Gwen Posting

When I was first diagnosed with Dysautonomia my world came crashing down around me. At the time, I was in marching band and loving it! I was planning to start ballet class when band season was finished (I had been a dancer since the age of 3) because both band and dance were too much. Marching season only had a few weeks left in it when I first passed out and was diagnosed and somehow, someway I pushed my way through and finished my sophomore season of marching band in high school. My plan however of starting ballet back up didn’t happen.

My not being able to start ballet up again caused me to have this really crazy and new outlook on life because I was now sick. I began looking at my life as being, “new.” I also began listing in my head everything that I couldn’t do anymore because of POTS.

Can’t Do List
can’t dance
can’t drive a vehicle
can’t do marching band
can’t physically attend school
can’t play sports
can’t go shopping
can’t go to parties
can’t date

The list went on and on…

A lot of the “I cant’s” I hadn’t even done before I got sick! For me it was simply just the fact that I was 16 years old and I was sick, sick with something that was rare no less. My life was new and it stank!

What’s wrong with the picture here? Is your life REALLY “new” when you are diagnosed with an illness?

I believe that yes there will be things that you won’t be able to do because of your illness. But, does that mean that you will always never be able to do that something? No, it does not. For instance, when I was first diagnosed with POTS, there was no way I could dance. However, five years since my diagnosis I can choreograph some small pieces.

The day you are diagnosed, do you say to yourself, “Well I am now sick, so I am going to forget all of my hobbies, favorite things to do, and everything that makes me, me.”

No, that would be completely silly! Of course you will find new hobbies and new favorite things to do. However, you do that throughout your entire life, not just when you are diagnosed with an chronic illness. You will find things about yourself that you never knew before. For example, I never knew just how strong and brave I can be. I never knew what it would take of me to not take things for granted in life.

What I am trying to say is, is that having POTS doesn’t mean you are a completely new person. You will discover things about yourself that you don’t like and you will change them. There will also be some new hobbies and favorite things to do to keep yourself busy since your days might be a little more free then they used to be. Having POTS, or any form of Dysautonomia or chronic illness doesn’t change you completely and that is what is important for you to remember at the end of the day!

Remember: You may have Dysautonomia, but the Dysautonomia doesn’t have you!