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Friday, August 17, 2012

Breathing Fire: PH and Anger

By Kiara Tatum

Have you ever gotten so angry that you wanted to hit something or throw something?  Have you ever been so mad that you gave a tongue-lashing to someone?  Have you ever been so angry that your body felt so hot?  I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been there, but we have every right to feel angry.  We have a chronic, incurable, life-threatening illness that has drastically changed our lives.  

I get mad at people who just don’t get it; I’ve been mad at someone for staring at me while I’m walking with my oxygen tank.  I’ve been angry at my mom when she asks me if I’m okay; I’ve been mad when I see another medical bill I can’t pay.  I get mad when I can’t walk at the pace of other people; I get angry when I have to cancel plans with friends.  I get mad when I can’t focus.  I get mad when I don’t have any more spoons left; I get angry when I have to spend a day in bed.  I get mad when I can't go to the club with friends.  There are probably more than a 1,000 things that cause me to get angry about my PH and how it affects my life.  

But behind that anger is sadness and depression, and I’m most angry with having PH and my body.  The pressures and frustration of having a chronic illness build up inside.  It’s so hard to have an illness where I can’t take an antibiotic to get rid of it in 10 days.  I wake up and I’m still in the same body that I fell asleep in the night before.  I’m still sick.  I get frustrated when I know that I used to be able to do something and I no longer can do it since my PH symptoms started.  I have PH.  It hurts my soul, and I cry out sometimes.  But it’s okay to feel anger, sadness, and hurt.  

But just because we have PH, doesn’t give us a free pass to explode on family, friends, or complete strangers.  My sister once told me that it was hard to live with me because she didn’t know how I was going to be from moment to moment.  It’s hard to deal with the anger, so use some of the outlets available to us to deal with it such as posting on the Generation Hope Google email group or Generation Hope: Young Adults with Pulmonary Hypertension Facebook page or share at a local support group meeting.  We can also talk to a friend, family, or professional; write in a journal; pray; listen to music; or punch a punching bag.  Continue to have hope and be positive.  Also, remember that we are not alone with this illness and anger.  A cure is burning up!!!


  1. The irony is that we don't really have the energy to get angry anymore. I get angry when I am shouted at (for being sick and not eating my vegetables or whatever) when I clearly don't have the wind to shout back without some discomfort. Not fair.

  2. Replies
    1. Well said. I have not been diagnosed but suspect that I have PH. What you describe I go through everyday. No one seems to understand what I am feeling and there are good days and bad days. I am frustrated that the simple things I used to do in minutes may take hours.

  3. I have just recently been diagnosed with PH. I am still coming to terms with diagnosis. Waiting for my first appointment with pulmonologist. Scared and angry.

    1. Just diagnosed last November & I'm only 27 years old. Not a day goes by that I don't think about this illness. I do my best to live a normal happy life, but like we all know we all have those bad days. Today was one of them. I didn't lash out & get upset, but I emotionally broke down. The best way I pick myself up is remembering that tomorrow is another day and I still have a life to live & so many people who love me. If they don't give up on me, then why should I give up on me! Don't let this illness define who you are, and how you live your life. Rather learn all you can about it & empower yourself with your knowledge.

  4. I know I feel so many different emotions each day .
    I would like to be added to the Generation Hope google email group.
    I am on the transplant group on google bu did not know of this or the FaceBook page.
    I will send friend request to that one ASAP.
    Thank you all , may God Bless the life we have left.