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Posts posted by Elfie

  1. I've been allergic to MSG since I was a kid. I have no other food allergies, but occasionally I can have reactions to other preservatives in hard core amounts. I get the hives and will get mouth and tongue numbness and tingling. I am a big fan of reading labels. Generally the "hidden" MSG (the stuff that isn't on the label) isn't in high enough amounts to cause a reaction. However, I would be careful about anything canned or frozen. Also, many sauces have it, including the barbecue sauce at applebee's (or something like it). I have always wondered how you all drink bullion, because everything but the ground meat paste (YUCK!) has lots of MSG. MSG is a fairly common allergy in my understanding and it has also been recently linked with weight gain.

  2. Hi everyone,

    I greatly appreciate all the advice that everyone has given me. I thought I would post an update. I have decided to stay at my current school this semester and finish my degree and one minor. My family will be working on the mold problem in the house this spring-- it has to wait because we have frozen ground and about 4 feet of snow at the moment. Then I am considering moving home and spending a year there where I can pick up another degree.

    I am still very dedicated to my major, I just feel as though I am missing out on opportunities that most school's offer because our program has been cut. The year after I arrived they had an unexpected loss of the president of the university and there have been several changes of power who all implemented their own programs that led up to it. I am trying to be more involved with what the school and area has to offer.

    RIFainthearted, it is nice to meet you. I really appreciate your advice. My mother is librarian and works with children teaching information literacy, so I am familiar with what you do. I have lived in the West my entire life and would like to continue living out here. If you stay out of southern AZ, NM, NV, and CA much of the western states have similar climate issues, hot summers and cold winters. I am lucky and don't have any dust problems or any allergies that aren't related to chemicals. I used to work maintenance and did a lot of landscaping prior to POTs. I understand what you are speaking about with tribal hiring and programs. I grew up in a reservation community.

    Thank you all for your advice.

  3. I get sore areas on my scalp for no apparent reason as well- just like having semi-long hair hanging there hurts in that particular area. This may not be true for you but I actually like going to the hair dresser with a sore scalp. I have baby fine hair so hairdressers are usually very gentle with it-- just like cutting kids' hair. Generally I have found all the gentle touching over-stimulates my scalp and makes it feel all tingly and that overrides the pain signals soon into the appointment. Maybe the headache policy is based on liability? That is a weird one! Perhaps you should go to someone that cuts a lot of kids' hair-- not that you want to look like a kid, but most stylists that also cut munchkin hair are gentler-- in my experience.

  4. Hi everyone!

    There is a lot of good information here. I thought I would share my experience. I have been living in a mold invested home for almost eight years. We have a water problem under our house and need to regrade an acre plot and put in a french drain to take care of it. Then there is the mold to take care of which is now creeping up the walls in my bedroom from the crawlspace. The bathroom is also moldy and both of our bathtubs/showers have holes in the floor of the tub so I am sure that when we rip those suckas out there will be stuff back there. We too moved into an older home that was not being maintained the best from an older couple. Before selling the house they slapped some siding and roofing over the old stuff and painted everything. I am sure that there is a high mold count in the house because anywhere that gets and stays moist molds. Where the windows get condensation they mold- even the resistant vinyl ones. My dad and my younger brother (he is 18) seem completely unaffected. My mother already suffered from chronic bronchitis- but she is much more prone to colds and sinus infections-- although that could be from her work environment too. I on the other hand have POTs, chronic joint pain, have a "mold allergy," and and frequently sick-- especially when I am living at home. We have two dogs. The year we moved into that house our big dog started having skin problems and ever since she has licked all of her hair and sometimes her skin off where she can reach it. The other dog has year-round respiratory allergies.

