PHighting Words - a Column by Mike Naple

PHighting Words Mike Naple

Mike lives in Washington, DC, but calls San Diego home. Mike was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension five years ago. He also manages living with interstitial lung disease, sleep apnea, scoliosis, and a stutter. These chronic conditions are mostly invisible except for when Mike uses oxygen therapy while engaged in rigor exercise or activity. Mike is a communications professional who still works full time. He is excited for readers to join him as he navigates the intersections of living and working with chronic illness.

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…

PHighting Beyond Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is on my mind. Maybe it is because we are in the new year. Maybe it is my impending doctor’s appointments and tests that will update me on the progress I’ve made in my PHight with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Maybe it is because life is fragile…

Why Setting Goals Is Part of My New Normal

I cannot believe 2018 is already upon us. I don’t know about you, but 2017 has felt like one ongoing, never-ceasing stress test. For many reasons. I have never been a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. In my experience, resolutions are cobbled together the first week of…