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When You Get Really Stressed...


jknh9
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Do your symptoms get much, much worse when you're under an abnormally high amount of stress? My husband came down with meningitis last weekend and was hospitalized for the whole week. He was finally able to come home today, but just as he is getting better, I feel myself crashing in a big way. Food does not sound appealing at all, my headaches have gotten increasingly worse throughout the week, and I am incredibly tired despite sleeping reasonably well last night. I also have the shaky low-BP feeling I used to get a lot pre-diagnosis (and pre-medication). I've been keeping up a schedule that is a lot more strenuous than usual this week, staying up for 2 days straight in the ER, going back and forth to the ER/hospital and filling prescriptions etc. My normal schedule consists of getting 9+ hours of sleep (or at least laying around since I can't always fall asleep or stay asleep) and working from home about 25 hours a week. I tried eating some soup and toast this evening but I couldn't finish it.

What do you find helpful for recovering after this kind of week? I haven't gone through anything this stressful since diagnosis and I just want to stay in bed with an ice pack across my forehead for the headache and watch movies until I feel like getting up, whenever that may be. Argh!

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That's what I've been trying to do all week, I guess it's just now hitting me-- like you said, after the stressful situation has passed. That must be part of the delayed sympathetic nervous system reactions we have?

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I'm like Rama, I can handle what ever I need to at the time, but the crash afterwards is long and hard. Take anything you can that helps with stress. One thing I use is B-Complex and Vitamin C. The B's are very good for the nervous system and the C helps with stress and to keep you from coming down with something else. I also enjoy Chamomile tea at night, because it is very relaxing and helps me to sleep better. Remember, you can't help anyone else if you are overcome or catch a cold or something. So, remember to look after you too. You may have to get someone to come help with hubby and give you a break. Hope things settle down for you soon and you're crash isn't too bad - and hubby gets well soon also.

Issie

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I'm with rama and issie...I am fine during the crisis even if it lasts a few days but then I crash when the crisis is over. I always feel like it is the biggest adrenaline crash ever - paralyzing fatigue, the really bad drunk/surreal feeling, dizzy, pre-syncope, GI flares, body pain, migraine, cognitive/memoy issues. I have really tried to take a different approch to life so I don't get to that point anymore (it dosn't always work). It's the "don't sweat the small stuff and even the big stuff isn't that big as long as you're alive" attitude. It's a challenge for my Type A control freak self ut I try. :P

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This happened to me last year when my hubby was hospitalized for pneumonia. I was OK for 24 hrs but then got so weak I could only visit him in the morning and even then I sat in the chair with ice on my neck. It was hideous. I couldn't eat. I got better in about a week. Hopefully time will help you, too. I begged him NEVER to get sick again!

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When it shows up depends for me, but stress is regardless really bad for my system, especially my POTS. If the stress is something that has no *absolute* deadline (translation: grant proposals are an absolute deadline, doing an experiment is not), then the POTS gets worse and I often end up putting the experiment or similar thing off until the next day when I hope to be better. If it's an impending absolute deadline then I power through it (for some reason the brainfog stays away then, wish I knew why, probably triggering my SNS?) and then fall over for several days afterwards.

For recovering... I try to take a few days off. Lots of baths (my positive symptoms from warm baths and showers outweigh the negatives, thankfully, otherwise choose something hopefully as relaxing), tea, watching movies I've seen before or rereading comforting old books, naps, meditation, staring at funny videos on the internet or pictures of pretty places, etc. Basically anything you find that lowers your stress, relaxes you, and makes you feel like you're babying yourself.

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Stress has a huge impact on my health. I can get through short periods of high stress on pure adrenaline (with increase tachy and symptoms during stress, but still functioning) but will crash afterwards. Longer term periods of high stress completely wipe me out and wear me down until I just can't do it anymore. It can take months and months to recover from those. And I am one of those people that coped very well with stress prior to pots and didn't let things "get to me".

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Stress is a necessary poison. It's our body's reaction to it that makes us able to act well in a crisis. Of course its not sustainable. POTS or no POTS, I know people crash after stress/crisis and suffer ill health effects such as lowered immune response. The POTS obviously magnifies it for a lot of us.

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