  5. Is there another family member that doesn't ski that you could convince to tag along? Then you would have someone to drive/navigate and spend the day with. You could also call the ski area or the hotel or resort you are staying at. They are usually a great resource of info on what is available to do in the surrounding area for non-skiers. You could also call the town chamber of commerce or even just town hall (even little towns are usually online if their website provides nothing more than those phone numbers). Many ski areas or towns with ski communities often have shuttle buses around town or to and from the mountain. So, if you don't want to drive you don't necessarily have to. You skiers could take the bus to the resort or you could piddle around town on one.

  6. HI!

    It is totally ok to feel frustrated. I often get upset when I am put in similar situations. My family is a very outdoorsy family and that is how we spend time together-- doing outdoorsy things. I'm a youngun' (20) and used to be very active, running, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, scuba diving, hiking, swimming, lifting weights, and fishing. We live in the mountains and there isn't a whole lot else to do. I also worked a very active job and loved it. However, this has all had to change because of POTs. It has been hard because we have struggled to find new things to do together. It is often difficult for family members to understand why I am reluctant about coming along and often don't understand why I am not having a great time. I have to sit and watch (usually from afar) as family members enjoy things I used to love to do with them. To top it off, I am usually having to sit somewhere cold or wet or mosquito-y.

    Is where you are going going to be higher elevation that where you live?

    If it is you may not have to find anything to do. Usually when I got up in elevation I don't have the energy to do anything-- even using my brain. You might elect to sleep a lot so you have the energy to hang out with everyone in the evening.

  7. Thank you both for your help! I'm sorry I haven't replied back but have been busy with returning to school. I was hoping a few more people would jump in (although you both provided good info). I guess I just have a hard time decide what to ask for as I have no experience with this and am not getting much help from the school.

    I would love to be able to just cut my course load but I am on scholarship and it requires taking 15 credit hours a semester. I have already asked if they can make a exception, but was refused. I need my scholarship to pay for my last semester (or last two semesters if I took fewer credits) so it isn't really a possibility.

    Today was my first day of classes and the homework/study load may not be too bad -- at least I hope my perception of that is correct. However, these are classes I really need to be alert and have a good memory during. Today wasn't too bad, but if I get run down or flare I could see myself struggling. I have the weekend to think about accommodations and I might run it by the people on the forum before I go to my meeting.

    I also need to find a cardiologist because my heart rate has been was way too high today. No wonder I am so tired!

    Thank you all again!

    DYNA kids also has a great brochure on accommodations for college students, I don't have the link but a quick search will lead you to it.

  8. Hey everyone,

    I am sure this is on the forum somewhere, but I can't find it. I am heading back down to college soon and need to schedule an appointment with Disability services. Last semester was the first semester I was eligible for services as I had just been diagnosed with POTs after struggling with the symptoms for almost three years. I went into the meeting with the Disability services director (who handles all incoming students at my school) pretty clueless. Of course, he had never heard of POTs or dysautonomia before. He expected me to pretty much lay out what accommodations I wanted. However, I had no idea what he considered appropriate or what services were available. I was particularly concerned about the fact that I might have to miss the occasional lecture and several of my professors have attendance policies. He told me that that was not a reasonable accommodation. Everything I brought up he considered unreasonable. He provided me no guidance as to what would be appropriate or what he could do to help me even though I educated him about what my problems with POTs regarding school are. He just made me guess at what he would be able to do and then shut me down on everything I asked for. He got very angry with me like I was wasting his time. I felt as if my school has a horrible disability policy or the director was out to get me because dysautonomia isn't a "real" disability. In the end he wrote me a note for me to give to my professors asking to be lenient with absences, but not with makeup work. The note was extremely degrading. At that point I'd be d**ned if I was going to give that note to my professors. I was almost in tears after that appointment.

