What to Expect
What happens after your loved one is diagnosed with LAM? Depending on the progression of the disease, changes in daily activities and mood may occur.
Increasing Dependence on Family/Friends for Help
A woman's ability to participate in daily activities such as going to work, running errands and exercising may not change. In other cases, there may be limited mobility and supplemental oxygen may be required to help with breathing.
Limitations in Travel
Travel restrictions may be recommended for some women with LAM. In particular, traveling to faraway places where medical help is not readily available may not be advisable. In addition, if a woman with LAM has recently had a lung collapse or feels she may be experiencing one near the time of travel, she should talk with her doctor before traveling by plane.
Feelings of Anger, Isolation and Despair
Women diagnosed with LAM typically experience a wide range of emotions such as anger, denial, shock, grief, helplessness, confusion, despair, sadness, or fear. None of these feelings are uncommon and many women experience one or all of them during various stages of the disease. To help them cope with these emotions, be sure to let your loved one know that you are there to talk to or just listen.
Problems With Intimacy
It is important to understand that LAM may decrease intimacy in a relationship. Women diagnosed with LAM often experience fatigue and increased anxiety. Don't be afraid to ask what your partner feels comfortable with and be open to exploring new ways to be intimate.