The value of learning how to live in the moment with PH
Focusing on the present has done wonders for this columnist's well-being
“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.” — author Robert T. Kiyosaki
Life with pulmonary hypertension (PH) is messy and unpredictable most days. Because there’s no cure yet, we in the PH community must learn to live in the now. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone — especially us.
Worrying steals so much energy and robs us of more than we realize. Focusing on the present is how I cope with my PH. Instead of worrying about what could happen in the future, I try to take each day as it comes and make the most of my life. I prioritize my treatments and follow a routine that keeps me healthy. This approach includes taking breaks when needed, eating foods to nourish my body, exercising as I can, and staying in close contact with my healthcare team.
I also make sure to take time for family and friends — that’s what life is all about! Enjoying quality time with loved ones helps me focus on the positive aspects of life. At its core, living in the moment allows me to be mindful of my mental and physical well-being.
Life’s a beach
About a year and a half ago, my husband, Manny, and I sold our home in Texas, packed up, and moved to our dream spot in San Diego, where we started out after we got married. It had been our goal for years, but we were so comfortable in our home in Texas near family that we never took the leap.
After we both endured a nasty run with COVID-19, we decided it was time to take that leap of faith and follow our dreams. The beach is my happy place.
My breathing improved after several months of living here. I went from using oxygen 24/7 to only using it at night, while walking, and upon exertion. Maybe it’s just the laid-back lifestyle in Southern California. Regardless, I know my body appreciates the change.
Manny and I are now able to do more than ever. We enjoy walking in our community, often with me in my wheelchair, and I ride my e-bike near the beach or on easy trails. Stopping to watch the sunset is priceless and offers me much peace. The fact that I can enjoy the outdoors more helps. Nature is healing.
Thriving, not just surviving
Managing PH is complex and often overwhelming. It helps me to take a few deep breaths and remind myself to take life slow. I’m grateful for my support system and my ability to experience adventure and nature with some adaptation. PH doesn’t have to dictate our life — it’s still possible to thrive.
These principles have helped me navigate PH, and I hope they help you, too! Together, we’ve got this.
Live in the moment and make the most of each day. Life is precious — don’t waste it worrying about what could be.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.
Hi Kevin, I'm grateful that this piece offered you some benefit. Thanks for taking the time to read my column and sending in your comment.