    However, this semester I have a hard course load and I am determined to make it the best semester for me. That means I need to take another trip to disability services. So, I was wondering what kind of accommodations you all would or have requested? I have most of the typical dysautonomia symptoms. I have the typical brain fog and concentration issues which really affect my schoolwork. My college campus is big and I have to walk between classes (most of the buildings are not accessible by car). This is my senior year and I need to get the classes that I need to get and sometimes that means having to quickly hoof it between classes without time to get blood back in my brain. I also sometimes have to carry a heavy bag with books. Sometimes I get dizzy from sitting in class for such a long time with my feet down and not being able to walk around. Having to present orally is the worst (which is new) because I now tend to stutter (not a nervous stutter, like a pathological one) when I am stressed or have to speak when standing up. I have problems with regulating my temperature in hot or freezing classrooms. Especially if I have to go from 103 degrees to 63 or 35 to 78. I also get sick really easy. I was having problems last semester not getting information about papers and projects soon enough for my liking. I ended up with everything piled on top of one another and it made it really hard for me to complete things.

  9. Hmm . . . I have never tried to limit my activity because most of the strength requiring activities are part of my job or life. They are things I do everyday. I haven't lost any weight. I am within three pounds of the weight I was 3.5 years ago before pots. During that 3.5 year time period I wasn't really working out but I walk alot and lift alot and I am just naturally muscular. I was always stronger than all the guys my height and weight until I was a junior or senior in high school (then testosterone won out). I was never an athlete though. Now I am living the same basic lifestyle -- even down to diet-- and am losing muscle mass like crazy.

  10. Hey,

    I was wondering if anyone else has had a dramatic loss of muscle mass since getting POTS? I have and I would love to chock it up to less activity/exercise-- but for me that actually isn't true. I have always had a lot of natural muscle mass that took me very little effort to maintain. Now I have lost a lot of strength and visible muscle while maintaining my activity level. Any ideas why?

  11. I have never purposely tried to gain weight with the "weight gain" products out there. However, I did have a boyfriend that used them (he tried several different brands). He had stomach issues similar to what a lot of POTSY's have and was very thin for his height. He didn't have any luck on them. I tried it several times and I would not recommend them to anyone! First, a lot of them have artificial sweeteners which I am not a fan of. However, even the ones with real sugar are really sickeningly sweet. They are supposed to be like a shake but they were the most disgusting things ever-- way worse than just the protein ones (and we tried several brands). I literally could barely gag it down and it almost came back up if you know what I mean. If you are having problems getting nutrients down and think you would like to try something like a shake or something drink ensure or carnation instant breakfast-- or better yet add protein powder or a vitamin mix to a smoothie made of fresh fruit and milk or juice. Weight gain is yucky (yes, I just used the word yucky) and many of the formulas are **** full of sugar-- which is not the best way to get nutrients or gain weight.

  12. Ahhh!!!! I hate this. I get these. I can sometimes prevent them by sleeping in a very cold room with inadequate covers. However, if I have been under any stress then there is just no preventing them. The freaky thing is that I can be completely drenched in sweat and my feet with be so cold that I cannot feel them. At my apartment I am able to let the house get to a nice temperature during the day and then open the window and let in the night air or run the AC just at night. But when I am at my parents house I just have to spend all day in a frozen room so I will be able to sleep without melting at night. I have no idea what causes the cold feet either-- my feet do not swell or change colors or mottle so I have no idea what it is related to.

  13. I don't know about what the tests, but I was just thinking about altitude and hydration and the correlations with POTS. This is funny to me because I grew up at a high altitude (9,200 ft) and then spent the next 10 years of my life at about 6,800 ft. I never drank water (or anything for that matter) and was probably chronically dehydrated. However, I was very healthy and felt great. It was only after moving to a lower altitude (about 3,000 ft) and starting to drink a lot of water did I develop POTS symptoms (like within two months of these changes). Probably nonsense, but kinda weird.

    Now of course, I have bad POTs symptoms when I return home or go to high altitudes. However, no one else in my family has any problems returning to the higher altitudes, up to about 12, 000 ft. Just me.

