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

Superman, Strength and POTS

Living with a chronic condition can be a total drag for you, your family, friends. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia is a particularly nasty variety of chronic illness because it can affect both the cognitive and physical functions of the body.

Working wirh only half a brain while struggling with pain and fatigue is a real challenge. In addition to coping with the physical realities there are also life changes that must be dealt with: the financial impact of leaving a job, the disruption to daily responsibilities such as grocery shopping, paying bills, even taking the dog out for a walk. These changes can create feelings of guilt over the necessity to rely on others to take over ordinary duties, of failure over loss of control over one's life, and of frustration that more cannot be done.

I have experienced all of these feelings at various times. Sometimes it seems very easy to cope and at other times it is hard to cope. And in the very hardest times I try to cling to my three mantras:
1) be hopeful 2) be forgiving and 3) recognize my inner strength.

Be Hopeful
Hope and faith are mixed together and like peanut butter and jelly in a sandwich; they compliment each other beautifully. We can draw upon faith to recover lost hope and in the presence of hope we are reminded of our faith.

Be Forgiving
Taking responsibility for our actions is logical and honorable. Feeling guilty for what is beyond our control is not. When I start feeling guilty about being sick and what effect my illness may be having on others I ask myself "have I done everything I reasonably can to help myself"? If the answer is no (for example not drinking enough fluids so triggering symptoms or binging on potato chips ;-) then I accept responsibility for my choice and try harder. Guilt is a negative feeling and not conducive to recovery... get rid of it.

Recognize inner strength
One doesn't have to go far to stumble over stories of great courage, endurance and perseverance.  But even the most heroic characters can have moments of weakness. Recognize all the things we do which can be considered heroic: To get out of bed and face another day when we are hurting and sick is heroic.  Doing exercises when it is hard to stay upright is heroic. Staying positive when we want to give in to sadness takes strength.

I congratulate myself on the small stuff.
Let's give ourselves credit for facing tough challenges!

Soldier On!

No comments:

Post a Comment