Patient story

Alex Flipse

I was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension on Sept 6 of 1998. I was Stage 4 of the NYHA at that time. Four years of Flolan and lots of prayers, I went down to Stage 2 in 2002.

We received word of my husband's deployment to Iraq late last year. When I heard that my husband was going to be deployed to Tallil Iraq, I went into total panic mode. I knew there was no way they could send him with me as sick as I was at the time, but even with letters from all my doctors, including Dr Addani Frost, they still deployed him as planned.

He went through vigorous training for 4 months. I have been alone with my 3 daughters since August of 2004.

Instantly, I felt the stress of being a single mother hit. I began having palpitations and reflux on a daily basis. My echo cardiogram showed increased Pulmonary Arterial Pressures as well as a slight increase to the size of my heart.

Being both mother and father would be very difficult for a healthy woman, but being two people in one for a sick person is, in my opinion, much more difficult.

When I was first diagnosed, Dr. Frost warned my husband not to let me worry or stress over anything, including bills. Stress and worry are especially difficult for me as it increases my heart rate as well as my Pulmonary Arterial Pressures.

I have had to take on all the duties my husband previously had. Managing the check book for me is the most mentally trying, but dealing with the day to day activities of running our home is most trying.

I have also had to take on a part time job managing a deli to help with the financial aspect of my husband's activation.

We also have a special needs child who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obedience Defiance Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. By the end of the day, I'm so exhausted I can't even fall asleep right away. I also have been waking up during the night for fear of missing a call from my husband in Iraq, or over sleeping and having my children be late for school.

The worst part of my husband being gone is seeing my daughters miss him so. My heart breaks when I see this.


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