30 Days of PH: Hidden Blessings

30 Days of PH: Hidden Blessings
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Day 2 of 30 Days of PH⁣
Topic: Hidden Blessings

My name is Dawn. I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension in April 2018. It took a little over 3 years to get the diagnosis of PH. I had so many tests over those 3+ years and found out about a few other health issues I didn’t know I had. In my mind, as I got each diagnosis was the old saying ‘be careful what you wish for, you might just get it’. I’d wanted to know what was affecting me so much physically, but I wanted it to be a simple easy thing to fix. 

After some time getting used to what I found out in those 3+ years, I’ve come to realize that there are hidden blessings in so many of our most difficult times in life. Some of those things for me are my strengthened faith and my trust in myself. My instincts told me something wasn’t right even when doctors told me it was just my weight and me getting older. I speak up for myself more now and am so humbled to see more than ever how many people care about me. I’m slowly learning that it’s not a weakness to ask for help when I need it and to accept it more often when it’s offered. I’ve realized I’m stronger than I thought I was. I’ve also started making a point of letting those who are important to me know how much I appreciate them in my life and that I love them. Things that have always been special to me seem even more so now. 

I have my ‘good’ days and ‘bad’ days with PH, and my overall health, but I strive to focus on what I can do rather than what feels lost to me. The blessings in my life so outweigh the difficulties, and I choose to believe that no matter what the future holds for me it will work out as it’s meant to.

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Colleen Steele was born and raised in New Jersey and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Immaculata University in 1994. Currently, she lives in Washington state with her husband and two sons. Her oldest child was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension when he was 8. At the age of 14, he received a heart and double-lung transplant. He has experienced many bumps in the road but for the most part, he is doing well and living life to the fullest. Colleen’s love for writing, experience advocating for her son, and determination to spread PH awareness inspired her to become a columnist and forums moderator for Pulmonary Hypertension News in 2019. In her, “Life As A Caregiver” column, Colleen is open and honest about caring for her son, his experiences living with PH, and life post-transplant. It is her ambition to educate and inspire others facing similar challenges that her family has battled and survived.

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Colleen Steele was born and raised in New Jersey and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Immaculata University in 1994. Currently, she lives in Washington state with her husband and two sons. Her oldest child was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension when he was 8. At the age of 14, he received a heart and double-lung transplant. He has experienced many bumps in the road but for the most part, he is doing well and living life to the fullest. Colleen’s love for writing, experience advocating for her son, and determination to spread PH awareness inspired her to become a columnist and forums moderator for Pulmonary Hypertension News in 2019. In her, “Life As A Caregiver” column, Colleen is open and honest about caring for her son, his experiences living with PH, and life post-transplant. It is her ambition to educate and inspire others facing similar challenges that her family has battled and survived.

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