Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some Personal Thoughts_Part I

When do I think my illness first took up occupancy inside me?

Given I have a congenital heart defect, it has always been with me.
As for, when do I think the PH started to occupy me, well, I think it was hiding for a while as far back as college (14 years ago), that I can remember. As a dancer who trained 3-5 hours (per day) I lacked stamina, which I always didn't understand. I really noticed a change when I moved back to NM in 2000. From that time on shortness of breath and anxiety worsened.

Who else is involved?
Those I am in physical contact with on a day to day or regularly basis; Chris, Co-workers, Parents, Friends, Relatives and of course my (2) kitty cats.

How does my health effect these relationships?
Not able to take a brisk walk to grab coffee with co-workers. Although, happy to say brisk walks are more feasible now that I am on Flolan.

Planning or rather having to change or modify social functions so that they are within my physical capabilities. Activities that I enjoy but are unable to do (Right now!); hiking, hot tubing, skiing, and dancing with my Girlfriends.

Other people whom are affected by my health:
Acquintances. I'd like to think I have remained positive throughout this experience. Therefore, I hope I have touched people in a positive way.

What are the worst things about it?
Calling it, IT. No really! PH is not something you can refer to as a pronoun or ignore. It has a name, Pulmonary Hypertension. PH takes on a life of its own, even though it lives within you. Speaking from only my personal experience ONLY, PH is mostly physically pain free. Instead, it is what I’ll compare to as a “Prison”. A prison because although I have the physical components; the legs and the emotional drive; desire, your body dominates and takes over those two motivating factors. PH has a weird way of discouraging me, because I WAN’T to walk up that hill but my body is communicating that I CAN’T walk up that hill. For me that is the hardest part. Hikes or even short walks became something I dreaded. I found it difficult even before starting a walk I felt anxious, nervous and even discouraged. I thought it was my lack of motivation, desire and drive for activity. Keep in mind I was still teaching ballet up until 6 months prior to my diagnosis. I had always been very active dancing 5-6 days a week so I couldn’t understand why I could be in such bad shape and lacked desire to do anything other than dancing. Even while teaching I could not demonstrate like I had.


Ron said...

Can we ask you questions? It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. Your writing got me thinking about who you are. Your PH has helped me recognize the value of friendship. You have given me bits of courage to take on today. Also prayers have a little more meaning. Wishing you a year of successes.

Cristina Pineda said...

I was thinking about your PH, and how limiting it must be. You look wonderful, and I'm glad that you are out and about with friends and family. Even the rail! Yeah!
You inspire me Jenn.
Take care, and here's to February! Coming soon :)
Love you, and know that you are often in my thoughts.

Jennifer Jimenez said...

Sure ask away Ron...

Ron said...

What has PH NOT been able to change, both good and bad, besides the physical limitations?

Jennifer Jimenez said...

Ron, you and your questions. They always stump me.

I think my drive, and love for my family and friends have remained the same. I do have to say; both of which I've been very reliant on to help me through this ordeal.

There is a book (can't remember the name of it at the moment) that assists you with spotlighting an individuals strengths. In addition, the author emphasizes how people don't generally use there strengths in there daily lives, instead we focus on our weaknesses. Your question made me realize how I actually have used some of my strengths to get me through this experience. Thanks for the Ahhaa Moment!

Ron said...

I see the same and more. Thank you for answering!