* Reducing symptoms like difficulties breathing/shortness of breath(!), tiredness(!!), swelling of feet/ankles, chest pain, etc.
* The usual “Improved quality of life” category
* Increased exercise capacity (yay!)
My visits to Hawt Doc will once again be bumped up to once every three months now because of the PAH and it looks like my bad luck that has consistently been falling between (Canadian!) Thanksgiving and Christmas has proven itself once again.
For now, my neck is sore, but I’m not in pain and my voice still isn’t 100% up to snuff, I’m kind of raspy-sounding, still. The area looks kind of crazy due to the antiseptic they applied to the area worked on and I have a bruise just below the spot where they inserted the catheter. The entire area is covered in a sterile dressing and still has to stay in place for another day. Over time, the stupid “red sunburn” I have on my neck will go away and hopefully my voice will come back to normal. No more neck stabbings will be in my forseeable future, thank goodness. And for whatever reason, I kept giggling after the procedure. It’s so strange.
On a really funny side note regarding yesterday’s RHC that I forgot to mention — I think I was inadvertantly staring at Hawt Doc’s crotch during the entire procedure.
Because of the way they had the table tilted, the position in which they had me hold my head and neck during the whole procedure, and paired with where Hawt Doc was standing the whole time, I think the only thing I ended up looking at the entire time (without my glasses, I should add) were his nether-regions. He was always standing right in my line of vision. There was nothing else to be seen when he was standing that close! The Hubbs made the comment that perhaps that’s why Hawt Doc was so super friendly when he came to go over the results and then discharge me from Recovery last night. LOL. Thinking about it in hindsight, he was really super friendly the last couple of days…
Good gawd, it’s still hilarious everytime I think about it. ^_^