Columns

‘In Repair’ and 100 Stairs

Yesterday I went all the way to Toronto. It was my second time going there for something non-medical-related since being diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. I remember wondering if I would ever be able to go back to do something ‘normal,’ or to do something…

Meditation 101: A Guide for Beginners

My column last week, Meditation to Manage Stress, discussed why I started to practice meditation and mindfulness after being diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. A naturopath recommended it after my diagnosis and, although hesitant at first, I researched the benefits and decided to try it out. Practicing meditation was very…

Meditation to Help Manage Stress

After being diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, I turned to alternative health practices to complement my pulmonary hypertension treatments, (affectionately known by friends and family as boner pills). Sorry if that offends anyone, but I had a good laugh after my heart cath, when a doctor came over with the…

Pulmonary Hypertension in Cold and Flu Season

I live in Canada, where autumn has officially approached and is quickly passing. The weather can be a bit of a rollercoaster, fluctuating between jean-jacket weather and parka weather as it tries to decide what season this is. Suddenly it seems like everyone has a cold, making my desire…

Three Years Ago: My Life Leads to Pulmonary Hypertension

October 2013 is when I first started to notice unusual symptoms that would soon lead a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. I can’t recall having any symptoms prior to that month, which is rather unusual. Most PH patients show symptoms for two years before receiving a proper diagnosis,…

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…


A Conversation With Rare Disease Advocates