Two years ago, on a completely regular day at work, I started to feel dizzy followed by tingles in my legs and right palm.
I was taken to the local hospital in my home city to rule out illness and clarify the cause of my symptoms. When they couldn’t find the cause of the symptoms I was hospitalized for 5 days. They still couldn’t diagnose me so I was sent home with no answers! I decided to go for an MRI privately. Two days after the MRI the doctor called me in for a discussion as well as an ECHO exam at the Rambam hospital. Over the next two days I underwent right heart catheterization as well.
His final diagnosis was that I had pulmonary hypertension!
Revital from Israel talks about her PH experience. Feel free to share and create awareness for PH. #TimeMatters #pulmonaryhypertension #ph #phaeurope
Posted by Pulmonary Hypertension Association Europe on Thursday, February 9, 2017
Within a couple of days, I was connected to a Remodulin pump and started my treatments, whereby every 2 days I would have to go up in dose until I reached optimal dosage. Obviously, this was all accompanied by many side effects, such as pain in my hands and legs, muscle pain, headaches, dizziness etc.
The whole topic of diagnosis is very important, the sooner that this illness is diagnosed the faster we are able to stabilize the patient and lengthen their lifespan. It’s a pity that the hospital in my local city wasn’t able to diagnose me, simply because they don’t have a respiratory department. If I hadn’t insisted on leaving the local hospital and doing the MRI privately, it’s likely I still wouldn’t have been diagnosed.
Luckily, I received and continue to receive the best possible treatment and my condition is good.
In retrospect I am able to see the several symptoms which I ignored in the past: tiredness, difficulty climbing the stairs to my office at work. I would arrive panting and short of breath.
My workplace had a very difficult time understanding what was happening with me and when I’d be back to normal at work. I had been off for over 2 months! When I was able to return, I did not feel capable of continuing full time work. I felt tired, exhausted in addition to the side effects which persisted from the medication. I was forced to switch over to 50 % of my previous work schedule. I make sure to rest a lot and avoid too much exertion.
My close family is very supportive and helpful with the housework and whatever would normally require my attention. They hold me in moments of pain and give me the strength to continue to function and live!