To be honest, it took me a long time to understand how stress can affect my HAE. But knowing how crucial it is to take care of myself, both physically and emotionally, helped provide some motivation to talk to my doctor and develop a plan to deal with my worries.
Let me share a few tips that have worked for me:
Have a Plan and Be Prepared
For me, worries concerning HAE can arise at any moment. I could be shopping with my friends, out to dinner with my boyfriend, attending an important work meeting, or visiting with family when WHAM! A wave of fear will wash over me. What if I have an HAE attack right now? Is there a bathroom nearby so that I don’t have to have this HAE Attack in front of others? How will I explain this to everyone?
I used to let these fears consume me, but these days, if I feel the “worry wave” approaching me, I breathe. I remain calm and remind myself that I am ready for an HAE attack if I were to have one. I make sure my FIRAZYR® (icatibant injection), a prescription medication approved for treating acute HAE attacks in adults 18 years of age and older, is with me. I also make sure my medical ID is on my wrist, and my medical information and doctor’s note, which informs people of my HAE diagnosis and treatment plan, is in my purse in case I need to go to the emergency room for a laryngeal attack.
Remember, laryngeal attacks can become life threatening. If you have an HAE attack of the throat (laryngeal attack), inject FIRAZYR as directed and then go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.
Talk to People
If I can’t shake the stress, I’ll talk to someone, like a close friend or someone in the HAE community. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor or a counselor either. I’m never ashamed to ask for help!
Live in the Moment
It can be an exceptionally difficult task, but I always try to stay in the moment and be mindful of both my emotions and my environment. It’s important for me to enjoy who and what is around me, and take it all in. Remembering that I can’t really know what is coming next reminds me to take a deep breath and do my best to try not to worry about an HAE attack.
These are just a few things I’ve discovered to help deal with stress, but everyone is different. You may have your own techniques for dealing with stress. All in all, it’s good to remember you are not your HAE. But because it is a part of your life, it’s important to be proactive and develop a tactical plan with your doctor for handling anything life throws your way.
What techniques help you deal with stress? Leave a comment!
If you have HAE, you may want to talk with your doctor about treatment options. If you want to talk about FIRAZYR with your doctor, click here to sign up for more information, including a page that you can download and take with you to your next doctor’s appointment. If you and your doctor decide that FIRAZYR might be the right treatment option for you, he or she can request a single dose of FIRAZYR as a sample for you to try.