To my Herons…. A letter to my rowing team

To my Herons,

The other day I went to our team workout, expecting that we’d be doing a circuit workout, and knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to participate. Most of you began to ‘riverdance,’ and I left, going into the fitness room to start biking with a few of you who were bike testing (GREAT JOB!). I got bored. So I decided to run around the track, hoping that running around in a circle for an hour would be more entertaining than staring at a stone wall in the fitness room. It was certainly interesting, I’ll give it that.

It wasn’t long before I started feeling funny (see my other posts for what I mean by that). I looked down at my heart rate monitor, expecting it to be somewhere in the 150’s to 160’s.

It read 196. I stopped running.

After a few minutes of walking, I laid down on the side of the track to try to bring my heart rate down. It got down to about 110 and I felt a lot better, so I got up and started jogging again. Immediately my heart rate went up to 190. So I laid down again to bring my heart rate down. I then got up and repeated the cycle. This time, I didn’t get back up for a while.

During the course of this “workout,” not one team member came to see if I was alright.

No, it wasn’t just one. It was EVERY teammate that passed by. Every one of you that saw me laying on the ground staring at my heart rate monitor came over and asked me if I was okay and if there was something you could do.

I just want to tell you that even if most of the time, I will say “no thanks, I’ll be fine, keep going with your workout!” I’m so happy and relieved to know that if I ever do need to say “yes, I do need help,” you’ll be there offering me a hand. It means so much to me to know that my teammates are not just teammates. You are amazing friends that will drop what you’re doing to come to my side, just in case I ever need help, without me ever saying a word. You are amazing women who are not only strong athletes physically, but also have some of the strongest hearts I know, because you extend them to others without thinking twice.

I’m going to miss you all so much over Winter break, but knowing that you’re supporting me every step of the way through this disorder has helped me so much to even get this far. I will be back in the Spring to row with you, hopefully not having to lay on the floor anymore, but if I do, thank you for being you and reaching out to me.

Herons really do flock together.

Love you ladies! – Nora

As always, If there’s anything in here so far that you can identify with, keep reading as I post. If you can’t relate, but want to read more about my journey as I carry on, keep reading. If not, then I hope you learned something about POTS.

Please message me!- potsienb@gmail.com

To all my fellow Potsies, good luck out there!

My Milestone

There are many events that can be marked as a milestone in any Potsie’s life:

  • First time getting dizzy (aaw, I remember those days!)
  • First time having a pre-syncopal episode
  • First time blacking out
  • First time trying some crazy diet to see if it’ll make our bodies hate us just a little less
  • First time having to lay on the ground in public
  • First time feeling better since being diagnosed (only to sometimes fall right back to where you started….)

Last night was another milestone for me. It was my first time going to the ER for IV saline, (which really isn’t as much fun as it sounds like it would be) and all because of a little stomach bug.

Not to be gross, but I’ve been throwing up quite a bit over the past few days, making it impossible to keep down all the food, fluids, and fluorinef I need for my body to function like a working human being. It’s been a bit rough. Upon consultation with my cardiologist after class yesterday, it didn’t take much for her to say “have someone take you to the ER for a couple liters of saline.” It took me until today to realize how truly disturbing that was. This is the woman who has been treating my POTS for around four years, now, and has never once let me go to the ER for it, or have an IV for it, or anything reaIMG_2448lly… You know, with the exception of fluids, meds, and copious amounts of exercise, which I guess has been working, so there hasn’t been a need to do any of the more drastic measures (that other doctors would consider perfectly normal, but whatever).

Anyway, I walked into the ER with the assistance of my blue and silver “pimp cane,” and my friend’s watchful eye (Shoutout to Clover! You da best!), looking like this: –>

IMG_2453And 2 bags of IV saline, 1 dose of Zofran, and 3 hours spent with my buddy Ben (thanks for staying with me!!) later, looked like this: <–

I REALLY like IV saline right now… I know it’s not the best solution (pun definitely intended) for me personally long-term, and as soon as I can get over this dumb stomach bug, I’ll be back to my routine as usual. In the mean time, though- the observation can absolutely be made that there is a marked difference between my first and second pictures here, and as much as I can totally rock the pale Irish-girl look (and do it fabulously on a daily basis), a little pink in my face looks much better, and feels much better, too!

And when I say ‘much better,’ I don’t mean ‘completely awesome,’ or ‘totally back to normal,’ but it’s better than not being able to sit up by myself. It’s definitely better than having to dive for the floor before I black out. So though IV saline may not be a good long-term option for me, it certainly helped when I really needed it to, which is all I can really ask for, on a day like this.

As always, If there’s anything in here so far that you can identify with, keep reading as I post. If you can’t relate, but want to read more about my journey as I carry on, keep reading. If not, then I hope you learned something about POTS.

Please message me!- potsienb@gmail.com

To all my fellow Potsies, good luck out there!