Author Archives: Kathleen Sheffer

Cooking Is Great in Life with PH

A therapist once asked me what makes me happy, and I said “food” right away. Thankfully, I’ve matured since high school, and food is no longer at the top of my mental list of reasons to live. Now coffee ranks above it. I’m joking!…

Chronic Illness Makes My World Smaller

Christie and I were walking through the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco when I heard someone call my name. Dhaya Lakshminarayanan waved me over.  I first met Dhaya at a Moth StorySLAM where I told the story of getting the call…

Skiing Put My Life with PH in a New Light

President’s Day weekend was supposed to be monumental. I intended to write a feel-good column about coming full circle. It was my first time skiing post-transplant in the mountains around Lake Tahoe. Nineteen years ago, my family planned to go to our good friends’…

Gratitude for an Unfair Life

I am particularly sensitive to feeling left out of activities with friends. This started when I was a young, sick kid. I walked at the very end of the group while a day camp counselor scolded me for not keeping pace. After my pulmonary hypertension (PH)…

2018: My Year in Review

2018 was triumphant. I accomplished several of my long-term goals. I had zero organ rejection, so I remained on my lowest dose of prednisone all year, and that meant less brain fog, more stable moods, and fewer panic attacks. Though I frequently worried about my…

September Brought Grief and Heavy Hearts

Claire Wineland’s death on Sept. 2 set the tone for the month. Great losses in my communities clouded September. Claire suffered a stroke after a double-lung transplant. She was a brilliant young woman with a gift for public speaking, and she had cystic fibrosis. Her story was highly…

Lessons on Persistence from the Desert

I love the desert. No, this is not a timely column post about Burning Man. Sorry to disappoint. I’ve really only been to the desert twice. The general inconvenience of traveling with pulmonary hypertension (PH) limited me before, and my doctor advised me to avoid high…