30 Days of PH: A PAH Diagnosis Raises So Many Questions

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by BioNews Staff |

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Erik Born

Erik Born and his wife, Donna. (Photo courtesy of Erik Born)

Day 9 of 30

This is Erik Born’s story:

For a few years, I was always short of breath. In 2019, I went to my doctor, who told me my asthma was just getting worse. I was 51 and a deputy sheriff, and I only realized it was a problem when I was told I really had to deal with it.

At Thanksgiving that year, I got sepsis and almost didn’t survive. I had family in town and was in the hospital from Tuesday until Friday evening of that week. Then, in March 2020, I got COVID-19, bad. Before getting sick those two times, I had a consultation with a cardiologist, and the testing started, with an echocardiogram, a stress test, and so on.

I was 52 when I had a right heart catheterization and was told I had pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). I thought to myself, how? Why? Now what? I worked out, watched what I ate, and what the hell is PAH? As a nurse, my wife, Donna,  knew, but she waited until after the follow-up appointment to talk to me about it.

I was prescribed Opsumit (macitentan) for a year, but then my insurance took me off of it. I felt like a new person on Opsumit. I had so much energy that I was able to put up 150 feet of privacy fence. I could continue to do what I loved: being a deputy sheriff. I had energy to play with the grandkids. Life was looking up.

Then it was time to try Latairis (ambrisentan). That didn’t work too well, as I had bad side effects. I continued to work and make the best of what I could do. Then came Tracleer (bosentan), and it’s working!

In two years, I’ve had sepsis two more times. I’m now 54, and I retired in June. I enjoy every day I can with my wife and grandkids. But sometimes I still wonder, now what?

Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign will publish one story per day for PH Awareness Month in November. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH, or read the full series.

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