30 Days of PH: The Key to Living Successfully With PAH

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by BNS Staff |

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30 Days of PH | Pulmonary Hypertension News | Reader submission | 30 Days of PH graphic

Photo courtesy of Lauren Janzen

Day 15 of 30

This is Lauren Janzen’s (@supa_yoopa) story:

Hi, my name is Lauren. I’ve been a member of the pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) community for nearly 12 years. I was diagnosed after fainting at a high-intensity exercise class in January 2010. Before that, I never had any specific symptoms.

At the time, I was 21 and three semesters away from graduating from nursing school. My diagnosis demanded a huge life adjustment. The best decision I made for myself in those early days was to be adaptable and fight hard.

I’ve done my best to make PAH live with me instead of the reverse. I finished college more than a decade ago and work full-time as a registered nurse. My husband and I have traveled all over the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America.

Every PAH patient has an inherent fear of stairs, which I decided to put to rest. I slowly started training to hike in the mountains (with my doctor’s permission, of course!). My first big hike was through the Verdon Gorge in Provence, France, in summer 2016. I have not slowed down since. I believe you must do things while you can!

I’ve been on IV Remodulin since December 2014. I am so blessed to have my cardiologist and treatment team who advocate for me. But I also encourage self-advocacy; it is of utmost importance to be educated and speak up for yourself as a patient.

Self-advocating and networking with other patients are key to successfully living with PAH. There is no better support system than somebody in a similar walk of life.

My most recent and favorite adventure of this journey has been motherhood. We adopted our son this spring. It’s been a balancing act learning how to juggle everything with the addition of a squirmy infant! Self-care is really a thing to respect. I have been practicing yoga for eight years and know how important it is for my well-being to ensure I get time to stretch and breathe.

I encourage all fellow “PHighters” out there to keep on keepin’ on, to find your key for successfully living with PH!

Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign is publishing one story per day from someone who has been affected by the disease for PH Awareness Month in November. Read the full series for more stories like this, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH.