30 Days of PH: I Carry On, Looking Fabulous With an IV Pump

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by BNS Staff |

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Photo courtesy of Lauryn Durham

Day 7 of 30

This is Lauryn Durham’s (@_misslauryn) story:

In the words of Beyonce in her song “Feeling Myself,” my world both literally and figuratively stopped, but I have continued to carry on. I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension at 24 years old on March 17, 2021. The next day, I went into cardiac arrest where my heart stopped for a few minutes.

When I was removed from sedation, I woke up and found myself connected to many machines that were temporary, and one that was more permanent — a CADD-Legacy® Remodulin infusion pump.

I was devastated by the fact that I would be stuck with a tail for a while. How was I going to shower or wash my hair? And most importantly, WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR WITH AN IV PORT IN MY CHEST? High-neck shirts and dresses have been my go-to. It has been an uphill battle of finding my comfort zone. But I can say I’ve mastered the art of hiding my port and tubing in work clothes, casual clothes, swimwear, and even club attire.

If you have PH, find your new normal and figure out what works for you. You must find your voice and tell your medical team what works and does not work for you.

On two bad days, I remember having complete meltdowns, and two poor nurses were on the receiving end of my rage. Well, bless their hearts because they were very receptive, and got me what I had asked for. (One time it was smaller bandages; the other time was a revised medicine regimen that worked better for my lifestyle.)

I graduated law school on time two months after being diagnosed, studied for the bar exam while learning how to mix my medications, and passed the exam on my first try. I am blessed to still be here, and I am so glad I can still carry on, even if it is with a pump the size of a graphing calculator attached to me.

Living with PH can feel like your world as you knew it has stopped, but we carry on!

Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign is publishing one story per day from someone who has been affected by the disease for PH Awareness Month in November. Read the full series for more stories like this, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH.