Great article Kheiry. Using the ol' 20/20 hindsight, one can see that breathlessness at rest is the key thing to look out for and you shouldnt have tried to make your way to ABC.
I had HAPE in 2008 and ended up doing quite a bit of research, it's why when I went to HA again in 2010, I was on Viagra ..well Cialis as a prophylactic measure. The Nifidepine I carried with me in 2008, seemed to have little effect.
On another note, HAPE and HACE may not necessarily mean the end of an expedition. This is of course controversial and risky but climbers have climbed again after getting sick. Try to find a presentation by Kevin deWeber MD entitled ' Return to High Altitude Activity after High Altitude Illness".
You are both very lucky to have survived your HAPE experience.
The poor client that I lost locally two years ago did not fair as well as you both did. He was totally over come and died in less than 30 minutes or so after the initial HAPE symptoms were observed and prevalent. His lungs became so congested with fluid I could not even get the initial breaths in as I began M-M and then CPR. He was in complete respiratory arrest in less than 1 minute after collapsing.
The ensuing official Autospy concluded he had in fact died of HAPE.
It may have been but not by me. I do know that the AAC folks found it quite remarkable and did some research on it via the several HA Research centers here in the US. We did report the incident to them.
Just another follow up. I am brushing up on AMS for a trip next month and came across this in "Wilderness Medicine - 5th Edition 2007'
"Pulmonary symptoms vary considerably. Everyone experiences dyspnea on exertion at high altitude; it may be difficult to distinguish normal from abnormal. Dyspnea at rest is distinctly abnormal, however and presages HAPE rather than AMS'