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Just When I Thought I Was Doing Better


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I was Diagnosed with POTS in January, and after being pretty much bedbound for much of January and February, have slowly started to have some normalacy back in my life. I have started back to my teaching job on Tuesdays, and was actually starting to do more around the house like house keeping and getting out in the garden then BAM! Last Thursday it is like a train hit me. Wednesday I had worked some outside with the kids. My oldest son and I cut some grass, he with the push mower, me on the riding mower (we have 4 acres). I was tired when all was said and done, but since that point I have been so symptomatic. Chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, GI upset, shakiness, extreme fatique. This is now a week later and it doesn't seem to be letting up. Did I push too hard, or is this a twist of POTS? I have called my cardiologist, and will be seeing him Friday (I also have an aortic fistula....newly discovered since Jan) just to make sure we don't have something else going on. This is really driving me nuts. I've always been very healthy, active, height/weight appropriate. Heck, I was taking a kickboxing class last fall before all this hit. I just can't believe how little I can do now. Am I just being wimpy?

Kaye

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Hi Kaye,

You certainly are not being whimpy! POTS can hit hard and fast. I'm so sorry that your symptoms have flared so badly.

POTS can fluctuate, but I have also found that if I push too hard my POTS does get worse. The longer I live with POTS the more I learn to recognize the little signs that my body gives me that mean, "slow down!" You'll learn to recognize them too.

I hope that your doctor can offer you some good information and help.

Take it easy and rest up.

Rachel

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Kaye,

You are not wimpy. I too was very active before this illness. Even after all these years (almost 20), I still think I can do things I used to do. When we overdo, we pay the price. This has finally sunk in. Before even thinking about mowing I would drink about half gallon of gatorade and a couple teaspoons of salt. If it was hot, that really seems to trigger symptoms. You really need to pace yourself. I know how hard that is. I lay in bed at night and think about painting walls, laying a wood floor, painting the deck.

In my head I can do it, physically I cannot. It's hard to not get frustrated, but the sooner you accept that some things need to be done by someone else, the better.

Take it easy and take care of yourself.

Dawn

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These are the symptoms I get just from getting myself a drink, but I do suffer badly with POTS. I find over doing it can cause adrenaline surges which can last from an hour to a couple of days and make me feel that way and worse.

As someone else said you will learn your limits.

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POTS is strange in that often you feel OK while doing activities, but feel sick after - sometimes it can even be a couple of days later that things catch up with you. You will learn your limits over time - usually you figure these out through trial and error. Even when you know your limits, you will have flare ups sometimes. Although meds help, for those people who do improve/recover from POTS, it usually happens very slowly over many months/years.

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Gracious, with the heat and the yardwork it is highly likely it was too much. But, you'll learn when to say when. It is so hard to stop doing things when we still feel good but sometimes, we have to stop BEFORE we feel bad. This has been a hard thing for me to learn as I try to compact so much into the times I feel okay. But by taking it slow we are often more liekly to have more chances to feel good as opposed to one great day followed by a week of recovery.

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Thanks for all the encouraging words. It gets so frustrating sometimes. I feel like everything is getting away from me and my body just refuses to coorporate with what needs to be done!

I agree with you guys, I probably over did it, but I didn't feel like it at the time. It is so hard discerning where my limits are. I live in an 18th century house that always needs something worked on, and in the past it was nothing for me to repair plaster, replace flooring, tear out a wall, paint or help my husband with the number of ongoing projects. Some days I'm too exhausted to attend Bible Study or prepare dinner for the family....so frustrating.

Thanks again, and I enjoy reading the posts on the board.

Kaye

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Hi, Kaye. I've been away for a while, but I just wanted to reiterate what the others said about limits. For me, it took becoming sensitive to what my body was trying to tell me. I was highly DEsensitized prior to POTS because of another chronic illness. For that, the only way for me to survive was to ignore the pain. When I first started getting sick with POTS, all I felt was fatigue; although, now I know I had a TON of symptoms but (unconsciously) didn't acknowledge them. (I'll actually do a little inventory of myself once in a while from head to toe when the fatigue strikes...am I feeling anything here? here? here? Weird, huh?)

Now I watch really closely. If I start to feel even a LITTLE tired or a LITTLE nauseated, I stop and rest. That's hard for me, too, because I am "pusher-througher" - nothin's gonna stop me (oh, except POTS apparently... :rolleyes: )

I do this every day with work now (telework from home). I've learned if I go past that point, the next day I won't be able to work. It took me about 5 1/2 months to become somewhat adept at listening to what my body is screaming, although all I hear is a whisper until it's too late.

I hope you get over this rough patch soon.

All my best!

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