I have POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. A chronic illness, chronic meaning that it will be around for, well…ever, or at least until some genius finds a cure. At first, it took me awhile to swallow that sentence. The fact that I will forever have to deal with this illness. BUT, God. My mind-set when it comes to all things, when you are thrown something not so pleasant in life, you take it for what it is and learn to make the best of it. Or, as my late Big Papa’s always told me, “Get up and get tough!”. With my own spin, I add, “Get up and get tough, with a smile on your face!”. Cliche? Yes. Life changing? Also, Yes.
See, POTS isn’t just an illness that makes me faint or black out, it’s an illness that affects my entire body. Essentially, my autonomic nervous system no longer functions properly. My symptoms are a mile long and can change in a moment’s notice. For those that ask and wonder what those symptoms are, below are just a few to give you an insight to this crazy illness:
On a day to day basis, I experience dizziness, vertigo, syncope, dysphagia, chronic body pain, moments of extreme confusion, difficulty with my speech, tachycardia, random drops and spikes in blood pressure which cause loss of awareness, migraines, tinnitus, tingling in my extremities, blurred and faded vision, inability to control my body temperature, blood pooling, chronic diarrhea/constipation episodes and sporadic loss of leg function.
That’s what is so hard about this illness is the unexpectedness of it all. I never know what to expect with my body or how I am going to feel or what will trigger my symptoms. It would be so easy to retreat and hide away from the world, because if I am being honest, going into Target is hard for me. Standing and talking too long, is hard for me. I have almost fainted doing both things. BUT GOD. In my heart, retreating is not an option. So, instead I stay and fight with God and my family by my side. I get up every morning and get some type of workout in to help with my circulation. I drink freshly juiced celery juice and a gallon of water a day. I consume salt like a fish in the ocean and drink electrolytes like they are going out of style. I check my blood pressure multiple times a day. Record my heart symptoms with my surgically placed heart monitor and consume an insane amount of natural herbs and supplements. I tell you all of this to give some insight to what this illness looks like. To raise awareness for individuals that battle dysautonomia. Just remember, that life is what you make it.
No matter what you are battling, you have a choice to choose joy. You have a choice to see God’s grace and love through your circumstances. This illness has taken so much from me. It took away my ability to drive, my ability to take care of Beckham by myself and my job. Just to name a few. But through it, God has given me so much more in return. I am finally back working in a smaller capacity with an incredible company that has stood by and supported my family and I through this. I am learning how to better control my symptoms. He gave me a husband, a child, friends and family that love me and support me. I heard him say “Create The Happy”, and that, my friends is what has gotten me through the hardest days. You choose where you want to be in your circumstances. I choose Him. I choose Joy.
If you would like to know more about POTS/Dysautonomia, visit the link below: http://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/page.php?ID=30
Create the Happy yall! – KB