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Life As A POTS Patient (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is a controlling condition, and everyday life is quite restrictive for its patients. Especially when it comes to things like leaving the house. I can't just take myself off to browse around the shops without thinking, I have to spend some time carefully planning my route before going anywhere because I need to make sure I'm never more than a few minutes away from a seat as my body can’t handle being on my feet for too long. If I don’t take regular sitting down breaks, I quickly go into a POTS flare up which makes me feel physically awful. So as soon as I start experiencing heart palpitations and dizziness, I make my way to the nearest seat as swiftly as possible so that I don’t end up passing out. I very rarely go out alone due to my medical problems, particularly POTS, but that’s just the reality of life with chronic illness.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome has even taken away my ability to shower as and when I feel like it because it brings on a POTS attack and my body can’t handle the stress it causes. unfortunately my personal hygiene often has to suffer because I have to wait until I feel mentally prepared to take on the challenge. I always try to shower at night time because I end up in bed afterwards due to physical exhauston. POTS doesn't affect everyone in this way though. Some people are fortunate enough to only experience mild symptoms, but for people like me, it can be more debilitating and affect the quality of their everyday lives. It can affect anyone at all, but it more commonly occurs alongside a more serious health condition such as Marfan Syndrome, which is the case with me. I was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome as a teenager and at some point I want to discuss all the secondary ailments it's brought with it and how they also affect my life, but I'll save that for another time. I just wanted to bring light to POTS today because I feel like it needs more awareness than it gets.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is an autonomic abnormality of the nervous system, causing a drop in blood supply to the heart and brain when a person is in an upright position. So that’s why I’m unable to be on my feet for a length of time. The typical symptoms for me include heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, sweating and fatigue. I often end up going for a nap in the middle of the afteroon as POTS, along with all my other health issues, has drained me of all energy. It's not a curable condition, but medication is keeping my heart rate steady at the moment, rather than shooting up and down erraticly throughout the day. It still increases rapidly when I suffer from a POTS attack though. A few other things are supposed to help ease the symptoms, such as drinking plenty of water and increasing salt intake. So I'm often pottering around the house with bottled water in my hand.
                                 Life as a Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Patient
By Lucy Atkinson..x 


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