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Not Doing Well In Public


Rose
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I was just wondering if anybody else as trouble going in crowds or even in a house full of people. I was at Christmas with my extended family and started to have the feeling of passing out. This use to happen all the time before they put me on my meds, but now I'm really frustrated with it happening again, is this something I'm going to have to get use to? I feel like I can't do anything like I use to !

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I get that feeling along with sweats...I think when I feel closed in I get more symptomatic because of the increased temperature. Also, I get a little anxious about being closed in places.

jacquie

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Heat is a big trigger for fainting. For me, also the sounds of a crowded room trigger dizziness and sometimes seems like a siezure. Anyway, embarassment from past public faints exacerbates (sp?) the problem, and I don't like parties anyway, so I just got used to limiting my numbers.

I hope you find a solution that works for you. Maybe if you can find a window to sit next to and just crack it open a bit. Or come early, before the crowds swell and the place heats up?

It's annoying having to maneuver around symptoms...especially if you have an outgoing personality and so forth. When I have to miss something I really wanted to do bc of POTS (or even other things in my life), I try to reward myself in a doable way...like one time I had to leave a wedding party almost as soon as I arrived...so I did something else that was fun...threw off all those uncomfortable clothes, undid my hair and just chilled in my grubbiest so I got the best of the evening on my own terms. Well...that works for a baggy clothes loving person like me. Maybe something else works for you, like whatever you enjoy.

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I have a problem with noise, heat, being crowded and so on. Being on meds helps a little but not completely.

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Yep, that's a problem for me too. My family has gotten used to me taking a "time out" during events where I go find a quiet place to lie down for a bit. It's like I get a sensory overload from all the surrounding activity that totally wipes me out.

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You're not alone, Rose! Between the heat/stuffiness, hearing all the various conversations going on, being up & charming for so long, and the emotional excitement/stimulation, being in large groups has really exacerbated my symptoms for the last few years. I've gradually gotten much better at handling large gatherings, partly due to a general improvement of my condition and partly due to a few tips I've picked up.

Some of my coping mechanisms:

1) Plan my days so that I can rest as much as I can in the days & hours before the gathering.

2) Choose my ensemble carefully. If you're prone to overheating in groups, try wearing breathable fabrics and layering a pretty cardigan or other wrap over a short sleeve or sleeveless top/dress. I tend to feel cold most of the time, so I've started collecting a few versatile cashmere sweaters (you can get some very nice deals from Chadwicks.com; I bought one there for $27!) -- they're light, breathable, very soft and attractive, and keep me nice and warm.

3)Make sure family members/friends (or at least some key people, such as the host/hostess) understand that I will need a break from all the activity at various points. Like KeXia, I find a quiet place to lie down for about 10 minutes every once in a while. I always time this before I feel like I'm at my end -- if I "stay ahead" of the symptoms, I avoid any embarrassing scenes of fainting, etc. I come in and out quietly, never making a big deal about my rest break, and everyone is very understanding. If guests ever ask about me while I'm gone, one of the friends/family members explains that I just need a little break and will be back eventually. Even my little nieces know not to come looking for me when I "need a little rest." :o

4) I usually place myself strategically near a door in case the room becomes too hot or stuffy; that way I can whisk off inconspicuously for a breath of fresh air outside or at a window in a different room. Sometimes a "healthy" family member feels the need for some fresh air and quiet, too & winds up joining me!

5) I stay well hydrated during the event and keep some salt in a tiny ziplock bag in my purse just in case I need a sodium boost.

6) I enjoy as much of the party/gathering as I can and then gracefully leave before I'm too worn out or symptomatic to say good-byes & thank yous pleasantly. I usually warn the host/hostess beforehand (when I RSVP) that I may likely need to leave sooner than the others due to my health issues, but that I will stay as long as I can. I've never had any negative responses to that warning and when I do wind up leaving early, they know that it wasn't because I didn't enjoy myself.

Hope this helps!

Angela

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I totally agree with all of you. Going to a store, a party, church, family get-togethers, etc., all cause me heavy smytoms. Today, I went to the Dermatologist and even the added pressure of her coming into the room started a spell. I had sweat pouring down my face. It is so embarrasing. I am a pastor's wife and before this disease, was very active and loved being around people. Now, just going to a function or being invited over for dinner causes me trouble. All that to say, that I know the frustration and understand.

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Guest tearose

I do alot of what others have said. Just know you are not alone.

Just try to take small steps out in the world and know where the nearest place is to take a break when you need it.

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