  14. Hi,

    I think I have seen this posted here before, but I would like to bring it up again. Right after I came down with POTs I started losing tons of hair. Every time I have a POTs episode I lose piles of hair. It does grow back, but usually only in time for more to fall out. I have lost about 1/2 my hair. I had lots of hair before, so you can't see my scalp or anything-- but it is like a very thin layer that molds to my head and the length is see through. Docs don't seem to have a cause for it. Wonder is this is the case for anyone else?

    Also, when I was 19 I started getting pure white hair about three months after pots spells. No one in my family even several generations back has hair that went prematurely grey at a young age. I have no grey hair, just white. Now at 20 I have enough that I have been mistakely sat in the bar area of several restaurants illegally and was only notified that it was illegal for me to sit there when I ordered a nonalcoholic drink and had the bartender become suspicious. I have even been told that if I had ordered a beer he wouldn't have carded me because of the hair!!!!!

    Anyone have that problem (the hair, not the carding issue)?

    I was just wondering if this is something POTs or the stress of POTs on my body could cause -- or if I am just being attacked by hair aliens that are determined to get me into a bar unscathed before I turn 21-- my dad has a friend who went bald when he was 18 that always used to get them into the 21-bar uncarded! I am not nearly as fun as my dad though.

  15. I'm sorry to post this here. I have posted about this situation briefly in the Dysautonomia part of the forum because my health does AFFECT my decision, but then I realized it was probably in the wrong place. I really hope that I can use this forum to bounce this info off of people because I have no one else to talk to. My father isn't really involved in his kids' lives and my mother always ends up crying or is no help at all. I have recently lost most of my close friends because of relationship issues. My parents live in a tiny community where they both work for the government in various aspects and would be humiliated/in trouble if I spoke to my mentors/friends/their friends in town. I don't really belong to any other forums and my school has really terrible counseling services.

    For those of you that don't know me, I am a 20 year old college student who was diagnosed with pots about 6 months ago but had been suffering with pots and arthralgia for about 2.5 to 3 years. I currently attend school out of state and am a full-time student. I live alone. My pots keeps me from going out with friends, having a relationship, joining groups/clubs, and working. I spend all my time working on schoolwork, doing chores, and being sick. It is making school very difficult as I continue to have fatigue and increasing pain/cognitive symptoms.

    I am studying to become an anthropologist. I am also currently working on a degree in spanish and a minor in american indian studies. Working in a Native American community or with a tribe one day is my dream. Oh, and I am not like some crazy overachiever either--- I had a lot of college credits through my high school and would have had to take a whole bunch of random courses to get my degree unless I decided to choose a second major. Plus, my scholarship -- which is essential to my paying for school dictates I have to take 15 credit hours a semester-- which is killing me.

    I am about 30- something credit hours from graduating. However, I am very dissatisfied with the education I have received thus far. The school has systematically downsized my department and eliminated many of the reasons I chose to go there in the first place. I have one teacher that I love who is willing to try to work with me to find outside opportunities-- but most of these require a ton of time and energy in writing projects/grants/proposals only to be rejected. I feel the education I have recieved is not equal to my peers at other schools and I am completely underprepared for such proposals and/or graduate school. I also don't have a ton of energy/ability to write extra proposals for opportunites that I was supposed to just be able to sign up for, nor can I just jump on a plane and go spend my summer in some of the conditions my non-pots colleagues can.

    I was accepted to a local college where my parents live that seems to have a much better program in what I am interested in and is well conected. I would have to take about a year of additional course work, but would graduate with three majors and I feel I would be much better equiped to go into my field. However, there are downsides to this school.

    First, I would have to live with my folks (we will get back to that). I would have to commute about 30 min to school two or three days a week. I would be moving from a mild climate to one with snow-- like you have to plow your yard to park-. It is also at a higher elevation although that doesn't see mto affect me horribly (only when I go up to about 9,000 ft, where my grandparents live do I feel horible).

    My pots is currently untreated and hopefully I would be able to be better treated in this area as I have a doctor there and I would have other people around to drive me to the ER if something goes wrong.

