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Health Challenge Day 1 - Health Time Capsule

Posted Apr 01 2012 1:23pm
Pretend you’re making a time capsule of you & your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112. What’s in it? What would people think of it when they found it?


This is a rather neat question, and I immediately thought, wow! If someone opened a time capsule I had created 100 years ago, the first thing I'd want them to think is, "Oh, pulmonary hypertension? They found a cure for that illness many decades ago!!"

So yes, my health focus would be about pulmonary hypertension. It is an incurable (right now) chronic illness of the pulmonary vascular system. Symptoms can include shortness of breath with minimal exertion, palpitations, extreme fatigue, dizziness, fainting spells. PH can happen to anyone at any time of their life. People can be born with it (as in my case), and people who are in late stages of life can have it. PH does not discriminate between gender or race. It does tend to occur more frequently to women of child-bearing years.

PH cannot be diagnosed properly without a right heart catherization. Echoes may show high pressures in the lungs, but they are only estimates. A right heart cath is a definitive yes or no.

PH can happen without a cause. This is the most frustrating for people, but also not nearly as many people are diagnosed this way as those who have PH for a reason. That reason could be congenital heart disease (which is my reason for PH), autoimmune diseases, use of certain drugs, left heart disease, other lung diseases, and several other reasons.

Currently there are 9 different treatments for PH. Back in 1975, when I was diagnosed, there was nothing. Right now, there are IV therapies, pills, and inhalers (not the inhalers for asthma, however!!). There are also trials going on currently with a few other drugs, a couple which may be approved within the next few years. However, while developments have come a long way in the last 36 years, there is still not a cure.

BUT!!! It would be so nice if whoever found this health time capsule would give a little gasp and say how wonderful it is to know that PH is a thing of the past, and people who get diagnosed with it are able to be cured and live a normal life again!!
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