Panic! Without the Disco.

My dear readers, I have to apologize to you.

I have been extraordinarily negligent and simply dropped off the face of the earth. I won’t flatter myself that a simple blog post is necessary to any of our lives, but I always hate when a blog I connect with just withers away and dies. Themissespots is not about to die. I just haven’t made time. This is Teddy by the way.

This semester, I was determined I was going to be well. I took 15 units (which, to a healthy person is but a trifle, but for anyone who has significant hours in the day that their body is unusable, it’s a herculean task). That would probably be enough to fill my time, but I don’t do things by halves. I joined the honors college, became a leader in my campus ministry, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and suddenly I had a very full social life. I have a group of friends that  I’m very close to, we go on tree climbing expeditions at midnight, we play Ultimate Frisbee (and by play I mean massacre each other), and lounge about for hours. I didn’t think any of this was possible last semester.

I also decided to try and look well by wearing dresses every day, making an effort to get my acne in line, and growing my hair out. I was just tired of being sick. Every part of me really wants to be well. I want to be that competitive and bright woman my body promised to be in high school before I got sick. But you can’t really force these things. As well as I look now, I’ve found there are some parts of me that are going to take a lot longer to heal. And I’m not entirely sure when they’ll go away.

Don’t get me wrong, part of this is a success story. Between going on runs almost every day and by taking Lexapro my quality of life has increased exponentially. My closest friends get confused sometimes when I tell them I’m sick. This is mostly because I’m so aggressive on the frisbee field (Yes, I did just say aggressive and frisbee in the same sentence. There’s rarely a night where one of us doesn’t leave the field bloody and bruised). I haven’t been terribly ill. For once I haven’t had any moments I was worried I would have to leave school. There have been the occasional weeks where I can’t get out of bed. Those days (or weeks) are mostly far and few between. And I am so grateful. Because I know what it is like to feel that way for months, and suddenly a week doesn’t seem that terrible.

There are parts of POTS that are less simple to talk about. I don’t know why that is, why one symptom is more ignoble than another. But it’s the truth. The mental side of it especially. Through late nights and mountains of homework I’ve noticed I’m not who I used to be. I used to be incredibly even keeled and nothing could shake me (well, nothing except Pie when she started bugging me, but thats luckily in the past). Now, I have parts of my mind that just aren’t mine anymore. I have anxiety. My anxiety can be low level, and that will act up for a week or so. Or it can be so intense I just have to curl in a ball and shake. Either way, it’s not something I would wake up my roommate for. I just took it as something I had to deal with. But I don’t talk about it. At least,  not to anyone outside my family or a fellow POTS kid. It’s strange though, because even that’s a bit dicey. Just because you have POTS doesn’t mean you have anxiety. Pie doesn’t have it. We have slightly different symptoms. For example, her immune system is shot and she gets colds all the time. My virus of choice is stomach flu. Go figure. But hey, there’s a reason we liken our symptoms to trading cards. Gotta catch ’em all right? No?

I am not a leading expert in anxiety. It doesn’t affect my quality of life on a daily basis. I spend most of my time ignoring it. But when it hits you full force you can’t ignore it. Plus, it affects everyone very differently. We all have different methods of dealing with it. So, because of this, I asked a few friends to contribute about their experiences with anxiety. They are both very inspirational people and I am so grateful they agreed to share parts of themselves with us.

Hi, I’m Beth, and I have anxiety. It’s strange how much one word can change your life. I have general anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. The general anxiety means that I just worry about every little thing. Things that are no big deal to others are terrifying to me. I have a hard time going to movies. Or going places I’ve never been before. I’m scared of the unknown, of things that will hurt me. The agoraphobia is fear of being somewhere where I can’t get help. I’m afraid to travel for this reason because my brain thinks that when I’m driving between cities, I’ll have a heart attack or stop breathing and I won’t get help in time. At the root of it all my biggest fear is death. Generally when a panic attack strikes my body reacts too. My body temp goes up, I feel clammy and sweaty, I have trouble breathing, and my stomach gets very upset. I try very hard to avoid anxiety causing situations as much as I can because it’s embarrassing to have these reactions I can’t control.

