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Dysautonomia And Thinking?


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Well I am into my third week of full time school. I am so very tired. I drag myself every morning. The thing is it is a little different than the usual fatique. It's been so long since I graduated from high school, everything, especially MATH almost seems like I am learning it for the first time, and they go so fast. I feel like my brain has gone on vacation. I have a hard time concentrating and remembering formulas. And homework takes me forever. I feel like I can't think as hard as I need to. It has been really frustrating. And some of my classes are 2 hours long. It's hard to sit that long, I seem to get as lightheaded sitting still for long periods as standing to long. Has anyone noticed they have difficulty with school and comprehension? I didn't notice I had such difficulty in these areas since being sick until the last couple of weeks. POTS really stinks.

Kim

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Kim-

My son also has dysautonomia and it has severely impacted his cognitive functioning. He was so sick that he missed most of school last year. (He was in 7th grade.) I homeschooled him. As soon as we would begin covering a somewhat difficult concept- Algebra was particularly bad, he would have to lie down. He would start to faint. I was so frustrated that we sometimes did school upside down. We hung our heads off of the sofa in the study- with our feet propped on the wall! B)

Now that he's DXed and on a good treatment plan, his cognitive problems are sooooo much better. He was actually DXed with dyslexia while ill. As soon as he began taking the right combo of drugs, he read "Call of the Wild" in a day and a half.

For Mack lots of extra fluids, 6 Thermotabs, .2mg florinef and 10mg of Lexapro daily did the trick. My guess is that you need to start treating your POTS more aggressively and your cognitive fog will disapate. Talk to your doctor.

Best of luck!

Julie

Well I am into my third week of full time school. I am so very tired. I drag myself every morning. The thing is it is a little different than the usual fatique. It's been so long since I graduated from high school, everything, especially MATH almost seems like I am learning it for the first time, and they go so fast. I feel like my brain has gone on vacation. I have a hard time concentrating and remembering formulas. And homework takes me forever. I feel like I can't think as hard as I need to. It has been really frustrating. And some of my classes are 2 hours long. It's hard to sit that long, I seem to get as lightheaded sitting still for long periods as standing to long. Has anyone noticed they have difficulty with school and comprehension? I didn't notice I had such difficulty in these areas since being sick until the last couple of weeks. POTS really stinks.

Kim

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Boy, does that sound familiar. I went all the way through college and a year of grad school like that, but I was only taking one or two classes at a time.

The most useful strategy I learned was developing the self discipline to STOP studying when I needed to. I could spend an hour and a half straight on a problem set without getting much of anything done for the last 45 minutes. My last quarter in school, I was doing half an hour at a time, or even 15 minutes, but during those short stretches I was very coherent and efficient. I know that's harder to do with a full time course load. The other thing I had to learn was to ask for help sooner, instead of banging my head against a problem for a few hours first.

Have you tried putting your feet up while you're in class? I know I get low blood pressure symptoms when I sit with my feet on the floor.

Good luck!

Spike

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I get dizzy if I sit for more than 30 to 45 minutes with my legs down. That is a problem in meetings or during a movie. I agree with everyone else's advice. I move two chairs next to each other and prop up my legs. Every 45 minutes, I walk around a little and do 10 deep squats. When we sit too long, blood pools in the legs, away from the brain. Lying down is an even better recharger but is not always feasible.

Karyn

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I'm in college as well (although part-part time). I let my professors know in the beginning of the semester about my health condition and they're usually fine with me propping my feet up, or in some classes, they'll let me sit on the floor propped up against a wall. One of my classes last year was so relaxed that I would sometimes lay on the floor with my feet propped up (the classroom was particularly clean).

Also, wearing waist-high compression hose really helps. I wouldn't be able to sit at all without them because of all the blood pooling.

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God yes, Kim- just about EVERY post I put up here between last OCtober and this June was about exactly what you're describing. I felt like my brain wasn't working at all, convinced myself I'd fail the course and felt so dire that it became harder and harder to sit up in classes.

I stuck with full time classes, and it's been REALLY hard- but worth it. I know it must seem impossible to you just now- it feels like every hurdle that could be put in the way has been, I know.

But if you find a tutor you can talk to about making adjustments that will make a huge difference. Firstly, have you made the college aware of what can happen? I mean seriously aware- most people look at POTS folks and assume we're nutty cos we look so well. Have you had a meeting where you sat down and said "there are going to be times when the condition fluctuates and I can't give my absolute 100% flat out all the time?" That might help take the pressure off a bit- I don't mean it will let you lower your sights, but I mean it will help you and the professors be prepared for when you have days that don't go so well.

Also, like Lauren's suggesting- little things like sitting on the floor proppoed up against the wall is a good one. I don't do things by halves and have been known to lie across a sofa with legs propped up by plump cushions during a class at a tutor's set (apartment). Drink a whole litre of water before your classes- that helps me keep my bp up. And being able to lie down to do homework can help enormously.

