Sodium Solutions

Hello readers! It’s Teddy.

Remind me to never promise a post a week, I will almost certainly break it. I have a longer post I am working on, but I figured that I would get the short one out of the way first : )

Pie wrote a post awhile back about things foods that are good to eat for a POTS kid’s health. So, I’m being redundant here on the whole necessary salt intake concept. The way we get most of our salt is through either unhealthy things or salting our food. I know that we live in a culture that equates sodium with poor health, but for us it is actually the reverse. Too much salt creates high blood pressure for people that are susceptible. But we have low blood pressure, so the pressure’s off (heeheeeehe, that made me chuckle).

Anyways, putting extra salt in a normal diet is easier said than done. For meat dishes, it’s simple. Just pour it on. But Pie and I are vegetarians, and salting salads is a little odd. We do eat meals other than salad, but vegetables are a large part of our diet. Easy things to salt are pasta, broth based soups (like French Onion or stews) and that’s about it. Maybe omelets, but not too much. The other general salty things are pretty high in fat, like chips and french fries. Pie has this weird thing where she puts salt in her Juicy Juice, but I draw the line there. Might as well just lick salt off your hand if it comes to that.

So I decided to recommend some ideas for increasing your salt intake. We mentioned pedialyte before, but it’s wicked expensive. Plus, it’s kind of awkward to leave the store with a half dozen bottles of  a substance that only half dead babies drink. So, my mom and I recently found that amazon sells pedialyte powder packets. SUCESS! Here’s the link.

http://www.amazon.com/Pedialyte-Powder-Packs-Variety-0-3-Ounce/dp/B004M1BOC6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311296634&sr=8-1

Thank me later. It’s still expensive, but less so. Plus, it’s a lot more portable. When I was on the tennis team I used to take several bottles of the stuff to matches. It’s revitalizing, no matter how strange it is. I generally lug around a bottle of gatorade or G2 powder in my purse at all times in case I get dizzy. For some reason the sugar/salt combination make it work faster. I assume because it goes straight to your bloodstream.

I saw a hilarious picture as I was perusing the web of POTS related items. It was posted by that facebook group SuckItPots (which I definitely recommend, though there are mostly adults on there). It is a POTS mocktail. Since I’m not old enough to drink, I never thought this was an issue. But alcohol messes up POTS systems in a big way and makes our already fragile bodies weaker. I am not saying this to be self righteous, I am saying this to be practical. Don’t drink. At least not until you are well. Even the wikipedia page will tell you that. But back to the picture. Isn’t it hilarious? I would never have thought of that. Pie and I might have to have POTS mocktails in the near future!

That picture makes my day, sea salt and gatorade. A genius and funny way to deal with the problem at hand.

Ok, another easy solution is pretzels and popcorn. They’re both low in fat. The doctors at Mayo clinic recommend you have a small salty snack every mid-afternoon. These, nuts, Cheese-Its, wheat thins, and Triscuits (the love of my life) are all essentials. I can down a bag of popcorn on a bad day, no problem. Gosh that makes me sound like a glutton, I am not advocating this! Especially since the more we eat, the more blood rushes to your stomach. So small meals. But lots of ’em : )

Right, this is going to make me sound positively off my rocker, but it IS salty. Erm, you know pickles? Well, I love them. I pile them on sandwiches. So mom and I thought of something that has us questioning our own sanity. Pickles are full of salt, and coincidentally, so is the juice. As kids, did you ever make popsicles in little plastic trays? Because you can use any liquid that freezes. Coincidentally, the vinegar in the pickle juice freezes nicely. We call them pickle popsicles. They’re not the bad, if you have a brave tongue. At least I’m not recommending pea popsicles. That gives me some credit right? No?

