Author Archives: Colleen Steele

To Cry or Not to Cry, That Is the Question

Being a caregiver for a child with pulmonary hypertension (PH) can wreak havoc on one’s emotions on any given day. But during the holiday season, the heartache and stress can make even the strongest person teeter on the edge of an emotional collapse. It…

I Don’t Know What You’re Going Through, but I Do Care

“I know what you’re going through.” For someone who is physically or emotionally hurting, these words often fall short in providing comfort. Although our experiences might be similar, how we get through them may be very different due to many factors, such as personality, values, religion, family, friends, age, economic…

When You’re Both a PH Patient and a Caregiver

Since my son, Cullen, was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH) in 2008, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many people in the PH community. One thing I’ve seen that a patient and a caregiver have in common is how willing each is to extend emotional support…

Celebrating 50 Years of Good Times and Bad

Have you ever met someone and instantly felt like you’ve known them forever? I’ve experienced a rather twisted version of this. In a previous column, I described pulmonary hypertension (PH) as a toxic person rather than a disease. PH had such an immediate impact on my family that by…

What Do Caregivers and Succulents Have in Common?

I appreciate the camaraderie among caregivers that I have experienced. We find understanding, support, and comfort from one another, no matter what illness we are dealing with or the age of our patients. Caregiving can be an emotional, challenging, and rewarding responsibility, and that reality alone is what unites us.

‘I Apologize Too Much! Sorry for That’

I think people in the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community tend to apologize too much. We are so good at it, and we often say we are sorry when it isn’t necessary or even appropriate. It’s a topic we have fumbled with often in the Pulmonary Hypertension News Forums. A…

Helpful Tips I Learned While Raising a Child With PH

Parents sometimes joke that they wish their child came with an instruction manual. If there were a manual for kids, I would’ve had to toss out my son Cullen’s manual when he was 8. That was the year he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH). The PH diagnosis made…

A Mother Shares How Her Son Didn’t Let PH Box Him In

Dr. Sean Wyman, a respected advocate and loved member of the pulmonary hypertension community (PH), passed away in 2018 after a 15-year battle with the rare disease. You can still feel Sean’s compassion and hear his voice through his efforts to educate and encourage others by sharing his PH…

Perfect Caregivers Are Not Real

The Walt Disney character Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way. The film of the same name, based on a series of children’s books, is a lovely fictional story about a hired nanny who meticulously cares for two children. Many admire and respect her, and she has a…

A Caregiver’s Journey Home

Some say that you can never go home again. I find that such a sad notion, and I recently convinced myself it isn’t true. I traveled to the other side of the country to pay a long overdue visit to my parents and several friends and family members I haven’t…