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unmotivated or just plain impossible?


san90x0x0
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Hi, for all college students out there suffering from POTS as well as anybody else who can help me about this......is it just me, or is being able to write a paper of any sort IMPOSSIBLE! I just can't seem to sit down and do anything productive anymore these days! Is it just me or can anyone relate to this? I have these constant adrenaline surges that are just driving me nuts too...and I was wondering if anyone from their past experience know of anything I could do to make it better without the use of medications (I have yet to see a doc here who is familiar with POTS). One more thing....has anyone tried exercise of any sort and actually saw benefits from it instead of being wiped out by it? I would greatly appreciate any advice or comments!

-Sarah

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Yeh your cognitive abilities get messed about. For me its a brain fog that sets in, i can sit at my computer for hours and not get one paragraph out as my brain decides to bascially go to sleep. It lasted 3 months over christmas last year and it makes studying really really tough. I have no advice sorry, just to let you know that you are not alone...

The exercise thing tends to vary. I find i get whiped out before i can notice big results. Then if i have a good day i am able to exercise with much more energy, but that tends not to last long. Other people have noticed results though.

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Sarah~

I'm glad your still sticking it out and going, cause I got soo bad I had to take the year off. I still write down things to do everyday to keep me motivated, but either I have no energy or I forget. . . :huh:

Good luck with your paper!

Nicole

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In terms of studying, writing papers etc. the best advice I could give is do your best to start assignments as soon as you know about them and try to break them down into small pieces so you don't feel overwhelmed. If you can do a little each day on a project then you will slowly get there plus, if you need to ask your professors for an extension they may be more understanding if they see you have done some work on the project. It's a really tough position you are in though!

As for the exercise. I find that if I can exercise in the late morning I tend to get a better benefit. I'm "awake" by then but not drained from the day and it's early enough in the day where by evening I feel the effects of less surges. Some days I'm not able to exercise at all, some days I just sit quietly with no noise and no distraction and just "veg" and some days I'm able to do some yoga or light pilates work, gentle stretches which do help me. Cardiovascular exercise is not really an option for me though.

Don't know if any of this will help you or not.

Hang in there and good luck with your studies

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I'm in College right now at University of Maryland. My advice to you, as said before, is to start assignments as soon as you know about them. I've been able to write, but it IS more difficult.

Talk to your professors about extra time for papers, and also register yourself at the dissabilities office on your campus. Often you can get extentions if you can prove your health will affect your ability to work (ie. a doctor says so).

Good Luck,

Lauren

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I absolutely feel better when I exercise. I sometimes feel exhausted by it if it's harder cardio-type exercise, like a very long, fast walk, or even a short jog. But I do Iyengar yoga 1x/week for an hour, plus work out on an elliptical trainer a few times a week for a half hour each time. I find that is the best combo for me. I also do some PT exercises with an exercise ball when I have a free moment and enough energy.

On bad weeks, I do nothing. Last week was one of those because I had a cold/sore throat virus. I am now back on track.

As for the paper writing, I have always had procrastination/attention deficit issues -- not in the clinical form, but more that I needed to take lots of breaks, couldn't focus, etc. I feel that it's difficult especially when the topic isn't something very interesting to you, so I always tried to pick topics that I knew something about or at least wanted to know something about, as opposed to those that might be easier to research. Just do your best and try to work in a place without a TV, radio, phone, etc. Schedule a break or two and try to set a goal -- i.e., finish two pages before taking the break.

Good luck. I can't imagine having POTS in college. The brain fogginess, for me, would have been awful.

Amy

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I was diagnosed with POTS at the end of year one of a two year graduate program. Having a Laptop made a huge difference for me because the recliner-position helped me to think. Also, I could zone away on TV for awhile and then work on the paper little by little.

If you cannot stick with the paper, don't get frustrated. I felt the same thing in my worst-feeling times. I felt very restless and exhausted at the same time. I played Maj-jong and games like that before I would even attempt to write a paper. It seemed to get my brain working instead of diving straight into the assignment. Also, I found that breaking the paper down into an outline really helped me. I would tell myself that I had to complete a section, then come back later to do another section. This held my panic down to a min. With POTS, it is easy to panic when faced with an assignment. Little by little I got through it. You can too. Don't give up!!

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There is some good advice written here, but i just wanted to add that i empathize with your feelings. It's so hard to work and concentrate when you feel sick, and the brain fog aspect of POTS just compounds that difficulty even further. I am working at home on my thesis bit by bit and there are some days where i am just too sick to even think about working on it. It helps for me to work on my laptop in bed so that i can lean back and keep my feet up. Also I find it helps to work later in the evening when i am most alert and feel well-hydrated.

As far as exercise goes, I've had some rehab and noticed benefits after 3 months or so. It's not a cure, but it can help.

Kristen

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When I was still able to work, I needed to write papers. Sometimes I had a really difficult time doing it.

Here are some hints that might prove helpful:

l. My wonderful manager used to say that writing a research paper was 90% thinking and 10% writing. It is hard to get started. He also encouraged breaks during the day since it was virtually impossible to spend 8 hours a day doing research and writing.

2. I always remember Sylvia Platt who used to say that it was important to put pen to paper or now a days fingers to keyboard as soon as possible. It is much easier to revise something once you have something to revise.

Another suggestion is to think about asking your doctor about trying ritalin. Ritalin seemed to make a big difference for me in terms of energy and controlling migraines. It also helped with the brain fog. In fact, my neurologist and oncologist both wanted me to be sure to take Ritalin as it helps with brain fog and chemo fog.

Good luck in writing your papers.

Lois

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When I was in college and trying to write papers I used index cards. One idea, or quote or whatever...per card. Then I could lay them out on the floor and reorganize them etc...I found it easier to remember where I was and also easier to conceptualize what I was doing, especially when I felt bad.

As far as excersize...evening has always been my best time for that...but only in short bursts.

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Sarah,

I'm so sorry to hear about your frustrations. From all the replys you've received, it's obvious that you're not alone. I just wanted to let you know that I know what you're going through and wish there was somthing I could say or advise you to do to make the situation more bearable, however, I'd be lying to you if I did.

Brain fog has been one of the most frustrating symptoms I've been dealing with. Having been a successful, educated individual, who now finds typing this response to you very difficult (and timely), it's such a helpless situation to find ourselves in.

I can't provide you with any steadfast remedy to the exercise or relief from brain fog, but I can provide you with a cyber hug. Wish there was more I could offer.

My thoughts are with you........

Babs

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hi

I was in a distance-study program for interior design when my POTS got out of control--and was still undiagnosed. I used to be an excellent student. I could not concentrate, despite the subject matter being interesting to me and despite being motivated. I ended up dropping out. I don't want to discourage you---I also have 5 kids and other stuff on my plate.

My 8th grade daughter is displaying the same symptoms. The pediatrician is sure she has ADD, but we are checking out whether or not she has POTS which is causing ADD symptoms before putting her on ritalin.

My cognitive function improved significantly with treatment (midodrine until it stopped working) and mestinon (until they added steroids for another condition) Now I'm back to being a space cadet. :)

Ariella

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