I went on meds for the first time in the fall of 2009. I was on one antidepressant and one suppressant and I took one each day. The suppressant made me so tired, I would take two or three hour naps a day and still be tired. I was missing out on life. I was also going to counseling at the time. The counseling was helping but I was still afraid to go places. I was even afraid to go to counseling. I would literally have panic attacks in the office. I was then switched to a different medicine and I switched doctors as well. As I was taken off the original medicine I was introduced to the new medicine and when I got to a 50/50 mix of the two I would become extremely dizzy. So I stopped taking the medicine altogether. I was okay for a while but then the anxiety started coming back. I was afraid of everything. No where was safe, I’d have days and weeks where I would just feel anxious and not do anything other than pace the house. Now I’m on Paxil CR which is still a little complicated because I have to take half of my dose at least 7-8 hours apart. For whatever reason my stomach hurts really bad whenever I take it. I’m also on Klonipin, and that’s my rescue medicine. So if I don’t want to have a panic attack if I’m going to a movie or somewhere I’ve never been or I’m not comfortable with, I take it. I also use it for when the panic attacks happen but thankfully that hasn’t been as often.
I have been extremely blessed to have a mom and brothers who have been with me though this, and not to mention all of my friends. My friends have been one of the best support systems. They sit and talk with me, pace with me, make me laugh, distract me, make me feel comfortable and at home, change their routines or plans for me. They’ve done so much and I am forever grateful to all of them. My mom has been there with me the entire time, holding my hand, literally and figuratively, praying for me, talking with me, taking me to appointments and reminding me to take my medicine. She’s been my stronghold in all of this. It’s been three years and even though I still have panic attacks, I don’t get them nearly as often and I know how to “get out of them” so to speak. The last one I had was at school, I had just gotten there and I was supposed to go take a test but I was panicking, most likely over not being able to breath/dying, and so I went into the bathroom and called my mom and talked to her for a bit. I also texted some friends, asking them to pray for me, and then I tried to distract myself by playing games on my phone. Since I was in the large stall I also paced a little bit. I’ve found that moving around helps me. It makes me not feel so trapped in my mind. It’s been a really hard journey but I’ve learned how strong I can be, and how amazing my friends and family are. If you’re struggling with anxiety please don’t hesitate to ask anyone for help, it’s out there, and while you might have different reasons for not getting it, you’ll be better if you have even one person to hold onto when the anxiety hits. That’s how I got though it.

-Beth

Emily:

I have a confession to make. When I was asked to contribute to this blog post on anxiety, my immediate reaction was, well, a paralyzing wave of anxiety – immediate self doubt as to whether my debilitating experiences with anxiety could really be helpful to anyone else. But what I have recently become aware of is that though I may feel weak at the moment, weakness does not mean I am unusable. This blog gave me strength and encouragement when I wasn’t sure I could make it through another day. So I will share. I will tell you about the pain. But I will also tell you about the victories, because not only do you need to know, but I also need to remind myself that I am who I am, I am where I am because God made me this way. I am not ruined, only a little broken.


I have felt the grip of anxiety on my mind and body in the most intense and debilitating way. And I’ve had moments where I’ve felt as if it was in complete control leaving me totally at its mercy. Anxiety itself comes in many forms and attacks in various ways, but the common denominator is that it really, truly can affect everyone. A couple years ago I started getting these very intense anxiety attacks in my sleep. I would wake up shaking, heart pounding, muscles tensing, breathing hard. The scariest part about them was that I felt utterly out of control. The feeling of dread and helplessness replaced any rational thoughts I may have had. Needless to say that with these panic attacks, I started sleeping less and less, which just perpetuated the problem. The anxiety started to leak into my everyday life. The basic stresses of life, those that naturally occur from school, work, and a social life, began to cause bouts of anxiety in my waking hours that I didn’t know how to deal with. My heart would beat so fast, my stomach would churn, my chest would tighten, and most often I would cry. This anxiety made me constantly question myself and my decisions. It made me feel weak and like a freak. I felt like my mind was betraying me. I literally felt like I couldn’t handle my life.

