I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension in 1998, but my story begins two years earlier. I gave birth to my youngest of three daughters in February of 1996. Immediately, I started feeling exhausted all the time. I would wake up in the morning, feed my children breakfast, sit them down in front of the television, and fall asleep on the couch. I’d wake up in time for lunch, fix them something quick, send them out to play, and fall asleep. At 5pm, I’d wake up, make dinner and wait for their father to come home, where I would hand him the children and say, I’m exhausted from my day, and fall asleep. This went on for nearly a year, until we moved to Texas.
I thought the sleeping was more depression, which I had been suffering with since age 5. When we moved to Texas, my two older girls were of kindergarten age and I sent them off to school. My youngest daughter and I would spend the day watching television and playing on the floor. During the summer after their kindergarten year, I began passing out. I didn’t tell anyone that I passed out because honestly, I thought I had fallen asleep. I thought I had woken up. But I would wake up on the floor, usually with my head throbbing, from hitting it some place.
The first time I passed out in front of someone, I was chasing my daughter around and I passed out in front of my sister and ex-mother in law. I woke up to paramedics around me taking my blood pressure, and who knows what else. I refused to go with them because I didn’t have insurance but promised to go to my doctor the next day.
I had been seeing this young, handsome doctor and for many months I kept telling him how tired I was, how I could feel and even see my heart beat, not to mention having to hear it at night when all was quiet. I told him how I was fainting. He gave me Prozac, and each time I would go in to see him, he’d up the dose. Until one day, a year later, I fainted in front of my younger sister. She ran and got my ex-husband who took me in to see my primary doctor.
Luckily, he wasn’t there so we saw his on-call doctor. He listened to my heart and actually listened to ME and said “This is not in your head. This is in your heart”. I remember that day so clearly. He sent me for an echo-cardiogram and the next day, I saw a cardiologist who gave me the news. It was a month later that I saw a specialist in Houston, Texas, Dr Adaani Frost, who, on September 6, 1998; after a Right Heart Catheterization, and waking up on meds, diagnosed me correctly with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension,
I will be celebrating my 14th year since diagnosis with a BANG! I found PHCentral.org first and then PHAssociation.org and right before my divorce was final, in 2008, I found Caring Voice Coalition, without whom, I probably wouldn’t be here, or else, I’d be in a horrible financial situation!
Thank you so much Caring Voice!!! You have been such fantastic help, not just monetarily, but emotionally as well. I don’t know what I would have done without you guys!!