Though every chronic illness story has similarities, we have all been on our own unique roller coaster rides. My story is no exception. Back in February of 2017, I was an average teenager who loved hanging out with her friends and doing things all teens enjoy doing. I ran track the day before waking up with symptoms such as fatigue, vertigo, and a constant migraine. After realizing this was more than just the flu, we sought out help from medical specialists. The fear of the unknown was always in my mind as well as my family’s. Doctors often suggested it was just all in my head. After almost five months of going through test upon test and going to over fifteen specialists, a cardiologist finally suggested a diagnosis for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS for short.) POTS is a condition in which a patient has an abnormally high increase in heart rate when changing from lying to standing.
Oh and yes, I discovered that POTS is chronic. My world came tumbling down. I could no longer run track as I loved doing. I had to stay home in bed on the weekends rather than going out and hanging out with all my friends. I missed over half the school year. I lost some of my best friends. I did not feel like I had a purpose anymore. I felt a loss of who I once was. At times I did not think I could go on much longer. Doctors would tell me that I was better, but then I was not. I started losing hope. I wondered why me, as it seemed as if most of my friends had perfect lives. These past two years of my life have been both the best and the worst. I have learned things that I would never have been able to learn if it weren’t for my chronic illness. I want to share a few of those with you.
Here are some snippets of the roller coaster I have been on. It's ok to be real sometimes.