Life With PH, PH Health

The Walking Dead.

As a Pulmonary Hypertension patient you struggle with an invisible disease which makes this even more work. Sometimes I wish our flesh would melt away and the public could literally see our heart working it’s life away. People need to witness this life claiming monster that exists on the inside. Do you really understand what the PH patient in your life is dealing with? I’m sorry, I wish you did.


Done by an amazing local artist. Thank you Jonathon, you are incredible.

I guess to me it’s frustrating because I don’t want to make excuses for myself or use PH, but I’m coming to the realization that there will be days like this. Some are worse than others, however there are some things that just don’t go away. Pulmonary Hypertension patients aren’t lazy, we honestly just can’t keep up like everyone else. We are pushing just to get simple things in life done and when you create a workload on top of that exhaustion will strike. Low oxygen levels can cause all sorts of dysfunction throughout the body. Number one, obviously our breathing. When I’m getting ready in the morning it is true work putting my arms above my head. Washing my hair, applying makeup, and just styling my hair becomes complicated. I find myself sitting in my bathroom floor, so I can catch my breath. Even after a successful recovery I’m still doing this everyday, why? Exactly. My body will never be your body.

Fresh out of high school I knew I wanted to be in the medical field because I grew up with it, and thought I was 100% meant for it. When I graduated and finally got into college I tried majoring in Radiography. Yea, didn’t enjoy that at all, and later switched to my ultimate favorite, Paramedicine. My dad flipped his lid (since he is a paramedic) and kept telling me “You cannot do this job Haley.” Finally I realized I can’t work the fourteen hour shifts, and lift two hundred pound patients all day. I felt like this was one more thing my PH took away from me…until I was introduced to my kids. 🙂 But even walking around all day taking care of those crazies, I come home and CRASH. I fall dead asleep for at least three hours. No alarm, person, firing squad or tornado can open my eye lids. I don’t even know how to explain this pure exhaustion. My body can only go so long on a short amount of oxygen, then after a while it needs to re-charge itself. So, am I an old lady? Pretty much because I will find a way to get my nap. It’s not even a choice anymore, it’s happening.

Can you believe all the things having low oxygen can do to a person? Memory, motor skills, clear thinking, energy, concentration and endurance are all affected. There are many other things we struggle with, but you need to grasp the concept that our bodies work extra hard, and do twice the work just to stay alive. Then we pay a ridiculous amount of money to insurance, doctors and pharmacies to just stay alive. We feel like we give a quite literally meaning to the walking dead. Don’t even let the thought of us “just being lazy” cross your mind. You have no idea what we’re doing to keep up with you. Don’t walk a mile in our shoes, breathe a day with our lungs.


Follow Haley on Instagram! haleyann92


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