Something that was also recommended to us at the Mayo clinic was salt tablets. Athletes take them to help rehydrate themselves along with water. You can buy them over the counter, and they’re quite safe in moderation. They don’t have as much sodium content in them as you would think though, so you still need to eat other salty items. I don’t take these, I tried. We tried some called thermotabs, I understand they’re pretty standard. We bought them for school, but I kept throwing up when taking them. Keep in mind that this was mostly my own fault, I didn’t eat before (I planned to afterwords). But the pure salt was too harsh on my stomach and it made for a very close relationship with the girls bathroom. So be warned, even though my stomach may just be fickle.

Right, moving along. One rule that is imperative for all this salt intake is eating. Milk is preferable (especially if you are taking beta blockers at the same time like I do) but bread works too. Your stomach lining is sensitive, so treat it well. Mine just happens to be very persnickety. I don’t know anyone with POTS besides Pie, so this could be normal. If you ever need to ask a health question about a weird POTS symptom, shoot us a comment. Between Pie and I, one of us has probably dealt with it. We’re obviously not doctors, (and you should be going to yours regularly)  but we can give you some support.

A point I try to get across as often as I can is to not feel weird about the things you have to do for your health. Especially if you can twist it in a way to make it look like it was your idea in the first place (Like rainbow socks covering my anti-embolism stockings, kids love them and they always are good for a smile). So make your salty smack a part of your daily routine. In high school, I would purposefully bag a bunch of goldfish or triscuits and share them with my friends in class. Everyone loved it, and it makes you generous rather than the odd one out.

Right-oh, now that I’ve made my point I want to share some fun. A) Thank you Pie for the adorable birthday wishes. She gave me that bear hat I found on etsy for my birthday that is featured in a previous post. It’s adorable. I don’t think it will leave my head anytime soon.

B) I’ve been reading some awesome books. They need to be shared. I was just thinking the other day how I missed reading books that captured my heart and mind. So much so that I would be willing to avoid social obligations just to read them, and dream about them at night. Suddenly, three books came into my life.

1. Jane Eyre. I read this as a child, and I understood it on a basic level. But now that I am the same age as the heroine, it suddenly took on more meaning. She is witty, self-assured, and so so strong. I love how she sticks to her morality even though it sucks sometimes. She’s one of those characters who ceases to be two dimensional. They become a sort of friend.

2. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. Read it. It’s about a girl who lives with her eccentric family in a crumbling castle in the middle of England. They haven’t paid rent in years, and her genius father refuses to actually work on his novel. The heroine is engaging and describes life as I would like to see it. This author makes you feel the landscape, not just see it. I tore through it, and cannot recommend it enough.

3. The Hunger Games. OHMYGOSH. I am almost done with the third, and it is killing me inside. I can’t stop thinking about it, can’t stop falling in love with every character. I had completely given up on Young Adult literature. Sure, some books had good characters. But the plot lines were about as interesting as watching football. And occasionally I would find a book with a world that far exceeded our own. But then the characters were lacking, and the plot lines fizzled out altogether. I never expected to find all three together. Not only are they fantastic, they keep getting better and better. I haven’t seen a series that actually IMPROVED on the initial novel. Plus the author called it a trilogy from the get go, and stopped at three. That is this rare thing called being honorable. Not that it happens often. I pride myself on being able to guess any plot line and ending. It comes of reading too much. So I hypothesize what the author will do, she does it, and then does a 180 degree turn within five pages. She floors me. It is so rewarding to read a novel crafted by an author whose mind so clearly exceeds my own. This is the highest praise I can give. And I haven’t even finished. Thank heavens my favorite librarian in the world forced me to read it. Now I am forcing you. Who said coercion is dead?

Well that is that. I’ve given you salt to increase your blood volume and novels to expand your mind. What more do you want? They make you feel intently and leave your own body for awhile. The silly salt ideas will help make you be able to dream of a life beyond your present one. So have a great day. Eat a pretzel.

Be well,

Teddy

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One comment on “Sodium Solutions

  1. SleeplessVigilante says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve read one of your posts, and lo and behold, I am still in love! Especially with the Hunger Games part! I’ve been Addicted to those books! More so than any series I’ve read since elementary school! I love them! I put off reading them just so it won’t end but that never lasts long! Hope all is well!!

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