Author Archives: Mike Naple

Where My PH Diagnosis and Disability Identity Intersect

I haven’t always identified as disabled, even though I lived with disability long before my initial pulmonary hypertension diagnosis in 2016. Adjusting to life with a chronic illness that affects breathing awakened a connection inside me to disability as part of my identity — one I felt had been…

Treatment Cost Worries Make It Harder to Focus on My Health

Living with a chronic illness or rare disease definitely comes with a price tag. There are added expenses related to medical equipment and devices, doctors’ appointments, tests and procedures, and of course, the cost of prescription drugs, which can really pile up month after month. I remember feeling incredibly frustrated…

An Invisible Illness and the PHight of Our Lives

Wonder Woman has an invisible jet. Harry Potter has an invisibility cloak. I have an invisible illness. The people I sit next to on the metro cannot see it. Members of my family cannot always see it. Every day I work with and walk among healthy…

Using the Muppet Theory to Explain Anxious Episodes

Are you a Grover or a Bert? A Cookie Monster or a Kermit the Frog? You’re probably wondering what Muppets have to do with my journey living with PH. Stay with me. I recently discovered the Muppet Theory, thanks to a colleague who recently asked me if I…

An Open Letter to My Newly Diagnosed Self

In June, I attended my first Pulmonary Hypertension Association Conference in Orlando, Florida. Sitting in a packed ballroom full of strangers, I had never felt more seen. Many of the faces around me were fellow PHighters, and we were all there for the same reason. I left…

Raising Awareness: What Does a PHighter Look Like?

“Do you wear glasses?” The question took me completely off guard. I was standing in line at my local breakfast spot and staring the cashier in the face, wondering if I did, in fact, have glasses on. The cashier pointed at two lines under my eyes that one…

PHighting for Rare Disease Awareness on Feb. 28

“It’s about the journey, not the destination,” is an oft-quoted phrase that is meant to remind us to be in the present and savor the special moments along the way, instead of being preoccupied with that next destination. This saying takes me back to my high school English…