Monitoring Your Condition
How are you doing, really? That’s what your healthcare team wants to know. These doctors and nurses need to know what goes on between visits. They rely on you and your loved ones to provide specific information so they can accurately assess your current care and future needs.
Because PAH can get worse over time, it’s important to keep track of how you’re feeling and reassess your treatment plan. There are 3 simple ways that you can help monitor your PAH:
1. Evaluate your activity level
What is functional class? Simply put, it’s what doctors use to assess your ability to perform everyday activities. Are you experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, or near fainting or passing out with activity?
Every patient’s disease and symptoms are different, regardless of functional class.
You can use the self-assessment guide to start the discussion. The information may help your doctor understand your progress and assess whether your treatment plan can be adjusted to help you work toward your goals.
2. Track your symptoms
Symptoms that occur as a result of your condition are different from side effects that result from a medication. Your PAH medications are designed to treat your PAH symptoms. Your doctor may recommend other medications to help with side effects.
It is important to talk to your doctor or healthcare team about any new or changing symptoms and side effects you may experience. You can use a journal to keep track. Changes in your symptoms may signal the need to modify your current treatment plan. So record any changes you notice, even if they are slight, so your doctor can adjust your care and treatment goals, if necessary.
3. Prepare for your next appointment
Your healthcare team will want to hear about any changes you have experienced since your last visit, as well as the activities that give you symptoms. How your disease progresses may dictate how your doctor chooses a course of treatment. Your doctor will use this information, in addition to various examinations and tests, to verify that your treatment plan is right for you. To be sure you’re getting the most out of your visit, you can create your own Doctor Discussion Guide ahead of time to help get your questions answered.