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POTS

I have POTS... no I'm not talking about cannabis. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a type of dysautonomia. Dysautonomia is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. That basically means that your body doesn't regulate all of the things it's supposed to, like your heart rate and blood pressure. POTS is characterized by postural changes affecting these processes. I know that's a lot of medical stuff to grasp so think of it like this... you know how when you stand up too fast, you get dizzy? Someone with POTS feels that way a lot of the time and doing something like standing too quick can actually cause them to pass out (the technical term for fainting is syncope). POTS has a ton of other symptoms too, including things like heat intolerance, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, and blurred vision to name a few.


This is the diagnosis I received around 20 years old but the condition I have been dealing with since about 17. There is no cure. POTS still isn't fully understood. Doctors don't know why I have it. I will likely deal with it for the rest of my life. That was a hard thing to swallow when I was in what was supposed to be some of the best and most adventurous years of my life. It's turned my world upside down it seems sometimes. I went from being super active in high school and the start of college, to passing out or getting sick at school a few times, to having days where I can't get out of bed without trouble. It has forced me to make a lot of life changes and modify how I do things sometimes. I have to take medications for it. It limits things like job options (construction would never be for me) and hobbies (I'll never be able to do aerial yoga or anything else that involves a lot of postural changes quickly). It's affected relationships. Dating can be hard - I mean nothing says wife material like a girl who sometimes uses a shower chair and often gets tired trying to do dishes. Yet despite all that, POTS has made me a stronger person...I mean not physically, obviously... but mentally I'm so much stronger than I once was. It's not something I will ever be ashamed of because it's just part of who I am now.


If you'd like to learn more about POTS and dysautonomia, visit http://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/

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