As it turned out, I was quite sick. I have a similar illness to that of Teddy and Pie. Even though I had an explanation for why I was so tired, why I couldn’t sleep, why my body was so weak, the anxiety still persisted. My illness seemed to fuel it. I was not able to develop any adequate coping skills either. For a while I relied entirely on medication to keep it in check, and though the meds helped the intense anxiety attacks, I still felt like I was one stressor away from breaking down again. Now, I have absolutely nothing against prescribed meds (Heck, I’m on a whole bunch of them. And many of them help), but after spending far too long letting every anxious whim I encountered rule my life, I’ve realized there are some other ways to cope with the effects.

Now, before I became too sick to be physically active, I found a wonderful release in running. Adding exercise into my daily routine made a big difference for me. It provided me with an exhausting (in a good way) distraction. I would put together a dance worthy playlist on my iPhone and literally run the anxiety out of me. This also worked with walking and the aerobics class I took at my mostly senior citizen gym. For me distraction is my best weapon against anxiety. With being sick and basically homebound these days, I find myself constantly facing anxiety. If I let myself, my mind could easily become paralyzed by the hopelessness that accompanies my fear that I will never get better and will forever be unable to do the things that make me feel good about myself and bring me joy. But that will get me nowhere. I’ve tried it. It’s an endless cycle of despair and self-pity. What I have to do is keep my mind busy, so I do what I can. I watch my favorite movies and TV shows on Netflix. I read whenever I can. I listen to music to sooth my soul. I try to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. And I let other people help me. Cutting yourself off socially will only further your anxiety. Let the people around you who truly care about you be a part of your life. Be honest with them. Not only will you be infinitely less lonely, but you might also find some sympathy and encouragement, which can really give you an extra boost. Finally, please, please, please don’t ever feel like there is something horribly wrong with you or that it’s all in your head! Anxiety is very real and it has snaked its way into my life in a very real way. You are not going crazy nor are you merely weak. What you are is strong for acknowledging it and dealing with it. I am still learning to cope. I still get anxiety attacks, but what I have found is that I am not completely as out of control as I once thought. I am slowly discovering ways to wade through the anxiety and live my life, in whatever capacity I can.

-Emily

As you can see anxiety is a real problem that POTS kids (and other people with chronic illnesses) have to deal with. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and it can be helped. There are ways to feel better. Unfortunately, most of them you can’t do alone. Beth has her mom, Emily has come to the realization she has to rely on friends as well as family. Medications can also help. They don’t help all the time, but some of the time. My heart last year paired with the anxiety attacks to make any little surprise feel like a falling dream. Eventually, we talked to my cardiologist (who kicks butt, besides my dad he’s the first doc I actually ENJOY visiting) and he put me on a drug called Lexapro. Apparently some of the side effects help POTS kids. Who knew? It got my heart racing under control. As long as I minimize the stress the panic attacks are generally manageable. They just aren’t manageable at the moment. I blame this on the fact  that I spent the entire semester not getting enough sleep. Yes, I know! I’m being hypocritical to the nth degree. 5-6 hours of sleep is not enough for a POTS kid. I need 10. I knew that I needed more sleep but I became so caught up with being busy I ignored it. By doing all of these activities I sacrificed my sleep. Anxiety happens. So let this be a lesson to you my dear reader. SLEEP!

What do you do after you’ve failed that first command? You’re stuck with a royal panic attack and whatcha gonna do? Well, everyone has their own method. Mine is almost identical to Emily’s. I try to go on a walk or a run.

