Wednesday, October 19, 2016

31 POTS-itives of Dysautonomia

Since October is Dysautonomia awareness month, there are loads of posts circulating on the subject. Generally, awareness posts feature scientific explanations, statistics, useful tips, or the negative truths that emerge from living with this condition (...and trust me, there are tons). Years prior, I did the same. For this occasion though, I will deviate from the usual.


It is easy to fall victim to Dysautonomia's vices of doom and gloom, but there are positives from the condition. A friend and I (shout out to Aleigh) compiled a list including 31 positives stemming from the condition. It contains one positive for each day in the month of October. Hopefully it provides a few laughs!
Dysautonomia is a medical condition resulting in the impairment of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls bodily functions meant to occur "automatically." There are multiple types of Dysautonomia, the most common called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). In simpler terms, the body of a Dysautonomia patient is whacked! You can access additional information through Dysautonomia International and in my previous posts titled STOP POTS and Rarely Diagnosed: Dysautonomia on Rare Disease Day 2016.
31 Positives of Dysautonomia

1.) Forming lifelong bonds with others sharing the condition.

2.) Learning assertiveness. It is important to stand (or sit) up for ourselves, especially when it pertains to our medical rights.

3.) There is no need to receive manicures/pedicures. Our nails are already the perfect shades of blue and purple.

4.) True friends and family are revealed.

5.) We still have active social lives, visiting our friends the cardiologist, neurologist, and primary care physician all in one day!

6.) Medical mumbo jumbo is well understood. A medical degree should be earned by default.

7.) Aside from becoming doctors, Dysautonomia patients are also professional meteorologists. When the pressures drop, so do we.

8.) Adrenaline surges make us the life of the party...for an entire 5 minutes.

9.) Living in pain 24/7 leads to a higher tolerance of pain/discomfort.

10.) There is always someone there to catch us when we fall...the floor.

11.) Finding new hobbies.

12.) Surplus down time on "sick days" provides the opportunity to read books we never thought we would get around to reading...

13.) Or to catch up on the Netflix/Hulu shows previously neglected.

14.) The quest for a soul mate ended after the first encounter with saline infusions. Whats the saying? If the IV fits...

15.) Symptoms teach us to be very in-tune with our bodies.

16.) Attending a gym for exercise is a preposterous concept. Psh, who needs a gym when simply standing for a full minute is a workout resulting in a pulse far exceeding the target range?

17.) We learn independence...

18.) As well as when to humbles ourselves and accept/seek help.

19.) Escalators at the mall cause more excitement than the killer sales on clothing, books, or appliances.

20.) And men love their Dysautonomia ladies because the shopping dates they are forced to accompany are brief. Who has that kind of energy? Not I.

21.) The busy schedule involving the move from the bed to the couch probably won't interfere with your making of plans. (Now, if we are healthy enough to follow through is another story...)

22.) Every Dysautonomia patient is a fashionista. I mean, come on, you have to be to look this good in compression hose.

23.) We are secretly vampires. Since heat can flare Dysautonomia, avoiding the sun reduces our risk of skin cancer.

24.) Plus light sensitivity equates to scoring sunglasses in every color!

25.) You smell BO? Well, it is not us! Decreased sweating also saves money on deodorant.

26.) The development of spontaneity...seize each (healthy-ish) day.

27.) The good is appreciated because we have experienced the bad.

28.) We are the envy of all on a low sodium diet. We can stuff our faces with sodium-laden snacks without consequences (only benefits).

29.) Life is seen through a new, clearer perspective, despite our nearly constant blurred vision.

30.) A delivery of medical supplies is equivalent to the excitement on Christmas and a water bottle is a most cherished birthday gift.

And lastly,

31.) Faith and beliefs, our sources of hope and strength, are strengthened.