How best you can cope with pulmonary hypertension over the long-term

Updated on December 22, 2020

High blood pressure which is also called hypertension is a quite common condition, but pulmonary arterial hypertension is very rare and can be a serious condition. When you’re diagnosed with hypertension, it means that there is a strong blood force pushing against the sides of an artery. On the other hand, pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that happens in the lungs. This condition can be caused by various factors, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

Pulmonary arterial hypertension which is a form of pulmonary hypertension can happen when the sides of the arteries going from the right side of the heart to the lungs tighten and narrow. Because of this, pressure in the lungs increases, which can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and many other symptoms. This post discusses how best you can cope with pulmonary hypertension over the long-term. 

How pulmonary hypertension changes your life 

Trying to cope with pulmonary hypertension over the long run can be quite hard. You see, you can sometimes feel engaged and active while other times you can even find it hard to get out of your bed. 

Worse still, the challenges of life that everyone experiences like nurturing healthy relationships, maintaining a career, managing finances can become harder when you’re diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. This is the reason why you need to read more information about this condition like the impact factor. Here are some more challenges you should expect when you’re pulmonary hypertension:

Physical and emotional issues

Acceptance is an important step to coping with pulmonary hypertension, but many people who have this condition for years agree that it’s almost impossible to overcome physical and emotional issues. Pulmonary hypertension is a chronic illness that can lead to changes in your health and lots of uncertainties. 

Therefore, you tend to learn to cope with the condition throughout your life which is a huge challenge. Remember that regular hospitalizations due to pulmonary hypertension are quite common. This can lead to stress and depression, making it important for you to cope with unexpected emotional and physical problems in life. 

Loss of capacity

Many long-term survivors of pulmonary hypertension understand as time goes by that there are several unexpected changes years after diagnosis. While your health keeps fluctuating and your physical limitations change, you can lose the ability to work, spend time doing activities you enjoy, or help around the house. Because many people feel fine when they connect what they’re doing and who they are, these changes can affect your self-image and you can even question your purpose in life. 

Many people take careers as their major purpose in life, but it can be hard to manage your career when living with pulmonary hypertension. No wonder, most people decide to quit their jobs, which can sometimes lead to stress. 

Remember that giving up a job or even a hobby can take a huge toll on people with this condition. Sadly, new losses, just the loss you faced when you were diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension can affect the world around you and the way you feel about yourself. 

Changing personal relationships

Living with pulmonary hypertension for many years can also affect your relationships with family and friends. Many people find it hard to relate to someone who has a chronic illness, such as pulmonary hypertension, so friends can come and go. 

To make it even worse, it can also be frustrating to always remind family and friends that you’re a physical illness, especially when you can’t do vigorous exercise routines.

Some relationships can change and fall away, but you can also maintain some meaningful relationships. These are the people who support you regardless of your condition.

Looking back

After the pulmonary hypertension diagnosis, many people with this condition claim to have painful memories of fear, shock, despair, and denial. Therefore, it’s not surprising that some people can go through a period of uncertainty and grief a few months after they learn about their condition. 

The good news is that many people go through the acceptance stage. Once you recover from the shock of the diagnosis, you can learn over time to handle the highs and lows of living with pulmonary hypertension. In such cases, you need to adjust to the new way of living so that you can make something out of your life.   

The best way to cope with pulmonary hypertension 

While it can be hard to live with pulmonary hypertension, there are various things you can do to make your life a little easier. Below are some of the ways you can do to adapt and move forward:

Prepare for change

The life lessons of living with pulmonary hypertension can vary widely depending on the extent of your condition. The first thing you need to do is to accept that your life has changed after the diagnosis and that your life will keep on changing for years for many reasons.

Even after a couple of years with stable health, you need to prepare for new health problems that may come along the way. Many people incorporate pulmonary hypertension as a new normal for their new lives which are different from their old lives. 

If you’re preparing to live with pulmonary hypertension for years, you should adjust to this new normal regularly. This regular reinvention of yourself can be overwhelming and needs a lot of resilience, and the ability to get back on track in the face of challenges. 

When you build resilience to make changes in your life, it can become easier to go through the ups and downs of life. Therefore, you should be positive, focused, flexible, organized, and proactive. 

The best way to adopt these new habits is by coming up with flexible action plans that can help you to manage change when it comes. So you can make a list of the unexpected changes you think will come in the following years, such as loss of capacity and health deterioration.

You should think about the ways you can cope when each of these scenarios arises. It can be hard to predict the future and the process of making plans for potential changes can be overwhelming. 

Turn to new connections

When it comes to building resilience, it’s more about surrounding yourself with tools and people that can make you flexible, positive, and proactive in every aspect of your life. 

As explained earlier, stress can come after being diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, it’s important to join a pulmonary hypertension support group so that you can spend time with people living with the same condition. 

Regardless of your age, these pulmonary hypertension support groups are there to help you overcome your situation, especially when you have stress. By connecting with other people, you can share experiences and exchange information with new friends. 

The pulmonary hypertension community can also assist you to prepare for new changes and even manage them as they come. There is always a sense of relief when you interact with people who are also experiencing the same situation in their lives due to their condition.

Turn to loved ones

While new connections can be important, you must remember that the most resilient and long-term survivors of pulmonary hypertension have a support team that includes their family and friends. You can lose connections with the friends you had before, but your wife, children, or siblings can offer you the support you need. 

This support group can help you find a suitable doctor and even prepare your medication. Even better, they can check on you throughout the day, meaning they can provide additional care. 

To make it easier for you, they can also accompany you to doctor’s appointments and pulmonary hypertension support group meetings. With a well-informed support team, you’re bound to navigate the highs and lows of living with pulmonary hypertension.

No wonder, many long-term survivors of pulmonary hypertension believe that you need to keep relationships with family members and friends. This should happen whether you’re feeling high and low so that the relationship should be intact at all times.

This means relationships should be a two-way street because your loved ones can sometimes require your support as well. Mind you, it’s not a good idea to talk about your condition all the time. Instead, you can make sure that you ask your family members and friends about their well-being too. 

After all, if you want everyone to focus on your well-being, some people may not desire to be around you. Every person has challenges in life, so ensure that you create and sustain balanced relationships. 

It’s important to establish new and positive identities to help you reflect on what you believe in and try to work towards achieving your set goals. Hence, you can take up community service, painting, writing, or even playing or teaching piano. 

Certainly, you need to choose a goal bigger than yourself so that it can give you momentum during difficult times. Coping with pulmonary hypertension is not an easy thing to do, but seeking support from family members and friends who care about you can assist you to bounce back from various challenges you’ll experience on your journey.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.