Sunday, September 2, 2012

Heat and meetings and perfume, oh my!

This year my POTS symptoms have been manageable. Until this week I almost thought I might be getting better, but what I discovered was that I have become very good at taking care of this POTSy body God has given me. This week I have had 4 mini crashes. A mini crash in my terms is experiencing a severe POTS symptom without going to the emergency room and the mini crash usually only takes a few hours to go away.

My first crash involved the heat. It was in the 90's on Wednesday and I needed some supplies at the other end of the school. On my way back through the heat my body went through it's typical pollyjuice/blood boiling body transformation. Then my heart rate went through the roof and my blood pressure dropped. I knew I had to sit down, but unfortunately I was still outside. As I'm sitting there my symptoms are getting allot worse and I don't think I'll be able to walk anywhere without passing out. For some reason the hallways at school were empty, I might as well have been on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere. I needed help and I knew that if I stayed there I was going to pass out.  I would need to get up and walk to the closest room and hope that there would be a person who could help me in that room.  I had to make a decision which isn't easy when you're experiencing brain fog.I choose the classroom closest to me with a teacher who knows what I will need to stabilize. Good decision, I make it to the classroom and the teacher is there. She brings me my ice vest and offers me some water and luckily in a short time I'm feeling much better.

The second crash involves sitting all day for a workshop. I'm lucky if I can sit for 25 minutes and the thought of sitting all day sends shivers up my spine. The first thing I notice is that I will be sitting in a folding chair all day, oh boy! Within the first 25 minutes of the workshop my feet ache from my blood pooling down to my feet and I can feel my heart rate is starting to drop. So I bring my feet  to the edges of my chair.  I'm secretly thankful for my slender body and flexibility. It doesn't take my body long to find this position uncomfortable and I can't seem to find a position that makes my body happy. Being in a room full of teachers I'm very aware that I must look like one of "those" students who can't sit still for a minute. I decide a walk about the room might be helpful but I become distracted by the colorful posters on the wall and I decide I might be better off if I find a corner to stand and listen to the speaker. Pooling begins again and I go back to my seat where I begin fidgeting in my seat to try to find a comfortable position again. I even try hanging my feet over the back of the chair, which only gives me a few minutes of relief and I can feel my heart rate dropping quickly. I know at this point I need to lay down and I head for the nurses office. I'm asked by several people if I'm OK, but at this point I can barely speak and if I could my brain couldn't form a coherent sentence. As I'm laying there I"m able to take my pulse and my heart rate is sitting at 32, not so good. I am blessed with very caring friends and after a few minutes of waiting for my return they take off in search of me. It's very nice to know that I have friends who are looking out for me. By the end of the workshop my brain is the consistency of milk soaked bread and one of the speakers decides to call on me for an answer. I don't hear the question because I'm easily distracted by the 50 other conversations around my table, and when she repeats it I'm not sure what the answer is, I try to reason out an answer from my soggy brain and my friends are whispering the answer to me (this is so much like what happens in school) and I give some off the wall answer, which is wrong.  I don't think the workshop leader knows what to do with a wrong answer in room full of teachers who should all know the answer. The day is over and I now feel like I'm a pinata at the end of a party (shredded and beaten).

My third crash happens while waiting in line at a store. After standing for 15 minutes,  I'm finally helped and my heart rate is so bad I'm not thinking straight and I don't know what I have been waiting for. I feel so sick that I can't figure out how to use the ATM to pay for my things. The cashier figures out there's something wrong and asks if I need some help and I tell her I think I might faint and she leads me quickly to a chair. After sitting for a while I begin to feel better and head for home.

My last crash happens today at church. I'm already feeling pretty bad from the past couple days but I decide to push through it. The singing is tough but I enjoy the songs and feeling a bit out of breath. All of a sudden someone who must have worked in a perfume factory and fallen into the perfume vat comes in and sits right behind me. My lungs begin to close up, my head hurts, and I'm ready to hurl chunks which would probably even out the smell factor in church. I try to give myself a chance to feel better by sitting in the back room of the church, but the hurl factor just won't let up and I dash for the nearest exit.

Like I said, I thought I was getting better but I have just figured out how to keep myself from crashing. I normally never go out in the heat for any reason, but last week I needed supplies and that outweighed my health needs at the time. I usually avoid sitting for long periods, but I was required for my job to attend this meeting hence another mini crash. I never go to stores on the weekends or busy times, but I had been working all week and couldn't buy the gift until the weekend. I will be getting a gift card the next time. And finally if I'm not feeling well enough to go to church, stay home and worship there, God will understand.


Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.