Close the Fucking Curtain.

Yes, I tend to be a closed off person. And yes, most of the time I can’t be found because I’m tucked away with Rocco. I can only handle so much person to person time, and long for the moments I come home to only a little black cat. With that being said, I feel like it’s somewhat a great time to be alive (eeehhh?!) for introverts because thanks to companies like Buzzfeed, we can now scroll through posts that point out the hilarity in our non social-ness making us feel just a tad bit better about our habits.

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While I’ve always enjoyed my introverted side, I at one point had no problem being an extrovert. I was on stage in pageants (yikes) competed all over the place in dance, and performed many many recitals. The stage was actually quite comfortable. However, this whole disease process has yet again altered my mind and spirit in ways that I didn’t know it could reach.

I have a problem expressing myself because I feel like I have been passed around (quite literally) for many medical professionals, counselors, advocates, and doctors to see. My life has been summed up into “patient info”, test results, numbers, and expected outcomes. Anyone who ever wanted to know me could sit in on meetings that they have after doctors speak with me, and try to discuss with their team what my next life decision could/should be.

On top of my medical life story, I have doctors in my uterus watching carefully to make sure I don’t pro-create. God forbid I act humanly, one slip up, and it’s over. It gets better this time – not only are my doctors going to have to hear about this, but America too! We have all these lovelies protesting at abortion clinics calling people a whore, slut, or sinner. One slip up, and could I even have access to a safe abortion in America anymore?

Besides my medical background, and uterus issues, I also have people shaving my crotch before surgeries just in case they need access to my femoral artery. I have people moving my breasts out-of-the-way to stick EKG cords all over my body so they know exactly what’s happening inside of me too. I have pharmacies demanding pregnancy tests (which is a federal law) before I can get a refill on my new medication. When you add-on all the questions from innocent bystanders all I am left with at this point is the thought of escape. The thought of just not knowing anyone, or anyone knowing me for just one minute.

I feel exposed. I feel naked. I feel like an experiment. I feel like I have no human rights sometimes, and that I am just a body that everyone keeps poking at. So, please excuse me when I don’t update. Please don’t mind when I’m quiet, when I don’t answer, or yes, when I close my measly fucking curtain door.

-haley.

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I’m That Difficult Patient.

Something very commonly overlooked when living with Pulmonary Hypertension is the meaning of “progression.” Or at least when it came to me, my brain has a tendency to forget this huge “one up” this rare disease has on us: progressive…it could always get worse.

When I finally became somewhat comfortable with my shitty lungs, and started writing about them I also adapted a very invincible type of mindset. I had my disease, but I felt like I also had control, something that we don’t have very often with Pulmonary Hypertension festering in our lungs. I ultimately had control over how long I wanted to live, IF I wanted to take my meds, and where exactly this disease could take me. It was great to be feeling “healthy”, to be positive, and to ride out the illusion that I somehow was in control of two of the most important organs in my body that already had a reputation for throwing us all curve-balls.

surgery

My newest specialist is someone who in my eyes is all about preventative care. Her biggest emphasis is something that I, and all my past doctors have repeatedly not watched; the fact that Pulmonary Hypertension is a progressive disease, and it could get worse. I, on the other hand am all about the “now”, and gettin’ it while you can as Janis would say. I’ve moved into a rougher environment (which I don’t, and will never regret!), blown off weeks worth of medications, done things that have negatively affected my body for a temporary high, and basically thought I could keep tucking my disease away for a later time. That’s what happens when you are technically still not accepting your disease – hint hint. After taking the guidwires out, shutting down the fluoroscopy machines, my new specialist informed me that it was a great thing we did a new cath after almost four years. My pressures have not changed after all this time, and my cardiac failure has gotten intensely worse. I may feel “alright” right now, but a year from now could be questionable. Which has now led us to three new medications that are going to feel very “intense” for a while until my body starts responding. Here I sit with my morning cup deciphering through my “now” type thinking versus a future that I’m not sure I want to even keep pushing for. Is it worth it? Or is it just doctors leading us on like a cat chasing a string; am I going to be paying a ridiculous amount of money, and living in pain to only be here another ten years?

Overall, it’s a shock once again to the system. It feels like we’ve re-winded back to when I was being told for the very first time that my heart, and lungs both were a problem. After years of writing about PH, I started running from it. I felt suffocated by what I was creating, and felt the need to tuck it away quietly. It has finally come back to find me, and it’s earth shattering, hopeless, and just unfair all over again.

Despite writing, contests, shirts, and everything else I have come to discover that never have I ever been fully okay with my disease, but will we ever really be?

New song of the week finallyyyyy.

-haley.