Pulmonary hypertension (PH) can place a strain on relationships with your partner, friends and relatives. It can be difficult to tell your family and friends that you have PH. The best advice is to be open and honest. Generally, those who are close to you will want to know. The same advice applies if you are telling children that you have PH. The sooner people know about your PH, the sooner they can understand it and come to terms with it.
You may find your emotions relating to your diagnosis of PH are also affecting your relationships with those around you. It can help to talk to those close to you, so that they know how you are feeling. If you feel you need someone to talk to outside your normal circle of friends and relatives, ask your PH specialist team. They will be able to talk through the issues with you, or recommend someone who can help with the emotional effects of PH.
Looking after children
If you have PH and are looking after children, it can be difficult. Childcare places extra demands on you, both physically and mentally. Here are some tips that may help:
- Have a helper at the ready who you can turn to if you need to. This could be a friend or even a paid babysitter.
- Have a prearranged emergency plan in case you need to visit hospital at short notice.
- Let the children help. Often children enjoy helping out and it can make your life easier.
- Let children know how you are feeling so they get a better understanding of why it’s hard for you.
Intimacy and PH
Just because you have PH doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy love life. However, having PH can lead to emotional issues that can affect intimate relationships. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK) has published a booklet called It matters to me: A guide to relationships and intimacy for people with pulmonary hypertension. This explains how PH and its treatments can affect you as a sexual and intimate person, and discusses ways of dealing with this. If you would like to receive a copy, please fill in the publication request form.