1. Evaluate your PAH Therapy and Set a New Goal
The New Year is an excellent time to reflect on your overall health. You may be feeling well but this is a great time to ask yourself and your doctor if you could be doing better? Many patients make great gains after being properly diagnosed and placed on PH treatments. They are so thankful for the improvements they have made that they don’t always look forward to what other improvements they would like to make. It is important to set realistic treatment expectations but it is also important not to settle for mediocrity. This New Year set a goal and work with your PH specialists to make a plan for how you are going to accomplish it. Work towards your goal patiently realizing that it is important to be flexible and change the plan if the outcomes are not what you were expecting or hoping for.
2. Attend 1 PAH Fundraiser
The pulmonary hypertension community is very active in raising awareness and funds for PAH. This year research fundraisers in your area and either volunteer or make a plan to attend. Invite friends and family to go with you. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association has a list of events including support groups, walks/runs, and even charity sporting events.
3. Continue to Learn About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
The good news is if you are reading this article you are already taking a step towards becoming more informed about PAH. Read about the new therapies approved by the FDA to treat PAH such as Adempas, Opsumit, and Orenitram. Review the outcomes of research studies such as the AMBITION study that demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of combination therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension.
4. Plan a Trip
Has there been a trip that has seemed a little out of reach since you have been diagnosed with PH? It might be to go to the beach, visit your grandchildren across the country, or even see a new country you haven’t yet visited. It may take a little more planning than usual but where there is a will there is a way. Work with your PH Center to find out how to make your trip possible.
5. Write a Thank You
Every PAH patient has a story of an amazing caregiver, friend, neighbor, nurse or doctor that went above and beyond to take care of them. Take the time to write a thank you note to that person and let them know that their kindness was noticed and made a difference to you. You never know what effect your thankful words will have on them.