Due to the unpredictability of hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks, a day in my life, as a person with HAE, is a bit different from what I would consider the norm. I’m oftentimes thinking about when, and if, the next attack will happen. Still, I do my best to not focus on that and take life one day at a time.
The “hereditary” in hereditary angioedema, can create some soul-searching moments when it comes to family planning.
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks can not only be stressful in the moment, but even just the anticipation of an HAE attack can cause fear and worry. The symptoms of pain and swelling are not something I look forward to. And for me, sometimes just the worry that I may experience an attack can cause an attack, making it very important for me to learn to deal with my stress.
Many years ago, I thought I could never self-inject an injectable medication. The thought alone seemed unbearable. How could I ever intentionally do something that I was sure would cause me pain? Then I was prescribed FIRAZYR® (icatibant injection), a medicine used to treat acute hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks in adults 18 years of age and older that can be self-injected after training by a healthcare professional. Suddenly, I had an opportunity to learn whether or not I could handle self-injections after all.
When I started my journey to a diagnosis, I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to find out why I was having visible swelling. I thought I was just prone to the stomach flu or had a very sensitive stomach—I was not aware those symptoms were because of hereditary angioedema (HAE).