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Preparing for Battle: The Daily Struggle of Living With POTS

Today is one of those days where I just can’t. But today can’t be one of those days where I just can’t. I have too much to do. I don’t need the lightheadedness, heart palpitations, body aches, tremors and headache. I don’t need the pain. Not today. Not ever, if we are being honest. POTS doesn’t care about me, my life or my schedule. POTS is a real jerk like that.

There are days when POTS and I can coexist semi-harmoniously. There are also days when it nudges me now and then to remind me it is there (as if I could forget). Then there are days it completely sucker punches and body-slams me all at once. Today is one of those days.

I’m tired of fighting with POTS. I’m tired of struggling over who has the upper hand. I want to be released from the tight grip is has on my life. I want to untangle myself from the tendrils of pain it has woven through me. I’m struggling to hold onto my identity. I don’t want to be identified with POTS… as someone who has POTS. But it seems we will forever be one. There is an ebb and flow to our co-existence. Some days I gather strength and battle through. Other days I am drained of, well, everything.

There are days when I marvel at what I once was capable of doing. The things that my body and mind did effortlessly, no matter how great or insignificant. I would give anything to be that person again. It’s amazing the things we take for granted when we aren’t sick.

When you have POTS, you learn to channel your superpowers depending on what you need on a particular day. I put on the appropriate costume. Don’t let the pain or the struggle show. Hold POTS down with one hand and take on the world with the other.

I put on appearances, I’ll dress up and carefully apply a happy face; but underneath the pain still exists. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond grateful for all the things I can still do. But by no means do any of these things come easy anymore. More often than not they come with a hefty price. The limitations of this life now mock the life I used to live.

Having POTS is exhausting. I’m tired of waking up ready for a fight. But if I’m not ready to fight, I’m not ready to take on my day. And although POTS will forever be my kryptonite, my strength and my will to live this life of mine is stronger than any weapon POTS has to use against me. So, I’ll continue to battle, even if I come out of it bloody and battered. My unbreakable will is my greatest superpower. Bring it on, POTS.

Getty Image by christinaloehr