Half a morning completely lost to sleeping off yesterday’s pain. I had painsomnia until almost 1:30am but finally was able to get some sleep after some pharmaceutical assistance. I hate resorting to that. I had gotten on such a good schedule, too. I was getting up around 8-8:30 every morning and getting to bed by 10:30pm. That schedule was working for me and I didn’t feel guilty about it. Sleeping until 10am? That makes me feel guilty. But when you have a migraine or pain hangover, sometimes you have to get that extra shut-eye in. My Apple Watch has been instrumental in telling me about my sleep cycles. I apparently don’t get very much restful sleep each night, only about 55-65%. I am definitely going to mention that at the POTS Treatment Center at my appointment tomorrow.
I am anxious about this appointment tomorrow. I saw a lot of reviews saying people felt completely better after a two-week program. That sort of result sounds like a scam to me. Am I just being pessimistic? I also noticed that they diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome there, at least I think they do. Wow, if I could find out for sure one way or another if I have CFS I would be so happy.
A lot of people ask me: what comes from the diagnosis? And for me, a lot of it is just piece of mind. Answers mean everything. It’s justification. It’s validation. It’s proof that you aren’t crazy. I know there are things wrong with my body that haven’t been pin-pointed yet, and to have someone say “this is happening because of XYZ”, well you just can’t put a price on that sort of corroboration.
The clinic is sort of far, and I definitely don’t plan on driving myself, so hopefully it’s worth my while getting over there. I really trust the cardiologist who is referring me. He’s an excellent physician, very thorough, knowledgeable, and compassionate.
I gathered some information from the POTS Treatment Center’s website and am including it below. I’m also including a link to their website for anyone who’s interested in working with them. They do accept people from out-of-town into their program.
What is POTS?
POTS stands for postural orthostatic tachychardia syndrome. It’s a combination of symptoms caused by dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system called dysautonomia. Clinical testing for POTS includes checking the patient’s heart rate when moving from lying down to standing to find an increase of at least 30 bpm in 10 minutes or less. POTS can also be classified by an excessive increase in heart rate on a tilt table, more than 100 bpm, as well as a significant change in blood pressure.
- orthostatic intolerance
- light/noise sensitivity
- thermoregulatory issues
- chest pain
- exercise intolerance
- shortness of breath
- GI issues
- blurry vision
- menstrual irregularities
- joint/muscle pain
- brain fog
- frequent urination
- cognitive impairment
Treatment for POTS
Regulation of blood pressure and heart rate are important treatments for POTS. Diet, nutrition, and an exercise plan are also recommended for POTS patients. Compression stockings, salt tablets and IV fluids are often prescribed to relieve POTS symptoms.
Causes of POTS
POTS can come about after a viral illness, hospitalization or period of extended immobilization. It can also be triggered by trauma, pregnancy or head injury. The majority of POTS patients are women between the ages of 15 and 50. It is considered a common illness in the United States, although it is not well understood by physicians.