    However, after going back to my parents house-- which I have only visited in the summers/Christmas for the past 2.5 years I am concerned. Currently they are heating only with a fireplace insert that burns 24 hours a day and they have a fan blowing to keep it from overheating and catching fire since the internal one burned out last winter. The majority of the house has only 1970s mdf subflooring. My room has laminate that slides around. Two other rooms have carpet that is disgusting and literally falling apart. There are small piles of junk stacked strategically-- mostly in normal quantities. I dusted the electronics tower and a shelf with keepsakes on it when I got home which had a thick, thick layer of dust on it. Just a week later the layer is almost back. The kitchen is covered in splattered food and dirty handprints and oily dust. I had my brother pull out a drawer for me and we found mouse droppings behind the cabinets. The garage is entirely full of boxes of stuff covered in a thick layer of dust and dog hair with some deer blood and mice droppings mixed in. The bathroom has mold. My room was recently treated for mold (it hasn't come back) and the entire crawlspace has a water and mold issue.

    I am hoping and praying that the mold can be taken care of this spring and the fireplace as well.

    Unfortunately, we aren't just pigs. With the exception of the kitchen all the other problems came with the house. We can't really afford to make it livable or to buy anything nicer. However, it is creating a lot of tension in my family. I have a younger brother who is a teenager but still a minor and he feels neglected because of issues with my mom stemming from problems with the house. I am extremely worried that his could permanently damage their relationship because at this rate nothing will be resolved before he graduates and leaves. My mother is very unhappy with it but it is almost impossible to keep clean, especially since she has a bad back. She also has lung issues and I am sure all the dust/mold isn't good for her-- although I am the only one in the family that has mold allergies-- although none visible to the mold in our house.

    I am really just lost as what to do at this point. Do I stay at the school I dislike and live alone although I am not sure how much longer that will be possible? Do I move home and live in it the way it is and concentrate on my health and my school? Do I take a semester off and find a way to pay for health insurance and live by myself and concentrate on health or move home and help them with the house? Do I go to school near my family and try to help them and do everything?

    When I first started thinking about this and talking to my family it was all about me and making it easier for me to live with pots, get treatment, get healthy, go to school with the least stress (only 3 classes a semester vs. 5, ect), and get a good education. This past semester I really struggled with the minimum course load and living alone and pots. However, now I feel that either way it is a bad situation and feel responsible for helping my family, especially my brother. I feel like there is no way to make this right.

    I am sorry for the extremely long rant. I just feel very alone. I just want my body back, my future back.

  16. I am trying to make a decision about where I am going to live for the next six months. I was just wondering what you all have done in your home to make it safer/better for you and also what you consider to be unsafe. I am interested both in the home itself and how you deal with other people you live with. What adjustments have your family members, significant others, or roommates had to make? How have you all adjusted your living situation to better suit you with dysautonomia?

  17. I am allergic to msg and have had several other reactions, always to something artificial like a flavor or color or preservative. I get hives and my lips swell. In a more minor reaction parts of my mouth will just go numb.

    I do not do aspartame or splenda or any other artificial sweetener. They just make me feel sick -- and they taste awful.

    I can eat peanuts and all other nuts fine, but I cannot eat peanut butter-- I just don't think I digest it well and it could be that I don't eat peanuts in as large a quantity as peanut butter.

    I have always been a milk drinker, but since getting POTs I have been gagging on dairy products. I switched to organic and it tastes like MILK again and I can drink the stuff out of the bottom of the bowl of cereal or eat a yogurt without almost throwing up. So, I think that it was just the hormones and chemicals. I am happy because I love milk and hate rice and almond milk and don't believe in eating the amount of soy required to use it as a dairy substitute.

