I am fifty-one and my story begins when I was only twenty-seven, with a young family to raise. I was diagnosed with lupus in the early 80's and overlap syndrome in 1991. I have been a patient at the Mayo Clinic for the last seven years for Interstitial lung disease (ILD) and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH) in February of this year.
It has been a very long and bumpy road at times but somehow through all the hospital visits and other illnesses I have managed to stay ahead of the game by a step or two.
Right now living with the every day uncertainty of pulmonary hypertension is the newest challenge I must face. I admit I do have bad days when depression is knocking on my door. Luckily I have my love of gardening and cooking to help pick up my spirits and help my mind to think of other more positive things.
I have had a very supportive husband and family over the years. I do not know what I would have done without their love and support. They are what really keeps me going and the thought of our five beautiful grandchildren, who are all under the age of three. Okay, there is a set of two-year-old triplets in there. They are the light of my life. Plus, of course, my pets who give me unconditional love whether I am up or down. I could not do this without the support of any of them.
Hopefully my story will give you the hope that you need to get from day to day when it seems like the sun will never shine on you again. I have been there and am still here. I admit it has been very tough at times and I have been tempted to throw in the towel but for what ever reason, I did not.
Right now I am trying to learn as much as I can about pulmonary hypertension and not see it as hopeless. Being new to this illness I do not know what to expect. Hopefully I will find the positive words I am looking for. In the mean time, I will continue to do what I can with my physical restrictions and enjoy my life as much as I can.
If anyone out there cares to email me I would be more than happy to have a new email pen pal.
Email: [email protected]
New email added 09-24-10 SLE
New email address needed 10-10-06 SLE
Old Email Prefix: dgucci
Story edited 04-30-05
Story posted 05-04-05 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
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