And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”– Minnie L. Haskins
Being just a few weeks into another new year, undoubtedly many of us or those we love will face new challenges relating to portal hypertension (PH) and its subsequent side effects. If you have recently been diagnosed with PH or have lived with the condition for a number of years now, the related stresses of the unknown can be very disconcerting. On a broader scale but not exactly related, we may also be facing additional anxiety in areas relating to our finances, relationships, or quite possibly we could be suffering the loss of a loved one. Our world is being stressed also, and on almost a daily basis we hear about the tragic effects of war, famine, severe weather, economic turmoil and human injustice on unparalleled levels.
Although tragedy and stress abound everywhere by no means would I ever say 2012 was an exception, however all was not “doom and gloom” as you might agree. Maybe you celebrated the birth of a baby in your family and all the joy that new life brings. You might also have had the chance to commemorate a graduation, wedding, anniversary, new job, a restored relationship or maybe you are into the beginnings of a new relationship. If you have had a breakthrough or a complete restoration on your own health or that of a loved one this too is cause for great celebration. All of these “milestones” can bring joy in the midst of a world seemingly gone wrong. Looking ahead into this new year, my greatest desire for you is that you are able to enjoy many more happy occasions, but also that you may find true peace at those times when things don’t always seem to go well.
As I have reiterated in prior posts, my intentions in writing this blog have never changed, so I continue to seek out new research, try to decipher it, and in turn share it with you. Secondly, and I know this sounds rather redundant, but I want to provide a forum where others can post their own stories. Since starting this project a few years ago, I have had the privilege of replying to over 700 comments so I want to thank all those who have contributed in that manner. Those same folks have taught me a lot and have called into question some of the standard treatment protocols, all the while taking into account that each of us are genetically different and we can respond in various manners. Having said that, it is important to note that there is a commonality in the overall care of PH patients, and for the most part those include medications such as blood thinners for obvious reasons, and beta blockers to slow the heart rate down.
I can say that I have seen what I would call only minor progression in the treatment of PH, and to date I think it would be safe to surmise that there have been no major breakthroughs except for the evasive measures of the Rex Shunt procedure and other rare surgical interventions in the last decade which seem to work best on younger children. The fact that the condition is still relatively rare means that not many research dollars are directed to the condition, and another contributing factor is likely due to the face that there is very low media awareness. Except for raising funds on an individual basis, the challenge to set up and maintain a charity association whereby those that need funds can utilize this resource as need be, seems to be far from reach. Taking nothing away though from the few I know who have been successful on even a small scale at raising funds to help parents with children, my hat really goes off to you.
On a personal level I always look for inspiration that I can share with others, or apply to my own life. I understand the challenges of PH having lived with the condition over a decade now, not to mention a recent associated health scare back in the later part of August 2012. On another level I also experienced the passing of my own mother in the later part of October. Mom had not been well for many years, so in many way it is a blessing she no longer has to suffer, however the void is there as I miss her and am constantly reminded of her as I carry on despite this loss. I have also experienced joy this past year, with our son’s graduation from high school, and many other less significant things which were all cause for celebration. If you have read some of my posts on this blog, you may have realized, that I have talked about faith being an important part of my life. Overall I know the peace of God in my life, and with all the setbacks (and ‘yes’ joys) of this last year, I just carry on in faith that He will see me through. For you the reader, whatever you are going through at this time, I count it a privilege to pray for you, and at the very least offer a listening ear to what you may be facing at this time.
All the best in 2013,
Click here for prior post: http://www.portal-hypertension.com/a-personal-medical-update-new-terminology