Hi, my name is Cynthia and I have PH. I also have scleroderma, Sjogrens and Raynauds. I probably had PH quite a while before I was diagnosed. My shortness of breath was because I was over weight and didn’t exercise enough. When my breathing became worse it was diagnosed as asthma.
In 2011 I had my gall bladder removed and my blood oxygen dropped into the low sixties after surgery. I was put on oxygen, kept in the hospital for a week and then sent home on oxygen and have been on it 24/7 ever since. I was referred to the only pulmonologist we have in our town and in January 2012 I had a heart cath that diagnosed my PH. My pulmonologist felt I should be seen by a pulmonologist that specialized in PH so I went to a doctor in Erie, Pa. who then sent me to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). There my treatment began.
After diagnosis my emotions were all over the place, fear first and then as time went on, anger. I was angry at all the things that I could no longer do such as helping my elderly mother, helping with my 9 grandchildren, gardening, taking walks with my husband, and so many more. This disease was killing my spirit and then a terrible sadness and depression took over. Because of the love and support of my wonderful family and my love and desire to be with them as long as I could I pulled myself up by my boot straps and tried harder to accept what I could not change.
My oxygen needs are very high so I have to use two concentrators at home and lug around heavy canisters when I go out. My husband got me a transport chair and so with his and my children’s help, I stay as active as I can.
Early diagnosis and treatment are the key to this disease and unending hope for a cure is what all of us with PH should keep in our hearts.
With my heartfelt thanks to all the organizers and runners of Let Me Be Your Lungs.