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As I Sit on the Floor After a Day of Running Errands With POTS

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I’m writing this from the floor of my sunroom in my apartment. My cat, Dougal, is sitting in his cat tower staring at me unimpressed. I’m trying to convince myself I can stand up, but I’m currently only 60 percent believing in it. This restlessness has seeped it’s way into my soul. My brain is going a hundred miles an hour desperate for my body to catch up, to do anything, but it can’t.

I had to call my dad to pick me up after walking around a store today. I didn’t want to make that call. I woke up this morning desperate to get out of the four walls of my apartment and pretend for a few hours that I feel fine. It started before I got into my car. The visual snow that’s never gone away and the slight feeling of walking on a boat each time I stand. However, I pushed forward, buckled my seatbelt and turned my key in the ignition.

I made it through a coffee run and all the way to an antique store. I’d been meaning to walk around and see what antiques I could find for decorations for my upcoming wedding. Before I got out of my car and entered the store I knew I was in trouble. The light show had begun, the heatwaves I knew weren’t there were floating along and I could feel the increasing beating of my heart. Still, I pushed forward.

When you have a chronic illness, especially in the beginning stages, there are always times where you think if you just ignore the signs and pretend you’re fine they will magically disappear. You buy into the “it’s all in your head” mentality. However, time and time again your body proves this isn’t the case until you finally give in and learn to be your body’s ally rather than enemy.

I pride myself on being able to see the bright side of most things and keep a positive outlook most of the time. For example, walking around an antique store while you’re having visual auras is on a certain level kind of fun. It’s like chasing fireflies you’ll never be able to catch. I found myself sitting in a particularly inviting (and at that moment quite necessary) leather chair and staring at an oil painting admiring the swirling colors of the paint. Was the painting actually moving? No, it definitely wasn’t. But inside my brain it was. How many people get to experience that without the help of drugs? Not many.

Once my heart calmed down I made my slow progression to the front of the store, ambled my way up the stairs and out into the blinding sunlight. I scrambled to pull my sunglasses on, stumbled to my car, and came to terms with the fact that I just wasn’t going to be able to drive myself home. After a few rings my dad answered. “I can’t drive myself home” I said. “Where are you?” he asked without losing a beat. I told him where I was and he said he’d be there in 10 minutes. Ten minutes later I was sitting in his passenger seat on the way back to the four walls of my apartment.

I’m grateful for a family that has been there for me from day one. Who hasn’t questioned me or made me feel bad for needing more from them than most 29-year-old’s would. This isn’t their first rodeo. Chronic illness runs rampant in our family line. So here I am, on the floor, talking to my cat, writing to you, waiting for the moment I’ll feel ready to stand up. This time in my life is painful. Both physically and emotionally. But I know it’s also going to be a time that I will experience the most growth from. My mind is restless and my body isn’t up to par but what better time to figure out what I’m made of, to learn the true depth of the relationships in my life, and to experience the real comfort of laying on a floor.

Getty Image by LumineImages

Originally published: September 27, 2018
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