This year marks 10 years that I have been living with Pulmonary Hypertension and admittedly, it’s the first time I’ve really experienced my silent killer with full force. If you are a little lost on the whole PH thing, you can read about my introduction here.
It’s quite a surreal moment for me to reach a 10 year mark. It’s almost theatrical to tell someone that I have been living with PH for a decade because not many people reach the 3 year mark. I’m the lucky few that can see the light of day just a little longer…This month has been incredibly difficult for me as I have come to realize the circumstances that surround this disease and the intensity that comes with it. Hang on.. I haven’t been that naive to everything that’s happened to me. I am constantly reading up on PH and it’s horrors so I am well aware and informed, but this year has really hit home for me.
The professionals call it (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Yup- PTSD has surprised me on my 10 year anniversary, in November which is PH awareness month, might I add… So apart from dealing with taking medication, Dr’s visits, pains, deaths of fellow PH suffers that I idolized and constant worry of life itself, now I’m dealing with severe anxiety and depression.. Great! I guess it had to catch up to me sometime. I had a pretty good run the past couple or years so I shouldn’t be complaining but coming to the realization that I could in fact die from this disease is pretty daunting. When I think back to the day that I found out that my heart was double it’s size and I had less then 3 months to live, my state of mind was complete and utter calm. The fear of death did not for one second cross my mind and I was happy, so happy that I would be the one comforting those around me who shed the tears for me. I shake my head is disbelief that I was so disconnected with what was happening around me, to me. The chaotic schedule’s of seeing Dr’s and doing multiple tests at every possible clinic, could of been the distraction but It was possibly the best thing that happened to me out of the whole ordeal. To be completely disconnected from myself.
If only I could feel that disconnect now, to feel absolutely nothing…
I’m a strong believer of things happening for a reason, yes I guess I still question why I had to deal with a dreaded disease at such a young age, but I don’t doubt for a second that I am exactly where I need to be. This disease has not only lead me to the right people in the right places but has also opened my eyes to life.
I cannot express enough how horrible the feeling of not being able to breath is. Or waking up in the morning and feeling so weak and anxious that you can’t possibly imagine getting through the day. Pulmonary Hypertension is hard enough, but adding severe anxiety to it, is just exhausting! I am constantly reminded that I have gone through the worst and that this is just another hurdle to get over, but why does it feel like the worst is yet to come? For me, It feels like my biggest fears about this disease are coming to life and I cannot bear it..
My PH roomie has invaded my space and is going nowhere, so it’s about time I get comfortable and get to know it a little better..
An invisible disease that is dying to be seen, maybe it’s time…