November was Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Awareness Month. In honor of PH Awareness Month, I shared several patient profiles about special members of the PH community. Although it is December, I have one more profile I wanted to share. You can find the other PH Profiles here.
Janeris was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2009 and currently lives in Miami, Florida. She received her diagnosis after suffering from severe chest pains and hallucinations while on her honeymoon in Cancún, Mexico.
She was only 27 at the time of her diagnosis, but had been dealing with PH symptoms for awhile. At the time, Janeris attributed being short of breath to her lupus, which she has had since the age of 16.
In 2011, Janeris began passing out frequently, including at a doctor’s appointment. She was rushed to the ER. She says that this was the beginning of her new life. She was placed on Veletri, which she felt caused her to lose her sense of independence. She had a difficult time picking herself up after being prescribed Veletri, and often dealt with debilitating side effects.
However, support from friends and family helped Janeris get back on her feet, along with some words of wisdom given to her by a Veletri nurse. “I was allowed five minutes daily to feel sorry for myself,” Janeris says about the nurse. “After that, I was to enjoy the rest of my day. Eventually, I didn’t need those five minutes. That was an important part of the early stages of my recovery. “
Her doctor continually told her that she would never be able to have children, but she kept insisting that one day it would happen. Nearly two years after she was placed on Veletri, Janeris and her husband decided they wanted to be foster parents, which eventually led them to adoption. She is now the mother of two beautiful adopted toddlers. “None of this would have happened had I believed everything that my doctor told me.”
After struggling with feeling unwell for several years following her diagnosis, Janeris decided to drastically change her lifestyle and mindset. Prior to her lifestyle changes, Janeris was on oxygen and Veletri and couldn’t walk very far.
She began to look for alternative therapies to incorporate into her regular routines. With the help of a functional medicine doctor, Janeris said she learned the importance of finding the right diet for her body. In 2015, Janeris’ PH specialists took her off Veletri because she was doing so well.
She credits her gradual improvement to God leading her to find functional medicine, which helped pave the way for her lifestyle changes. Janeris is now able to do CrossFit and stays busy running her own photo studio. Inspired by her family and her journey with fostering children and adoption, Janeris has also started her own T-shirt company with the message that love is “Louder Than DNA.”
“Today I am a healthy 36-year-old,” Janeris says. “I know if I get pain in my joints it’s because I ate or did something I wasn’t supposed to. I work out five days a week, take care of my two beautiful adopted toddlers, work full-time, run my own business, minister at my church, and I’m sure there are many more hats I wear without realizing. I don’t get tired or short of breath. … God has given me strength and wisdom to find the silver lining in every cloud.”
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.