Author Archives: Serena Lawrence

Disabilities Are Not Halloween Costumes

When I was first diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, I was surprised to learn that supplementary oxygen, along with other medical equipment, is sometimes used for costumes. I soon learned that people were “dressing up” as characters with a disability for cosplay and Halloween. “The Fault in Our Stars” came…

The Final Nail in the Coffin

On Monday of last week I received a phone call from my family doctor to let me know that I had to come in to talk about the results of my pelvic ultra sound, which I wrote about for an earlier column found here. I feared it might…

Could Medical Cannabis Help Manage Pulmonary Hypertension Pain?

For my last column, Is There a Hidden Drug Abuse Problem Among Pulmonary Hypertension Patients?, I spoke to several pulmonary hypertension patients who use prescribed pain killers to help manage pain. Sarah and Lindsay shared that they began to abuse their prescribed painkillers within the last year. Both admitted…

Why Pregnancy Represents a Void in My Life

Last week I had to have an ultrasound done on my pelvic region. I have always had very difficult periods, so my family doctor finally sent me to have some tests done to rule anything out (such as an ovarian cyst). The tests sucked for a multitude of…

Is There a Hidden Drug Abuse Problem Among PH Patients?

Chronic pain can often be associated with pulmonary hypertension. Many diseases associated with pulmonary hypertension such as arthritis or scerloderma can cause chronic pain. Pulmonary hypertension medications can also cause chronic pain, such as jaw pain or site pain associated with IV administered medications. Chronic pain can be…

Life with PH: 7 Small Ways to Take Care of Your ‘Self’

Do you practice self-care? It might sound like a silly concept, especially for people who are used to taking care of other people. However, it is important that every person gives care to themselves. I never practiced self-care until I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Unfortunately, it took…

How Pulmonary Hypertension Changed My Life Plan

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That is a question most are asked when they are a child. As you reach young adulthood the phrase changes. “What do you plan to study?” “What do you want to do with your degree?” Where do you…

How to Support a Friend with Pulmonary Hypertension

When I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a lot of friends and family left my life. I heard from some that they simply didn’t know how to handle my diagnosis, or the situation. I understand that it can be difficult to support anyone through a serious diagnosis, such…

Life With PH: The Doctor Will Not See You Now

Pulmonary hypertension is the great impersonator. Before I received a proper diagnosis, many medical experts tried to tell me that I had asthma, had been poisoned, or had anxiety. Pulmonary hypertension wasn’t even on their radar. When a young person comes in the ER with shortness of breath, doctors…

Life with PH, and Living in the Present

I used to love dreaming about my future, and thinking about how great things would be someday. Now, as someone with pulmonary hypertension, I have mixed emotions. Sometimes the future can feel like a pretty scary place. I worry about what my body will be able to do on…