Going on a walk or a run isn’t always possible considering the whole POTS condition. Petting my head is a good substitute. No, I’m not a cat. It’s just what people do in my family to show affection. Sometimes physical affection helps more than anything. Sadly, I don’t get my head pet at school. So, a dark room and Netflix instant play are my new best friends. I can’t sleep with panic attacks, I just can’t do it. When I can’t sleep sometimes watching an entertaining episode of something will distract me long enough for my anxiety to run its course. My choices of pleasure are:

1. Dr. Horrible’s Sing A Long Blog

It physically cannot NOT make your day. It’s one of my favorites. It’s by Joss Whedon (who did Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, the Avengers, see a pattern of awesomeness yet?)

2. Bones

Let’s put it this way, I want to be an archaeologist. She’s a biological anthropologist. The humor is great and the science matches up with the classes I have had thus far. I can’t promise some of the higher tech stuff is accurate, but telling age, gender, ethnic origin, etc. from a corpse at a crime scene is fairly simple. I have been learning to do that. I’m actually taking Forensic Anthropology next semester (so PSYCHED!) My professor is a curator at an anthropology museum so we’ll get to play with the bones and stuff! Anyways, choose a show that is upbeat, interesting, and appeals to your interests. Mine generally have to do with mysteries or fantasy.

3. The Legend of Korra (not on Netflix, but readily available on itunes or the internet)

For anyone who liked Avatar the last Airbender (the TV show, I have heard nothing good about the movie) you’ll like this just as much. It makes me giggle to no end. If you can’t find it, message Pie or I in a comment and we’ll direct you to where we watch it.

Eating small amounts of food helps me, as does tea or a milk and honey mix. Also, ( I cannot stress this enough) if you feel like you  having someone in your life that you can talk to like a family member or roommate, do so. Sometimes getting rid of the trigger is the only way to deal with it. Anxiety can be related to whatever is going on in your life at the moment. But, if you’re dealing with anxiety currently I’m probably not telling you anything new. I sometimes will get stressed out about a relationship, a friendship, or etc, and talking through it with my roommate, mother, or Pie is the only way I can calm down. Otherwise the thoughts will just bash around in your head. Journaling and writing lists can also help me put my thoughts in order. If I can run that day, afterwords I will spend some time at my campus chapel praying. The silence and acknowledging it’s okay things are out of my control, sometimes helps me more than anything. I don’t care if you’re religious or not. Quiet and peaceful places help.

What works for you guys? This is a rather personal issue, so I understand if it’s hard to talk about it. That’s why I asked some of my friends that suffer with anxiety about how they deal with it. I wanted to show you it’s a widespread problem and that you can get better even though it seems hard.

So, I hope that this will be the first of many more posts. I won’t have internet at my field school, but hopefully I can still write. Maybe while I’m on a weekend trip I can shoot a post on stolen wi-fi. I’ll get on Pie too. I know this was a monster post, but it’s a big subject. If you’re having a hard day, I hope this distracted you for a bit : )

Be well!

-Teddy

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Have you exercised today?

At any given point during the day, someone is bound to ask, “Have you worked out yet?” Cue the sheepish face, rolling eyes, and “no…..” Then comes the “Ok.” And they walk away. The deed is done, the guilt trip is complete. Nothing more needs to be said, because you secretly know you should have busted your butt on the elliptical hours ago. You see, my family is incredibly supportive. They have two teenage daughters with POTS and honestly know more about it than we do. Everything is pretty easy to do (albeit annoying). I mean, medicine, is something you automatically do at some point. I finally finagled and only have to take it twice a day, morning and night. It’s a regimen, and quite an easy one to follow. And thus, almost impossible to forget. My morning protocol is the same way.

First I hear the alarm. Sigh accordingly. Reach over very ungracefully and text my family good morning (knocking over a water glass in the process). Then I get up, microwave a cup of bullion broth and drink that under my covers. I pop a pill, then get up and have breakfast (usually oatmeal with craisins, walnuts, and cinnamon). I go to get changed and remember I haven’t done my stretches/exercises/thingymajiggers. So I do the following:

1. 25 tip toes (there’s probably a real name for this somewhere). My doc at the Mayo clinic coached me into making it a stretch with four beats. You life your heels up, one two, back down, three four. This is probably the easiest stretch to do but it will make you wicked dizzy if you take is fast.

