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Just when i thought i had it worked out...


ramakentesh
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My POTS symptoms - dizziness and rapid heart rate in the morning, gradually improving in the day, vitreosu floaters, cold feeling, tremors, weird breathless feelings, etc. have been pretty much constant for ages.

I went on holiday and as warned, the flight was terrible for my dizziness - i was spinning outbigtime.

Then something weird happened - over the next two weeks of my holiday, most of my symptoms significantly reduced. I had more energy than ive had in ages, my hand tremors were reduced (but still present), my dizziness was almost gone, i had the occasional rapid heart beat episode, and the occassional anxiety feeling, but nothing like usual.

I returned to my home town and within two days my symptoms are all back - and the only triggers i can think of are my kettle, the shower water or stairing at a computer. WHen i was on holiday i had pure water, rather than clorinated tap water, and didnt look at a computer once - whereas my job requires it.

And i definately found that i will arrive at work with slight symptoms, use the computer for a few hours and my symptoms are terrible - dizziness, spaced out - out of it.

Does anyone relate to these experiences??

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aha!

as you may know, i went to BC (west coast canada) for a couple of weeks this past august. at the time, i was freaked out about flying and posted some of my worries here...anyway, all is good (i made it :)) although not without symptoms on board...

but i digress. i have to say my two weeks there were the best i'd had in months..apart from 1 fairly significant anxiety attack, i was at my least symptomatic (which for me, consists of being tachy and fatigued...but only those things --apart from my IBS and depression of course...heh..so, my only POTS symptoms i mean). since i got back in mid/late august i not only am back to 'normal' (which is bad) but actually have been the WORST i've been in months. i had put everything down to my sleep cycle getting messed up from a combo of jet lag and not having slept the night before i left....but now i wonder. maybe there are some aggravating environmental factors here at home...

besides the fact that the air quality is worse in toronto than the west coast...maybe something around the house. it's possible. i'll have to look into it.

incidentally, on the flight back, the woman sitting behind me had a major panic attack, and the flight crew threatened to land the plane cause they thought she was having a heart attack. they were in her face and totally making it worse (she kept asking them to leave her alone), so i intervened, sat with her and acted as a buffer. they all backed off when i told them i suffered from them too and knew how to deal. managed to help talk her through it too...ended up totally taking my mind of myself, and made me feel actually kind of useful. it was a cool coincidence.

:o

justin

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It is possible there is a trigger at home or at work. However, keep in mind too how much POTS symptoms can wax and wane. It could also be a coincidence. Until you see a repeated pattern, it will be hard to tease out any clear triggers. Can you try to eliminate any of those suspected triggers from your life for a week or so and see of you find an improvement again?

Personally, I have had a hard time identifying any triggers, except for obvious ones like getting sick with a cold or not getting enough sleep or standing for too long in one place or getting too emotionally excited. I have relapses that seem to come on randomly.

Regarding indoor air quality--EPA, for example, is now realizing this is MORE of a problem for most Americans than outdoor air quality. Besides obvious things like radon and cigarette smoke, our indoor air quality is compromised by cleaners, off-gassing of new plastic products, paints, varnishes, new furniture and building materials (which often off-gas nasty stuff like formaldehyde). Even "air fresheners" cannot be healthy as they release VOCs (which is what is also in most household paints). We spend a lot of time indoors in this country, even more when we are sick, so it does make one wonder whether indoor air pollutants could contribute to illness.

Katherine

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Ramakentesh,

I'm just curious as to where you went on holiday? Was it a different climate or altitude from where you normally live? Perhaps that helped ease your symptoms as well? Or maybe you ate different foods than you normally do? I know that my symptoms are easily triggered by foods my body doesn't like. I also found that computers aggrevate my symptoms, but I have to work on one most of the day at my job. I wish I could get away from it though! I do love being outdoors and getting fresh air. As long as it's not too hot or humid outside I usually feel better outside.

It's definitely a mystery what causes our symptoms to wax and wane. I think the triggers are different for each of us, so there's not a magic bullet solution.

I'm glad you were able to get away from your symptoms for a while though...perhaps you should go on holiday more often! :D

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Hmmm. Not sure what could have caused your improvement during vacation or your relapse after returning. I think Gena had a good point that altitude and climate are big factors. Also, there could be things at home which are consciously or subconsciously stressing you out which went away while you were on vacation. I would think these are more likely causes than the water or air, but who knows.

About feeling worse at work, one thing they suggested to me at the Mayo Clinic was putting my feet above my heart (ie. up on my desk) for 40-60 minutes every afternoon, without interruption. Blood pools in your legs when sitting at work all day. I have been doing this for the past 2 weeks and it really seems to give me some energy and also lower my heart rate. If you are able to try this, it might help. Also, I just realized how much the lighting in my office has been aggravating my condition. I had the lights turned off yesterday, and that seems to help too.

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Perhaps you spent more time outdoors during your vacation? If so, you might want to look into changing to full-spectrum lighting in your office and home. I'm far from knowledgeable about that topic, but I do need to start checking into it for myself.

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I went to New Zealand - and it apparently has some of the cleanest air in the mworld - so maybe that is it - and i was not stuck in an office with recycling air, neon lights and a computer screen all day.

I ate the same foods.

Im still feeling ok now - not as bad as when i left, which is good, but the symptoms have definately worsened within 12 hours of returning - and although it could just be a coincedence, i find it remarkable that three days into my holidays i felt great right through to the point where on the last day i actually told my cousin that i was 'better' - then i return, stare at the computer, use the shower here and all the normal things and bang - im dizzy, cold and trembling again - and my pulse is banging in my head and making me weak when i stand.

When i was in new zealand i even maneged to snow board fora whole day and climb a hill with 1300 steep steps! Now the time it has taken me to type this has made me feel weak...;)

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Just another thought: Chlorine in your shower and drinking water can be a real problem. I believe there is some specific negative link to adrenals, but my addled brain can't come up with that info at the moment.

We have a reverse osmosis water purification system at our kitchen sink for drinking water, and a showerhead that filters out chlorine and much more (RainShow'r brand). Those 2 items might be worth considering to to make your daily living situation a bit healthier.

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yeah im quite confused, but will try a water filter and see if that helps. I am at my worst in motnhs today - my hands are all numb, i feel very weak and dizzy, and i keep getting anxious waves. Its funny how someone else here mentioned that they feel worse - so do i - today is my worst in ages.

Its so annoying - i actually was convinced that i had somehow beaten this thing.

Maybe its allergy related?

Anyway, i might have to move to New Zealand permanently...

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A tech person told me once that a co-worker who was complaining of headaches and slight dizziness had the refresh rate on her monitor set too low. You might check to see what yours is set to and if possible, bump it to a higher rate. Or switch to a flat monitor since those use a different technology that does not flash to create the images you see.

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