30 Days of PH: Managing Two Chronic Illnesses Starts With Acceptance

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30 Days of PH | Pulmonary Hypertension News | Reader submission | 30 Days of PH graphic

Photo courtesy of Nitya Gupta

Day 19 of 30

This is Nitya Gupta’s story:

Hi, I am Nitya Gupta, a 30-year-old from New Delhi, India, living with pulmonary hypertension (PH), secondary to thalassemia.

My life has never been a smooth ride because I have thalassemia major (a severe form of an inherited blood disease that can cause anemia). It has been a roller coaster ride, but the actual whiplash of reality hit me when I got diagnosed with PH, another chronic disease.

Accepting a chronic illness wasn’t easy because it requires a whole lifestyle change. But I have learned that acceptance is half the battle. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but acceptance made my journey a lot easier. My lifestyle changed and, most importantly, my pace changed. It’s as if I was running fast on a treadmill and now, I am on a leisurely evening walk. Now I take one day at a time.

PH comes with a lot of challenges and getting diagnosed is the first one. Most thalassemia patients have arrhythmia, low oxygen saturation, etc. So, most of the time, PH can go under the radar, which leads to heart failure. I was among the lucky few who, despite being in right heart failure, managed to get the hang of this oh-so-complicated illness by understanding its quirks.

The most important thing I have learned living with two chronic illnesses is to never compare my journey with anyone else’s. We all have different battles to fight, and no one knows your body better than you, not even your doctors. The best thing to do is to pay attention to the signs your body gives and try to understand and work on them.

We, as people living with PH, need to manage the disease, not avoid it. With proper management, we can hope that there will be a difference. Our condition really demands our proper attention, so keep managing, appreciating, and loving yourself because nobody can do so better than you.

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.Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH.