Celebrating World PH Day and National Nurses Week

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by Jen Cueva |

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When you hear May 5, do you smell warm chips and salsa? Or taste a tangy margarita? Most of us probably think about Cinco de Mayo. No judgment. I, too, typically enjoy Cinco de Mayo by celebrating at a favorite Mexican restaurant.

But on May 5, the pulmonary hypertension community also celebrated World PH Day, a day when PH awareness efforts are amplified. The first World PH Day was in 2012; it always takes place on May 5 and now more than 80 organizations around the world participate.

Because of the pandemic, this year’s activities were virtual rather than the usual in-person events. For the first time, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association organized a virtual-only fundraiser. All of the donations were matched up to $15,000.

Sharing stories about PH and discussing its symptoms boosts awareness of the life-threatening disease. Those supporting this event also pushed hashtags across social media. I noticed #FlauntYourMask and #PHoreverThankful trending across my social media feeds.

Did you see any of these hashtags on May 5? What was your favorite post?

National Nurses Week, or Month, or Year

The hashtag #PHoreverThankful shows support for medical professionals specializing in PH. It just so happens that National Nurses Week chased World PH Day — May 6 to 12. I cannot think of my PH medical team without gratitude for my extraordinary, honorable nurses.

May 12 marks 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Fittingly, this year’s National Nurses Week is expanded to stretch through the entire month of May. I can’t think of a more significant time to express thankfulness for nurses than during a pandemic. Let’s extend the gratitude by joining the World Health Organization in celebrating the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

While using the hashtag #PHoreverThankful, I thought of nurses who have become an integral part of my life. I’ve met some of the most compassionate nurses who go above and beyond. Some have given me birthday cards during my scheduled tests and others stop by to visit while I’m hospitalized, providing extraordinary patience and comfort. They’re so great that I even keep in contact with some who are no longer in my healthcare team.

Despite my nagging, I am blessed to say that each nurse is supportive and attentive to my needs. Shout out to each of them; I am #PHoreverThankful for them. (You can read a little about my current PH nurse, Tracey, in the Pulmonary Hypertension News series “30 Days of PH.”)

I worked in nursing before my diagnosis, so I fully recognize nurses’ dedication and often back-breaking yet inspiring work. I was fortunate to work with many skilled, devoted, and nurturing nurses — I will be forever grateful. Y’all rock!

Usually, I bring treats to my nurses and PH medical team when I visit. Virtual visits complicate this tradition, but I still like to email them to say how much I appreciate their support and dedication. Although their job is to care for others, I remind them to take care of themselves, too. If you have not yet, please reach out and let your nurses know the many ways in which they impact your life.

How did you help raise awareness for World PH Day? Do you have amazing nurses that you’re celebrating for National Nurses Week? Let’s talk about it. 

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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.

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