Recharged and Rewired - a Column by Brittany Foster

Brittany is the HR associate for BioNews (the publisher of this site) and a columnist for Pulmonary Hypertension News. Brittany is from the smallest state in the U.S., Rhode Island. She manages multiple chronic conditions including pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease. Some of her illnesses are visible, but most are invisible. She hopes that her column, “Recharged and Rewired,” will show those reading that having a body that’s wired a little differently doesn’t keep her from being the best version of herself every day. Brittany is happy to work in the HR department at BioNews because she is passionate about advocating for herself and others who may be going through physical and emotional challenges of living with a rare disease.

Rewiring My Mind by Focusing on Pride

My mind once seemed wired to focus on parts of me I wish I could change. Most of my life, I struggled to accept my reflection in the mirror. I spent a lot of time hoping for the scars to fade and the fluid retention to dissipate. I tore…

The Week I Discovered What Makes Me Happy

I’m often asked, “What is something that makes you happy?” Sometimes it’s by a friend reaching out to support me during a difficult week, or it might be a therapist helping me through a period of depression. Whatever the context, I’ve always struggled to answer it. When I thought…

Let’s Talk About Sex and Chronic Illness, Baby

Save the Date: Feb. 11, 2021, at 7 p.m. ET. Join @pulmonaryhypertensionnews on Instagram Live for a live Q&A about sex with chronic illness and PH. The event is called “Sex on PHire – Sex Talk with Britt Foster.” Join Britt Foster and host Ally Macgregor as we discuss…

Learning to Let Go of the Negativity in My Life

As I was watching the timeless movie “Pretty Woman,” I was struck by something Julia Robert’s character, Vivian, said: “People put you down enough you start to believe it. … The bad stuff is easier to believe.” She’s right. Hurtful words have left emotional scars in my mind. It has…

After Each Medical Setback, a Greater Comeback Begins

Whenever I go through an emotionally difficult or physically painful period in my life, I always take time for reflection. After the crying is done, the tantrum is thrown, and I have cursed, yelled, and convinced myself I can’t keep doing it anymore, I pause and allow myself to breathe.

Losing My Risk Means Losing My Choice

I’m no stranger to the “high-risk” label. While living with congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension, I hear these words often. In the past few years, the members of my medical team have mentioned my risk while deciding on the best surgical or treatment plan, weighing the pros and…

Reflection Reminds Me That I Can Overcome My Worst Days

“So far, you’ve survived 100% of your worst days.” I have questioned my strength during so many moments in my life — moments that left me feeling tired, defeated, and hopeless. I questioned how much physical and emotional pain I could handle. During these times, my mind and body tested…

My Hidden Struggles With Self-worth

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” These words are from Kathryn Stockett’s book “The Help.” The maid, Aibileen, repeats this to the little girl, Mae Mobley, to remind her of her worth. As I read this part of the book, I couldn’t help but long for…

Learning to Live Fully Despite Recurring Trauma

Alex Karev, a fictional doctor on the TV series “Grey’s Anatomy,” once said, “Trauma always leaves a scar. … It changes our lives. Trauma messes everybody up, but maybe that’s the point. All the pain and the fear, … maybe going through all of that is what keeps us…