How My Mom is 'the Lorelai to My Rory' as I Live With POTS
Before I begin, let me explain that this isn’t the typical Mother’s Day appreciation letter. While I know there are many great mothers out there, my mom has helped me out through everything in life – and I mean everything!
I’m sure many parents can relate to this if your child has any kind of chronic illness. I know it is not always easy to deal with when someone you love gets sick, but my mom always made it look so easy.
When I was in the sixth grade, I fainted for the first time ever. I hit my head on the way down and ever since that day I’ve struggled with dizziness, vision problems and balance problems. Dealing with those symptoms made it very hard for me to keep my attendance up when it came to school. The school district did not want to work with us and even threatened to take me from my parents if things did not change. I don’t know how my mom got through that time but she did all she could for me. She ran me to doctors (usually weekly – at least) and also went to the school to hand in my excused absence letters, and to pick up my school work so I could stay caught up – even though I couldn’t attend.
The school system would not even try understand our situation at all. I didn’t have diagnosis at the time so they thought it was all in my head. In fact, doctors gave us a hard time as well – not believing that I was actually feeling as bad as I did. My mom, however, never once questioned me or my symptoms. As stressful as I know it was for her, she always just did all she could to make things as easy as possible for me. In the end, that meant taking on a new role as my teacher. She home-schooled me from my seventh grade year on through high school. It was much easier when it came to my dizziness cause I was able to stop and take breaks when I needed to. My mom would stay up late, going over what I needed to learn the next day, while also refreshing her own mind before she taught new things to me.
Fast forward seven or eight years.
When I was 21 I was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). For a year and a half, I was pretty much house-bound. More often than not, I was actually bed-bound. My mom would sit in my bedroom with me all day long, just watching TV with me, and keeping me company. Our show has always been Gilmore Girls. We always could relate to the close mother-daughter relationship the show portrayed.
My symptoms were at their worst back then, I was unable to stand for very long at all before I would feel faint. I would either have to crawl to where I wanted to go or my mom would lend me her arm to help me get from room to room. She would bring me meals when I was too dizzy to make things for myself. She would help me wash my hair in bed – propping me up with pillows and sit behind me, using no rinse shampoo and also help me brush it once she was done. Raising my hands above my head to do any of that just made the dizziness worse. Once she helped me with my hair, she would run bath water so I could clean myself off as quick as possible and get back into bed. She literally did everything for me.
Now I am 28 years old and married, but I still see my mom almost every single day. Since I’m unable to work or drive, she picks me up in the morning after my husband goes to work and I spend the day with her. If I feel good enough we try to get out and do something, run errands, go for a walk, etc. And when I don’t feel good, we go back to the times where I spent most of the day laying down. We put on some comedies and just take it easy.
My mom has always dealt with the highs and lows of my illness very well. She can always tell how I’m feeling just by looking at me. With an invisible illness, I always think it’s easy to hide it – but my mom still knows. So I want to say thank you mom, for always being there for me…For still being there for me. Through my health struggles and through all aspects of life. The one person who has always stuck by me and stuck up for me, no matter what! My best friend, the Lorelai to my Rory.
Love you mom. Happy Mother’s Day!
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