2. 25 (I usually cheat and do 20…) squats. Don’t look at me like that, you can start out in small increments. You just have to take them reeeally slowly and make sure you don’t hyperextend your knees. This means if you look down your knees should not go past your toes. They made me really dizzy when I started out, I could only manage five. I worked my way up, you can too. And I freaking love that picture. So appreciate it : )

look at that smexy broccoli lifting weights. Gosh, this is what happens when I’m allowed to choose my own pictures…

3. Lifting weights in increments of 25. I do 2-3 each morning mostly because I really hate how weak my arms are. Between roping, swim, and tennis I used to look like pop eye the sailor, now, not so much. Anyways, only one set is required (ask your dad or someone who works out, it’s pretty easy).

1. Know your schedule. Make a list of free hours you have during the day, what days have more homework, and take note what time of the day it is. For some reason, POTS kids have more energy in either the morning of afternoon. For me, its usually the morning. But that’s a bit unusual. Apparently everyone else feels less than stellar in the morning. So take that into consideration. There’s no point in scheduling a workout session that most days of the week you can’t complete because you feel terrible. Also, if you know you have class right before, wait half an hour. We’re not bunnies that can go jumping from one activity to the next. I usually need 30 min to an hour to relax before I can even think about working out.

Here’s the tough part. Working out. It’s a huge mental block, whether you want to count walking to class exercise, or even just putting on a clean shirt in the morning. No. This is an addition to normal daily activities to ensure you can do them in the future. My parents motivated me at first, but as I got better and able to self-function a little I made a chart. Mine  had flowers and doodles on it, bribery for making it in the first place. Just say how many minutes a day you’re going to do, and then add about five each week. Keep adding until you get to 30-45 min. I’m at about 45 min of run/walking. I run for half and walk back. I generally walk up hills because I don’t want to look like this:

It also helps if you stretch and warm up your muscles for five minutes of working out. It’s less of a stress on your body. One thing Dr. Papa often tells me to do is to wear my anti-embolism stockings while run/walking. I wish I had in the beginning, my calf muscles had gone kaput. The stockings keep your calves taut and increase your blood flow to keep you from getting dizzy. And as awkward as it feels when you put them on, people generally are impressed (especially if they’re a cool bright color!). Oh, sock update, I got AMAZING anti-embolism stockings at Fleet Feet. They’re colorful, comfy, and they make sure they fit perfectly. No one questions them when I wear them to pick up Ultimate Frisbee games either, I suppose because they’re considered “Athletic” now. No one needs to know they’re also for old people. And POTS people. So be proud and wear your socks high!

When you’re done, drink a huge glass of water an pedialyte (maybe two!) and sit down. Don’t lie down or sleep. Wait a bit before you take a warm shower (not hot, hot water can cause your veins to dilate and you could faint). It’s also a good time to do facials because you will be in one place for a time and can then wash them off in the shower. I dunno, I like masks and stuff like that because my skin is a finicky creature. My favorite to use are from LUSH because I know all the ingredients (they use nothing synthetic) and they leave my face all glowy. Cosmetic Warrior (good for acne), and Mask of Magnaminty (it’s cool and makes your skin tingle. Plus I really like the smell!).

Working out is an every day struggle. But if you aim for every day you will probably end up with approximately 4-5. That’s the reality of our situation. This is the one way we can really see a tangible result besides just waiting out a bad day. You want to get better. You can get better and you WILL get better. But instead of feeling useless, put your mind to working at it. My parents used to say working out is a job, it truly is. It ranks above friends, homework, work, everything except sleep and medicine. This is well within your power. You are strong enough to improve your body. Pie and I both have. It gets better.

