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A huge breath of fresh air

Sabina Saburova Glaspie struggled to breathe for years ??" until she found USFHP and PacMed

Sabina Saburova Glaspie and her husband SSG Brandon Glaspie. Photo courtesy US Family Health Plan at PacMed

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Over six years and across three military bases on two continents, Sabina Saburova Glaspie - mother of two and a legal assistant for the U.S. Department of Justice - struggled to take in air.

After jogging, she said, "I would not be able to breathe." Others noticed as well. Her husband, friends and even strangers would ask, "Why are you breathing like that?"

"This has been bothering me for so many years," Sabina explained. "Nobody listened to me, thought it was a nose issue. Nothing else."

Sabina had a sense of what her problem was, but the doctors all prescribed the same thing: asthma medications that didn't help.

That was until her husband, Staff Sergeant Brandon Glaspie, transferred to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and the family opted into the US Family Health Plan (USFHP). This TRICARE Prime managed care option is for military and families in the Puget Sound area. 

This allowed the family to visit the medical team at PacMed.

Sabina started with a virtual consultation, then a visit to see PacMed's Ear, Nose and Throat team (also called otolaryngology). She was nervous at first, due to COVID-19, but "I saw a lady wiping down the elevator button, so that was very, you know, reassuring."

Her primary care physician, Dr. Alexander Park, referred her to otolaryngologist Dr. Michael Wolfe, who diagnosed the problem correctly (a crooked septum - a normal genetic variation). He then referred her to surgeon Dr. Michael Lamperti - all in the same office. Sabina calls her care team "Awesome ... very upfront and honest."

After clearing a COVID-19 test, Sabina's surgery went smoothly. She had heard that patients bruise up or develop bags under their eyes after similar procedures, but "I didn't have any of that," she said. "I had a great experience.... The people around me can't even tell that I had something done."

Asked what she would tell other patients, Sabina said, "With COVID, I think a lot of people are scared. I know I was. It was a big, scary moment for me, going to the hospital and under anesthesia for the first time. But the doctors talked me through it, and I had to have some faith in them. In the end, they actually, you know, trained to do this. I should be able to trust them, and I had a great outcome."

Just a few weeks after surgery, Sabina is still healing up, but she already feels relief. "It was, literally, such a relief to get that off my shoulders. Somebody believed me - you actually got listened to. That was very helpful that somebody's actually paying attention to - my health, with me, and being a little more proactive."

Sabina expects even more relief when the swelling goes down. "I can imagine that it would be just a huge breath of fresh air."

If you're in the same shoes as Sabina and find yourself in search of a health plan that will meet all your family's needs, US Family Health Plan at PacMed could be the answer you're looking for. As part of the DOD military health family and proudly serving military families for over 30 years, US Family Health Plan at PacMed, remains a leader in military healthcare plans.

Open enrollment for military insurance plans starts Nov. 9, so there is no better time than now to get your healthcare questions answered. For more information about the US Family Health Plan at PacMed, attend a virtual or in person meeting to speak with a TRICARE specialist at


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