“I knew my wife had PH when we first got together so even though I knew nothing about the condition I was aware that it did impair her general health and what she could and couldn’t do.
My wife knew her limitations and there are many ways to be intimate; we loved each other immensely so in times of feeling poorly it was fine to just hold hands or kiss if she didn’t want to do anything more.
Just being there for a cuddle can be intimate and we were still able to engage in a normal sex life outside of times of ‘out of the ordinary’ symptoms.
I guess PH can come in different levels of symptoms and severity, but my wife was able to make love to a level she was happy with and I never pushed her to do anything she felt was too much.
I would advise people with PH and their partners to talk about this issue and not let it get in the way of their relationship. If the person with PH doesn’t feel comfortable or able to be physically intimate at a particular time, then talk about it. Don’t let it become a problem; a loving partner will understand and will support them – or at least they should!
The most important thing is that couples are there for each other, even if it’s just to hold hands and tell them that they love each other.
I’d advise anyone with PH who isn’t sure about starting a physical relationship with someone to speak to their specialist about it. Don’t be shy, just ask – I’m sure sensible advice would be forthcoming and I’d imagine in most cases worries would be eased.
People with PH and understanding partners are very special people and to a healthy partner I’d say to cherish your other half – they are heroes in my eyes for what they have to live with every day.”
Graham’s name has been changed to protect anonymity