Looks like I haven’t updated my blog since early November. Oops! I’m still writing weekly my column, Life After PH, for Pulmonary Hypertension News, but even that has been a bit of a hassle to keep up with.
I started this blog when all I thought about and talked about all day long revolved around my health. Recovering from surgery and immunosuppressed, I was physically isolated from society. My mind, still altered by chemicals, was overwhelmed with processing the trauma my body had endured. I needed an outlet and a way to efficiently disseminate information to my supporters at a time when I struggled to hold a conversation.
Now that my health is stable, I really have to force myself to sit down and think about what I have that is useful to share with the pulmonary hypertension and transplant communities. It can mean a deep dive into painful memories and can be emotionally exhausting. That said, I am grateful to have a platform to share my thoughts and experiences on, and writing continues to be a healing activity.
Last month, I paid federal taxes! Not only am I happy to have the paperwork done, I am thrilled that my freelance photography business is turning a profit for the first time since establishment in Fall 2015, especially given that I spent most of 2016 and some of 2017 fighting for my life (see: hemoptysis, transplant, and acute rejection).
As much as I love writing, photography is my passion. I’m grateful to friends and family who have encouraged me to pursue this art form, and have supported me financially by referring me to others, or hiring me themselves. Freelancing gives me the flexibility to attend regular appointments and exercise often, which I believe made the most significant contribution to my recovery and my current health.
In addition to hiking, I have been rock climbing regularly, and (humble brag) improving rapidly. Climbing routes are rated for difficulty, giving me a concrete way to track my progress, and to identify goals to (wait for it) reach for. It feels so good to have slightly muscular arms, instead of the noodle-like appendages I grew used to.
I’m not sure who reads this blog and who reads my PH News articles, but analytics suggest there’s a good number of you. Bear with me, faithful readers, as I intermittently repeat my PH News articles here. Maybe I will occasionally generate some blog-only content, but I am putting most of my extra writing energy toward longer form memoir-writing. “Publish a book” remains obtrusive on my post-transplant bucket list.