For people suffering from Orthostatic Intolerance, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Mast Cell Activtation or EDS. Follow me as I document my struggle towards better health.

Highschool Swimmer with POTS - from Mar 5 2010

H.S. SWIMMING: Haverford’s Gavin-Hanner glad to return

HAVERFORD — Matt Stewart hosted an information session, one all high school coaches conduct, prior to this season.  As the Haverford swim team filed in, the Fords coach spotted a familiar, but unexpected face.  Maggie Gavin-Hanner was among the assembly.  “When she walked into the meeting, I thought, ‘This team just got a lot better,’” Stewart said.

An All-Delco and a PIAA qualifier as a freshman, Gavin-Hanner left Haverford and its swim team midway through her sophomore year due to illness. She did not return to either until this fall, prior to her senior year.  So when Gavin-Hanner strolled into the preseason meeting, no one knew what to expect … including Gavin-Hanner. She wasn’t there to match her earlier success; those goals remain on hold.

Simply, she wanted to regain a portion of her life.  “It was good to be part of the team again,” said Gavin-Hanner, who will swim three events this weekend at the District One Swimming Championships at La Salle University. “It wasn’t even (about) swimming fast for me. It was just being a part of the team and being able to show up and interact with people.

“It’s little things that you miss. As disgusting as it sounds, you smell like chlorine all the time. When it was gone, it felt weird. (Also), looking up and having people stare down at you, dumb things like that.”

During her time away from school and the team, Gavin-Hanner was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, a condition in which the body fails to perform tasks necessary to neutralize gravity. It leads to variances in blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat for extended periods.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a fine example of someone who got POTS symptoms whilst they were in good shape. I am a runner with POTS, who has tackled it for years unknowingly, sometimes even thinking I was unfit because of the puffiness in my breathing caused by lack of blood volume to my heart. Running with POTS is possible because I am conditioned for it, but it can be very very hard, with a focus on distance and not speed when I am in a bad way. BUT it does keep you functioning and I would always rather do it than not. Swimming is good too, but I have gots arrythmias in the pool before!Best cure for it: drinking lots of water.
    Not exercising is not an option and makes me feel exhausted and dizzy. I wonder if my need for exercise was instinctive because it made me feel better (unknowingly) from the POTS! Maybe others have been 'high level exercisers' before diagnosis?
    Just a thought - I do think that the fairly high level of exercise I do may actually drop my blood pressure later, which is why I often feel chronically fatigued a few hours after a run.