POTS, and not the kind you smoke…

I don’t even know where to start. 

This journey has been a long and hard one for me and I feel like it’s really just beginning. Yes, I’ve been sick for a very, very long time but we didn’t know why. Fast forward years down the road and I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease.

Most of you know I went to an aggressive treatment facility, and made so many sacrifices to get better. I have lost friends, loved ones, and a sense of “normalcy” along this journey. This disease not only tears you apart from the inside out, but it also affects everyone else is in my life. Lyme Disease is like a tornado picking up and throwing pieces of my life left and right and leaving so much destruction in it’s path.   

   
Since visiting Envita, I have found more and more pieces to my chronic illness puzzle. Being educated and aware has so many positive aspects, but it also often leaves me with more questions. Every time I figure something out, I am left with a million lingering questions that I then work on finding answers to. 

For instance, I was recently diagnosed with POTS. This diagnosis, although incurable (just like Chronic Lyme Disease) has given me so much more hope. What is POTS exactly? It’s an acronym for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which basically means it’s a disorder that displays orthostatic intolerance (OI) as my primary symptom. OI describes a condition in which an excessively reduced volume of blood returns to the heart after an individual stands up from a lying down position. Symptoms of POTS are nasty and include: a drop in blood pressure upon standing, chronic fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, exercise intolerance, nausea, diminished concentration, tremulousness (shaking), syncope (fainting), coldness or pain in the extremeties, chest pain and shortness of breath. Since being diagnosed though, I haven’t passed out or felt dizzy like I was before. I still have fatigue, but the medicine I was given to treat POTS has helped me tremendously!  

    
 
I also recently started losing quite a bit of hair. Basically chunks of hair, but I don’t show bald spots. It’s been worrisome for more than just your typical superficial reasons, typically that is a very serious sign of an underlining reason of something more serious going on with my body. Through vigorous blood tests which required fasting and getting off all of all of my supplements for five days they found that my thyroid, ferritin, and iron levels were all low along with my magnesium. Fortunately, I have already begun to see a difference in my hair and nails since I have started taking iron, increased my magnesium, and started iodine. I cannot be more thankful for science and for MY team of doctors. Not all doctors would help me find the problems I have/had or actively and freely admit that there were serious problems arising when lyme isn’t even considered a legitimate disease by the CDC so for that I am blessed. 

I am reminded of a blog I wrote awhile back about shaving my head so people would see that I was sick. I may have even mentioned Britney Spears, but regardless of my outward appearance, I still have a long way to go. Hair or no hair, in the end it doesn’t matter. Living life to it’s fullest has become a new goal of mine, regardless of my circumstances.  

 

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