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.

How Our Stories Can ‘Spark Awareness’ of PH in Congress

I’m grabbing the megaphone to raise awareness and advocate for pulmonary hypertension (PH). And I invite you to join me. Through advocacy, we’re able to make changes in the United States’ democratic system of governance. I believe change begins with the advocates and the storytellers who share their lived experience…

I’m Slowing Down Like My Life Depends on It

I’ve always considered myself an “on” person, somebody who says yes to the boss or co-worker, friend or relative, thing or event asking for my attention and energy. I’m like a faucet running all the time, never slowing down to make time for myself. Being on all the time fills…

Navigating the Stairs and Stares of Life With PH

Have you ever seen the view from the top of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.? Maybe you saw the monument during a family or school trip, or perhaps a visit to the National Mall is still on your bucket list? Living in D.C., I sometimes forget how close the…

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…