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5 Ways Living With POTS Has Improved My Life

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Being a pessimist, I have been focusing on the negative ways in which my chronic illness has affected my life for far too long. From destroying my career to almost killing me, it’s safe to say that I am not enjoying my life with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

I sat down recently and thought about the positive ways my illness has affected my life; here’s what I came up with:

1. I now know more about my own health and family’s medical history than ever before. This means I am more aware of the conditions that are likely to affect me in the future and I can also make informed decisions about my health.

2. I now know the importance of resting. Taking breaks to rest doesn’t make you weaker: they make you stronger. Timetabling rest days into my schedule has definitely made me more productive over the past few months.

3. Taking time away from my career has forced me to think about what I really want out of life and where my passions lie. Before I got sick, I was about to sleepwalk into a PhD with no regard for my future career pathway. I am now doing a specialized Master’s degree in a subject I am really passionate about.

4. I have learned how to be my own advocate and to speak up when I believe I’m not being treated fairly. The skills I developed when negotiating a new treatment for myself will help me in similar situations in the future.

5. I have become a more compassionate and considerate person. You can’t always tell when someone is sick. It pays to be kind and listen to their needs.

Living with chronic illness isn’t fun and it will force you to grow and change as a person. Next time you’re thinking about all the negative ways your illness has affected your life, try and think of a least one way in which it has improved it.

Getty Image by enona

Originally published: August 18, 2018
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