There’s this last thing. I was trying to encourage a friend recently and I told her to celebrate every accomplishment. I think that is the most important. Have your best friend or little brother buy you flowers when you work your way up to working out for fifteen minutes or a half hour. You aren’t working out to become normal again. You’re working out to become extraordinary. You are worthy of flowers. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and completely adept at dealing with this. We have a saying as Christians that God never gives you more than you can handle. It’s true. You can handle what would break most, the loss of everything that formerly made them proud of themselves. But there’s something else inside you, something indomitable.

“Here and there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.”
– T.S. Eliot

Be well,

Teddy

Food+Workingout+Exercises = Energy? Say what?

Pie: Hello world (or any awesome person reading this) I must admit I was never really interested in blogs until I watched the movie Julie and Julia. After watching that movie I realized how amazing blogs are, and how they can affect people without being acquainted with them. Also Teddy thought this could be a really cool way to share our ways of dealing with POTS. In this post I want to talk about some of the things that physically make me feel better since Teddy and I have mostly talked about the mental medicine ❤ With POTS it’s very hard to control your symptoms, I still have yet to find the miracle to make it go away. But through hours of research in our own personal high tech lab (….our house!) we have experimented with foods and workouts that truly help.

  1. PEDIALYTE (okay, I know what you must be thinking, this random blogger is recommending baby Gatorade. Crazy wouldn’t you agree?) Pedialyte is a drink with electrolytes (snails and puppy dog tails) with POTS drinking fluids is a must to help with your blood flow (G2 is also good, and is better for you than Gatorade). For some reason pedialyte makes me feel a lot better. I’m not going to go to the extent that after I drink this magical elixir I turn into a superhero with super strength and the power to fly. No, I just feel a bit of my fatigue and dizziness wash away. I normally drink this before I workout, hang out with friends, or when I’m having a plain ol’ bad POTS induced day. They sell it at groceries stores and isn’t hard to find. Oh! Before I go to number two, pedialyte tastes a lot better when mixed with water…(you will be thanking me for warning you about that)
  2. Tea ❤ I adore tea! I love feeling like you have your own personally hearth inside your tummy. Teddy sometimes compares tea to drinking flowers….(she really likes flowers) she has this amazing orchid tea that we drink on special sister days. We just curl up, talk and watch our favorite movies and t.v. shows. Some teas are caffeinated (as I’m sure you know) and I’ve heard that caffeine isn’t great for POTS. I normally try to drink non-caffeinated teas but I’ll admit I do cheat this POTS rule and enjoy peach green tea.
  3. Water. I mentioned earlier the importance of blood flow for us who are…how do I put this…lacking. I drink tons of water! The only problem with this method is if you are like me, and you are cursed with the smallest bladder known to man. Imagine a human water fountain and you will understand where I am going with this. Always bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. I went to the mall today and I drank three bottles full of water. It’s my fuel source (if you don’t count cheese).
  4. SALT. That’s right you heard me! S-A-L-T no wonder my horses lick me. With great salt comes great responsibility (to drink enough water to counteract it). For a person who doesn’t have POTS, having a lot of salt in you’re diet isn’t a good idea. But since we POTS peeps already have a bad heart the doctors are telling us it’s good for us. Eating salty snacks like pretzels, nuts, and cheez-its are really great snacks. My doctors made it clear that I also have to drink lots of water with the amount of salt I take. You can’t just eat the salt 😦 Salt and water help create better blood highways. I don’t know, maybe like well-oiled cars? I know nothing about cars, so if I ever pretend I know anything about cars I am telling you now, I am not to be trusted when it comes to them!
