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Patient story

Bonnie Keller

"I thought to myself, 'all of this for high blood pressure.'"

Bonnie Keller

My name is Bonnie Keller, I am 59, and I live alone. I didn't know why I was feeling the way I did for a long time. In September 2009 I finally went to the doctor. He put me in the hospital, ran some tests, sent me home with home oxygen, and then called me back to visit his office again. He gave me all the results. He told me I had pulmonary hypertension??? I thought to myself, "No big deal. What is a little 'high blood pressure?'" I have had high blood pressure for years. I asked him if we need to change medications again. He told me no, you need to have a sleep apnea test. By then my 15 minutes were up and the nurse arranged for the test. Again I thought to myself, "all of this for high blood pressure."

Bonnie KellerI'm the kind of person that needs to take charge and go to the source. So I went to the library computer and researched it and made numerous copies and went home to read. The first thing I read was "NO CURE", disease of the lungs, a disease not much was known about, and 5-7 years to live, if untreated. Well PANIC set in. Hysterical crying. What to do? Where to go? OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, I'm dying. I live alone with no one to turn to for help....

"I was reading the 'Feeling Fit' section and saw a SUPPORT GROUP for PH right here in town. I called and the next meeting was a couple of weeks away. It was one of the BEST and important calls I have ever made."

Bonnie Keller

That week in the Sunday paper, I was reading the "Feeling Fit" section and saw a SUPPORT GROUP for PH right here in town. I called and the next meeting was a couple of weeks away. It was one of the BEST and important calls I have ever made. I was greeted by Linda Milo, the leader of Port Charlotte Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group. She’s a warm, friendly, and active person. I instantly felt welcomed. I was given a folder loader with information, a pin, bracelet, business card. I was introduced to other PHers, and realized I was not the only one with PH. I had something in common with all the other PHers at the meeting. The two co-leaders MaryAnne Jones and Teresa Wells were also there for a helping hand.

"I have gone to meetings totally depressed and in tears, only to leave all smiles and ready to face things again. I have learned so much about this disease, how to cope with it, different medications, and good Doctors, through the leadership of the group and their guest speakers, and the other patients."

Bonnie Keller

Each meeting has a guest speaker with different venues of interest to PHers. I have gone to meetings totally depressed and in tears, only to leave all smiles and ready to face things again. I have learned so much about this disease, how to cope with it, different medications, and good Doctors, through the leadership of the group and their guest speakers, and the other patients. One of my best decisions was going to a PH SUPPORT GROUP meeting. I have just recently signed up for a scholarship for the 10th International Conference in Orlando, Florida June 2012. This is where you learn more about PH, and meet a lot more patients with it. I'm so excited by the opportunity that the Pulmonary Hypertension Association has made available for the patients to attend. Thank You, LINDA MILO, MARYANNE JONES, TERESA WELLS and Thank You GOD

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NORD

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.