So the rough day I jinxed myself with by excitedly telling everyone how well my body was handling the common cold… it is finally almost over. As far as POTS symptoms go, the tachycardia, pain (especially the throat pain, it is different than the throat pain from the cold), and my intolerance to being upright are worse than my new, but still POTSie, normal. My pain still isn’t even a third as bad as it used to be on a daily basis, so hooray for that. Since my tachycardia and intolerance to being upright haven’t yet started to be eliminated by this program, that’s not too big of a deal. They’re just more touchy than normal. For example, reaching down one side of the recliner to grab my thermometer, and then the other to grab my notebook, caused my heart to flip out and pound away like I was a marathon runner! I was like “Oh, hey! I remember this!” I wasn’t able to do anything outside of my treatment today, including cleaning the kitchen. I basically just sat. However, I keep perspective and remember, unlike before treatment, I wasn’t sitting in intense pain, nauseous, and nearly blacking out as a result of a cold. I’m hopeful tomorrow will be a better day! If not, surely the day after that will be. It has to be because not only does Emma come for the week starting Friday, My grandpa’s 90th birthday party is Sunday. I’m not worrying about either of those things. I have plenty of help and support, I will get through whatever comes my way.
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
- Chinese Proverb
I am going to try and make it until about 9 or 9:30. I still fit it my treatment, except for exercise. This is okay because part of my treatment is not exercising when POTS symptoms make doing so dangerous and/or more than moderately uncomfortable. How about that? A POTS treatment program that takes into account you have POTS. I had trouble with my temperature training compared to recent days, but did manage to hit 90 degrees during the AM session (which happened at noon). This was frustrating because for the first week ever, I had reached my goal of 96 degrees during each morning session. In the PM session, about a minute before I was done, I hit 96. My game plan was to do my breathing as long as it took to hit 96, but it was nice to have completed within my goal window of 20 minutes. Hitting 96 within the 20 minutes was exciting since I’m sick and had trouble in the morning, but not remarkable since typically I hit 98 within 15 minutes during evening sessions. Oh well. Both of those results are better than with what I started with 31 days ago.
My heart rate variability (HRV) training, which I did right after my temperature training, went well. The past 4 days I’ve done HRV training sitting up with my feet on the ground and on level medium. Today, I decided I’d do it sitting up with my feet propped up on level medium. Propping up my feet decreases the challenge level significantly for a POTSie. I was happy to find I could do well with this despite my less than thrilling temperature training numbers. My waves weren’t the smoothest waves I’ve ever seen, and they certainly were not even (never are), but overall, they weren’t too shabby. I scored 97% in high coherence and 3% in medium. No low coherence? Level Medium? More than 90% high? Those are results I only could have dreamed about when I left Dallas. My inner pefectionist points out I had my feet up, but I just need to throw her down the stairs and hope she breaks her legs so she’ll leave me alone for awhile. *ahem* My hand temperature reached 96 toward the end of the session. That means it took about a solid hour of diaphragmatic breathing to bring enough blood to my hands. That’s how long it took on day 5 or 6 of treatment, so it’s a definite sign of my body struggling today.
It’s satisfying to complete my treatment plan even with a cold. Before, on days like today, I felt like a huge failure; I couldn’t exercise and I had been told exercise is the golden ticket to overcoming POTS. Exercise is certainly an important part of it, but not on days like today where it could cause presyncope. I feel proactive and as though I have a bit of control over my own body. This treatment reaching it’s full potential to help me will take time and effort, and many days like today, but hey, it’s not like I have job. (I know, I know, getting well is my job)
It takes time to succeed because success is merely the natural reward of taking time to do anything well.