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Do as I say, not as I do


Guest ScottS
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This past Friday (the 11th), I decided to continue working on my latest project - remaking the layout of my house. Specifically, I moved around 100 pieces of lumber from my basement to an unused small bedroom upstairs. (My house is a fairly standard design two story Colonial with a finished basement that I long ago converted into a workspace for my then thriving custom guitar making business. Long story there. For another time, I suppose.) The move took me a good nine hours including an approximately one hour long lunch break. The primary reason why it took that long for me to move the boards is most are fairly heavy hardwoods (walnut/cherry/mahogany and maple) varying in width (some up to 14" wide), thickness (a few 3 plus inches) and length (on average 8 to 12 feet). There's that and the fact that I'm 61 years old and have 2 forms of dysautonomia, POTS included. Now, fact is, when I get to working on a project I (far too often) let considerations of those 2 afflictions fall to the wayside. Which means I don't drink enough water and I (generally) ignore/fail to monitor my salts and other electrolytes. I also stay upright and on my feet for far too long without allowing for proper rest and recovery. So, come the next morning (Saturday - yesterday) POTS hit me like a freight train. I woke up early (5:00 AM) after a lousy night's sleep, feeling out of sorts. Soon thereafter out of sorts turned into some dizziness and a bit of brain fog. Not long after I could feel my heart beating in my ears. A wave of nausea washed over me. A few hours passed. I slogged through the rest of the morning into the early afternoon barely eating and not drinking nearly enough. Come Saturday night - last night - my head was spinning and my legs were wet noodles but I at least managed to eat and start to catch up on my salts. I didn't sleep much better last night and again found myself wide awake and feeling out of sorts early. But then utter fatigue won out and I managed to nod off into some long overdue REM style shut eye. I pretty much spent all of today in full on recovery mode. Which means I pretty much spent all of today drinking H20, munching on Cheetos and eating my usual (4-6) small meals. Tonight - now - I feel pretty much fine. My heart is still, on occasion, doing that big bass drum thing in my ears and I'm ready for bed. And with that, lessons learned: 1. Stay within myself (no matter how well intentioned and motivated I am) and don't overdo things. 2. Stay hydrated and manage my salts and other electrolytes 24/7. 3. Rest when needed and/or even when not necessarily needed. 4. Try not to repeat the same mistakes. Twice. Or a dozen and then some times. 4. Live another day. (I'll do that tomorrow.)

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Well - yes, I know that feeling. We all probably do this or have done this to ourselves. But I am impressed that you are able to do this sort of work!!!! I have learned to avoid anything like this b/c I will end up in bed for days and then spend a week reconditioning. So - if possible leave the hard work to someone else!!!!! And if you end up doing something that takes your mind off POTS - set a timer for every hour to remind you to drink and snack. In my case I need as much rest as I can be active, for every 15 minutes of being active I need a 15 minute rest which I use to hydrate. 

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