Chloe Merritt, 22, (second from right) was diagnosed in September 2022 with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with a former college volleyball teammate. Chloe works at Wendy’s corporate office in Dublin, Ohio. In early January, she went back to full-time after taking time off post- diagnosis. Pictured: Chloe’s brother Jack (left), mom Diane (second from left) and dad Scott (right). Not pictured: Chloe’s dog Coco, who lives with Diane and Scott in Cleveland.
‘Staying positive is a lot easier said than done, but I try to … remember that every day isn’t as rough as what I’m going through at that point.’
By Chloe Merritt
Although having a life-changing experience at such a young age is detrimental, I became closer than I ever thought I could be with my family and friends. I think the experience has made me more grateful for them.
Life with pulmonary hypertension (PH) is hard, especially when I want to go out and do things but my body says no. Putting yourself and your health first is a whole new ball game, but it is important when living with PH.
I wish more people realized that we may say no to certain things, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to do them. Sometimes we physically can’t on that day.
This illness has a mind of its own, and some days are better than others. Maintaining a positive outlook, especially on the rough days, is important.
But that can be challenging at times. During “hell-week,” when I conduct a site change, it is mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. I remind myself that it is only temporary and that I’m strong to get through it.
Staying positive is a lot easier said than done, but I try to look to look on the bright side and remember that every day isn’t as rough as what I’m going through at that point.
One of the biggest challenges for me is the low-sodium diet, but for the most part I try my best. I found some great low-sodium hot wing sauce and barbecue-based sauce on Amazon. It is called “Mr. Spice” and comes in several flavors.
I’m probably late to the party; people have probably known about it for a while. But I wanted to share with people who may not know. I love putting it on my chicken and turkey burgers.
My life has drastically changed since being diagnosed with PH, but I have become stronger because of it. The saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” has one hell of a meaning now.