    I did an elimination diet at the request of a rheumatologist where I could not eat dairy, gluten, nightshades, sugar, soy, ect. I also could only have wild game or free range chicken. I did this for about 6 weeks. I was eating CONSTANTLY-- and had no energy. I thought that it was kind of strange, because my normal diet consists of wild game and veggies and fruits with some processed and unprocessed grains and processed sugar maybe 4 times a week. On the elimination diet I lost 14 pounds in less than 2 weeks and about 12 more after that -- which wasn't necessarily a good thing -- because I was at a healthy weight for my height to begin with. I am kind of afraid to ever become allergic to anything- especially not dairy, gluten, or sugar- because I was a zombie!

  18. Do you have adult children or grandchildren in the area? If so, you might ask them for help. They could help you with the decluttering and kinda bend your hubby's arm a little about trashing stuff. I am sure they probably still have things in your house, them removing them would help with the clutter and in the process everything else would get sorted through. If you have grandkids most would be happy to go help out grandma and grandpa. Even little kids can help with housework. They can sweep the floors or dust low things or even mop or scrub floors (with a sponge or small mop, we used to love to do this -- play with soap and water in grandma's house). Bigger kids could do anything.

    Your husband frustrates me, I am actually a bit mad at him. I am sure he is a great guy, it is just a little close to home. Earlier this year I broke up with my fiance over a combination of abusive behavior and about CLEANLINESS. It sounds very pathetic-- but he was trashing the place until it smelled and we had cockroaches. I couldn't keep up with the level of filth he was creating and I was getting sick off of the living conditions.

    It also reminds me of my parents. My mother stayed at home for fourteen years, until her youngest was out of elementary school. She took care of all the childrearing, cooking, cleaning, and many other things while my father worked long hours. However, now my mother works longer hours than my father. He refuses to help her around the house most of the time. When he does, he gets very angry and does a very odd and half-baked job (one time he decided to stick his hand down in the toilet with a sponge on no gloves to clean it, when the toilet brush was staring him in the face). It would be different if he took care of other responsibilities. He is supposed to do all the yard work. Sure, he mows the lawn, but has neglected it and now it is more weeds. The exterior of the house needs repairs. He refuses to let us take our vehicles to a mechanic but we have had several vehicles break down from neglect. The inside of the house needs many repairs, most of which have been sitting for years. My mother has a bad back and is not supposed to vacumn (our whole house is vacumned) or bend over the tub to scrub it. She is also not supposed to stand on the edge of the tub to bleach the bathroom ceiling. She also has lung issues and is supposed to avoid large amounts of dust and chemicals. When I lived at home, I tried to take care of most of these things, but now there are two perfectly capable men in the house -- and she does everything.

  19. This is actually how I got diagnosed with POTS. I went to the Mayo clinic in a last ditch effort to get a diagnosis for my joint pain. They weren't coming up with anything so the docs started fishing for any other symptoms. I told them about the dizziness and fainting I had experienced. However, I didn't think much of it, assuming that it was caused by the pain I was experiencing because episodes were always connected to severe joint pain. They latched on and I got my POTS diagnosis. However, they still do not know what is wrong with my joints. One suggestion is atypical fibromyalgia -- because I only have pain in my joints and not at any trigger points. The docs assumed that I couldn't have EDS or a hypermobility syndrome. I was pretty stiff at the time. However, when I was a kid I had nurses elbow (where my elbows would dislocate). I built muscle and that went away, although I was still very flexible, but not necessarily in the wrists and fingers and places they often test flexibility at. When I started having pain I lost a ton of muscle mass and have since twice dislocated my knee and a have dislocated my shoulders before --- however, unlike most adults I pop them back in myself and go along my way. So, I have no idea what is wrong with me.

  20. That is a good suggestion. However, it is not an affordable area to live. There is no housing on campus that is suitable to someone who needs a specialized diet, and apartments start at about 900 dollars a month with out utilities for a pretty slummy place. Ha ha, that is probably why our house is pretty slummy too -- housing is too expensive for me to live by myself and most of my friends in the area are married or have kids or party.