  5. Cardio. Something that has always baffled me is when I went to doctors they told me exercise was one of the best medicines. As a 10 year old who was as tired as an old cat I thought that was a crazy idea! But they were right; cardio is another one of those things that helps. It doesn’t always help but it’s a good feeling to know you have done something productive. It also makes you feel better afterwards. Cardio can be swimming laps, playing tennis, taking a run/jog/fast walk, or running on an elliptical or treadmill. Basically anything that gets your heart rate up for around 20 minutes or more (you start small and add time as you get in better shape) I alternate from tennis and working out on an elliptical. (don’t recommend stair masters or jump-roping it can make you really dizzy)  Before I workout I drink a big cup of water and a big cup of pedialyte. Drinking beforehand makes me feel less out of breath. Teddy and I need to be distracted while we work out on the elliptical so we watch t.v. shows to entertain us. I normally watch shows that I can space out to. Here is a list, Gilmore Girls (<3 this show IS AMAZING), Americas Next Top Model, Ouran Host Club ( a hilarious anime that will steal your heart away within seconds), Project Runway (really cool show!) Endurance (it’s on discovery kids, it’s basically like survivor but with kids), Survivor (bet you didn’t see that one coming), Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad, The Biggest Loser ( It’s nice to see I’m not the only one in pain while working out), Drake and Josh, Degrassi (this show sort of scares me, but in the past week I have been watching it and I think I’ve become a bit…addicted), GLEE ( I love Glee! My parents bought me the first season when I went to the Mayo Clinic and my Dad and I watched it a lot haha ❤ and HE ENJOYED IT!), American Idol, and Hayao Miyazaki films (If you have never seen any of his films you have been deprived.) I think this list could go on and on but I am experiencing a brain fart.
  6. “Brothing” every morning. When Teddy and I wake up we get broth(bullion cubes) and go back to lie down. This is our first intake of salt that we need to start up our day. We lay there for about 15+ minutes. When we are done we do twenty-five arm lifts with 6lb weights, squats, and toe raises. This is how we jumpstart our salt filled day :]
  7. Leg lifts, one thing that is so hard about POTS is when you sit up abruptly you get really dizzy, which makes sit ups really difficult. Teddy and I both gained weight when we first got sick because we were too sick to do….basically anything. With POTS you aren’t supposed to lie down during the day but I still do leg lifts. Leg lifts are when you lie down on your back and hold onto something (bottom of bed, table legs, really anything that is stable) I love leg lifts because they don’t make my head spin and I feel like I am doing something to help get rid of my tummy fat (storage for winter…tomato tomAAto)
  8. Pelvic Curl….I looked up the name and it sounds more like a poke’mon attack then a stretch, wouldn’t you agree? A … pelvic curl is when you lay down on your back and your knees are in an upside-down V shape  -^–o    that’s you! Aren’t you as cute as a button? Then you lift your REER off the ground ( I have no idea how to make a stick figure to look like that… fail XD )
  9. Planks (a gift from the devil) if you are anything like me you probably hate planks. I love the idea that someday I will be this buff woman with abs (but we both know that’s not going to happen until I am really motivated) To do a proper plank you can go into push-up position with your palms on the ground OR with your elbows to the ground. If you do attempt this (I dare you) you will feel it working instantly. This is why I like it, because you can feel it working. Planks can make me a bit lightheaded if I don’t breath enough while I am doing it.

10. Humor, make sure to keep things in your life that make you happy. In our earlier posts we have talked about things that make us happier. It can be as simple as reading a cute book to watching a hilarious youtube video. “Make em’ laugh make em’ laugh! Don’t you know everyone wants to laugh? … You start off by pretending you’re a dancer with grace, you wiggle ’till they’re giggling all over the place.

And then you get a great big custard pie in the face!

Make ’em laugh

make ’em laugh  make ’em laugh” -Singing in the rain ❤

Life is amazing and don’t let POTS take over your life. It’s a part of your life, not your entire life. We have learned to refuse to let it take over. Fight it because we are going to beat this. Teddy and I just want to thank-you saints for reading our blog so far. If you have anything to add to my list of foods and exercises please comment! Share your knowledge! We really appreciate it and hope that we can help in anyway we can to make your POTS trip as enjoyable as possible :] Until we meet again ❤

*Pie*