Patient Voices #BreathlessNotVoiceless

Jenny Blakeman

“I find everyday tasks like washing, cleaning up and hoovering difficult”

Jenny Blakeman, who is 73, was diagnosed with PH in August 2016. She has to wear an oxygen pipe 24/7 and has lost the ability to enjoy hobbies she used to do, like gardening.

“The most challenging part of living with PH is having to be on oxygen. I just want to be free and go outside of my own accord but I can’t do that. I have to be connected to the pipe 24/7, and be careful not to fall over all the tubes. I’m used to the constant humming of the machine now, but it used to keep me awake at night.

I have to use the portable oxygen tank if I want to leave the house which is a nuisance. It means I’m thinking about my illness all the time and I get more panicky being on the oxygen, as I have to double think about everything. It makes me a bit warier about going out, and I never drive on my own anymore – my husband Graham always comes with me in the car. You also have to accept that when you go out, people will look at you, especially children, because you’ve got the oxygen pipe.

I find everyday tasks like washing up, cleaning and hoovering difficult, and I get out of breath if I do them for too long. I also used to like gardening, but now I can’t do it, which I miss very much.

PH is frustrating, debilitating and restricts certain aspects of my life.