  21. Hello everyone,

    Sorry this is long, but I really need a place to talk about this and wanted to explain it fully.

    I am 20 years old and a full-time college student. I currently go to school about 8 hours from home (a.k.a. where my parents live). I am recently diagnosed but have been dealing with POTs-symptoms and chronic pain for several years.

    I recently have become unsatisfied with my program of study at my current school. When I first arrived the school had a strong program and since then they have been losing faculty and many of the empty positions have not been filled again. This has lead to fewer courses being offered. I am technically a senior and could graduate next semester with my degree, but was planning to stay one extra semester to pick up my second major and a minor. Coming to the end of my degree program I realize I have not been able to take many of the classes that I wanted to (just because they are no longer offered or offered only once every 2 or 3 years) and that when I graduate I will be walking out with a degree but will sorely be prepared to go to graduate school or get a job in my field. My school now offers no regular internship opportunities. My only chance to get additional experience would to be applied for a grant and attempt to write my own program. I am currently very disappointed in the professionalism (or lack thereof) of most of the professors in my department and my classes in general. I also have a scholarship (a very small one that amounts to about 1,000 dollars a year--- but pays the difference between my in-state and out-of-state tuition) but it requires me to take 15 credit hours a semester.

    I have started looking into transferring to a college that is close to my hometown. It seems to have a much better program and many opportunities for internship and career development. I could get all three majors that I am interested in as well as other certificates and might walk out of school there with a job. They will accept 90 transfer credits and I am currently 11 credits over, but I would mind losing some of me P.E. credits and I have a few other credits that aren't really important to anything that I could afford to lose. However, this transfer would require me taking a couple more semesters of school.

    I would also have to move back in with my family. My parents and my younger brother live about 35-40 minutes from the university (which is close for this area of the country). My brother is having teenage angst problems and is generally surly with everyone. My mother and I get along well (now that I am an adult, anyway). My father doesn't really know how to relate to me and doesn't know how to talk to me, so I find out most of his feelings secondhand. My brother and father don't truly understand my condition. Hopefully I could work on some of these relationships by being closer to home. But at the same time I am stressed about how possible conflicts could affect my health. I am also concerned about the living situation itself affecting my health. Our home is not exactly the cleanest and most POTS-friendly place. Two men and two dogs, plus they heat entirely with a fireplace and have a serious mold problem (which I think is currently still fairly-contained --- it can't be remediated until the spring). Also, the elevation is higher and I would have to deal with snow and ice and commuting or carpooling. I am also worried because I feel I might feel pressured to do more around the house becuase I would be the person that is home the most and because of family dynamics.

    I would be closer to my doc (not a POTs specialist but my long-time physician with some knowledge of POTS and willing to learn). I would also have a support system. Where I currently live I have no family members around and only a handful of friends. I don't have any friends that drive that I could count on in a crisis or emergency situation. At home I would have family members and I have several friends in the area.

    I have been struggling with symptoms, especially brain-fog, dizziness and fatigue since my diagnosis about 6 months ago. They are getting pretty severe and affecting my functioning -- especially since I am a college student. I haven't been able to do much to manage my symptoms because I have been struggling to keep my head about water because of issues with professors/my large course load. I also haven't been able to start one medication I was prescribed because of concerns about possible severe reactions to it and living alone without anyone to check on me while I am adjusting to/trialing it.

    I am trying to decide about whether or not to attempt to transfer back home for spring semester, stay where I am, or take a semester off/an online class or two and try to get my health situation better under control by implementing medications and lifestyle changes. The new school would be a great opportunity but would extend my program. Living at home could be very positive or negative. If I take a semester off and my health doesn't improve, I just set myself back.

    I have talked to my mother about it but really don't have anyone else to talk to because I don't have any support system or a proper adviser or mentor at school. I would really like to know what you all think about the situation because you all understand dysautonomia, dealing with family, and many of you went/are going to college.

    I would really appreciate some advice.

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