But yes, a year on I'm still working at a fraction of the rate I did before POTS hit me head on- I used to write 2000 words a day, now I'm lucky to get 500 down. Today's a case in hand! It can be demoralising but know that you are awesome and inspiring because you have the guts to go for it and not to give in B)

Let us know how you go. We're all rooting for ya.

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Thank you so much everyone, I was so discouraged yesterday. I checked the calander and it's the week before my period so I think that's way I feel so much worse. It just has been so overwhelming the past few weeks. Between my POTS and my lyme I have just been, well in a hole so to speak. I was starting to feel a bit better then had an allergic reaction, hives and rashes to my antibiotic for my lyme. Doc had to take me off of it and change to a different one. That one gave me tendenitus last month, and on top of everything else I hurt all over. Then the next one I tried this month makes my vision funny, like I can't focus right. I've been a mess. Add on top of that just being dog tired. I did make the college aware of my condition and believe it or not they had two other POTS students last year and really understood. All my professors have been really understanding. I really should be putting my feet up during class, I think I have been just a little self conconcious, dumb I know. I gotta get over it and just do what feels best for me and not worry what anyone thinks, I do to much of that. I asked for a tutor and I should be getting one, they are just so slow here getting back to you. I know what you mean, spending so long on one formula, and not getting it. After 15 minutes I just got to throw it down and come back later. I am determined to finish though, it's something I really want to do. I got a let down though, I had finally decided on what I'd like to do. I wanted to be a prosthetisist, some one who makes artificial limbs ect... but the closest program is a state away. No programs in OH. Oh well, back to the trying to figure out what I want to do. Thanks for all the encouragement, it really means alot to me.

((HUGS))

Kim

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i was just wondering if you all have a hard time talking as well.

i hope you are able to get the hang of it soon and it doesn't remian so difficult. i haven't gone to school since being sick but i have a really hard time remembering trivial stuff. i am so bad at it. i use to be really good at it but i never can remember. my mind goes blank. that is why i haven't tried to go back to school again. take care and i wish you great luck. you have more guts than i do when it comes to education.

dionna :unsure:

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i was just wondering if you all have a hard time talking as well.

i hope you are able to get the hang of it soon and it doesn't remian so difficult. i haven't gone to school since being sick but i have a really hard time remembering trivial stuff. i am so bad at it. i use to be really good at it but i never can remember. my mind goes blank. that is why i haven't tried to go back to school again. take care and i wish you great luck. you have more guts than i do when it comes to education.

dionna :)

I have trouble coming up with words or I forget what I'm saying when I'm tired. And I mean sometimes twice in the same sentence I have to stop and struggle. I also have trouble keeping little things in my mind even for short stretches. Like, when I'm cooking, remembering a measurement long enough to get from the recipe book to the mixing bowl.

I'm curious how many people have gone back to school after getting sick. I dropped out of college for 2 years early on, and when I went back I was terrified that I just wouldn't be able to do it any more. Thank goodness my first class was a good one. In 2004, though, my brain fog got much worse. I don't know if I could do the work at this point, but it just got to be such agony I felt like I couldn't face it anymore.

Best of luck to all you aspiring students.

Spike

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I know exactly what you all mean. I know exactly what I want to say but sometimes I just go blank. I just can not get the words out. Or worse, someone will ask me something and I just can't even think what it is I want to say. Thankfully I have not made a complete fool out of myself, yet. I am sure I will though :)

My kids think it's awfully funny when it happens and love to tease me. It seems to happen at it's worse when I am tired. Keeping my train of thought is hard sometimes and if someone interupts me in the middle of one I have a hard time remembering what it was I was tried to get to. This also happens mostly when I am tired.

Kim

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hi, kim! :lol:

chiming in a bit late (as usual) but just wanted to say "hang in there!" and "you're not alone!" :)

i've been almost continuously in school my entire life in one way or another, & it's almost always been accompanied by at least part time work and a couple volunteer jobs. (i've listed my saga below, if anyone could possibly care...i can honestly say i've gotten as much "crap" for being "in school so long" as i've gotten for "being sick all the time." some ppl, including family, just don't get either one.)

i've really noticed those big blanks in thinking a lot, especially after my concussion this summer. :):blink: & some subjects are more difficult than others. i also talked to my school up front & have talked w/the ADA rep at my school. (nursing school: they eat their young is all i'll say) i would agree with all the advice here....school is important, it is such a good feeling to achieve your goals! but your health is #1...so take care of yourself and get help where you can!

[my sordid life as a scholar & semi-productive member of society: initially in my 20's, i had many incompletes as an undergrad (full time student, working, etc), later had to drop out of grad school for a year even after having cut back to part-time (again working full-time plus), then finished grad going PT w/ a few more incompletes, and after grad school continued going part time while working FT. then illness worsened, dropped work to PT & then decided to change careers>>so went back full time, plus work, got more sick>> then went to PT school & PT work, now "just" PT school. (i told you it was a saga)]

kim, you can do it! :):)

best wishes for your success and good health,

lulu :)

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