There’s nothing to do here…

Hospital_by_sheisviolence

“There’s nothing to do here,

some just whine and complain

in bed in the hospital

coming and going

asleep and awake

in bed at the hospital

tell me the story

of how you ended up here

I’ve heard it all in the hospital…” -Hospital Beds by Cold War Kids

This be Teddy.

Dude. Doctors Offices suck. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hospital. Going on rounds with my dad (Dr. Papa) is one of my favorite things to do. He explains all the syndromes and what not in layman terms and the nurses have the best sense of humor. I saw two in a fight one time (not unusual) and finally one snapped, “Oh go wipe some butt!” and that’s what she went off (presumably) to do. No nonsense. There was also an extensive debate in which case my dad was called over to hear the case about a nurse who had taken one jelly donut more than her allotment. Heaven forbid!

nurses_by_hinata17kati-d56m9x0

But doctors offices are an entirely different kettle of fish. The walls are white, they’re filled with the elderly and dying (not that we feel any better, but they often look like they’re dying of TB…), and the fluorescent lights are murder on our autonomic nervous systems. The only medical place that’s worse is the testing lab. At testing centers the nurses are CRAZY! At least in my experience. You may have had a nice, sane nurse draw your blood at a testing lab. Normal flobotomists are kind, it’s the testing centers that make them go psychotic. I almost growled at my last one, she refused to go near a cellphone. Inwardly, I said, “There are people surviving apartheids and genocides world wide. I think you can handle an electronic device.” But I refrained. And it had nothing to do with the needle she was holding above my arm. Obviously.

Excuse my rant. That little encounter was what inspired me to write this post actually. It just reinforced my slight distaste for waiting rooms of all kinds. Which led to the next question, how do we make them better?

depression-quotes-12

My research led me online. Surely there must be clever anecdote there. But it was soon clear to me that these people had never spent extensive time in a waiting room. Or in any sort of public place for that matter. Ideas ranged from stealing some poor old elderly person’s wheelchair and zooming about to pretending to have multiple personality disorder. Erm, I dunno about you guys, but I’ll pass. So I suppose my suggestions will go about the more practical lines.

1. Bring water, a jacket, and a bag. The offices are often freakishly cold.

Cold_Again_by_sunshineikimaru

2. Bring some clementines, trailmix, or something else that’s sweet and filling. Depending on how much blood the nurse draws, you may get a wee bit dizzy. Protein and sugar generally help.

3. Ipod, Zune, or whatever you kids use to listen to these days. Oldies and Bluegrass are not my thing and nurses seem to have an affinity for them. Wear earbuds, not headphones. That way you can unplug one ear and listen for the nurse to call your name. Nothing is more embarrassing than having a nurse say, “Teddy? ….Teddy?……UM EXCUSE ME IS THERE A MISS TEDDY HERE?”

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4. Now for the fun stuff : ) Bring something that delights your spirit. 9 times out of 10 you won’t know anyone there so you needn’t impress them with your lofty choice of literature. I like Meg Cabot books, especially ones that have pink hearts all over them. I’m not super girly, but romance novels are a weakness.

Also, the gameboy. Pie and I should do a post about Nintendo DS games, they’re very useful for waiting rooms. I personally like Pokemon. Soul Silver and Heart of Gold are phenomenal remakes that make me kind of nostalgic for the original Pokemon games. Dagnabit, this post is really letting my dorkiness out of the bag.

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5. This goes along with the last one, but it really is my favorite new thing. My iphone5. It’s glorious. Useful beyond measure. Delicate, yet packed with useful items. So at this point, I just bring it and a pair of headphones. I know I just recommended ear buds, but every time I buy them they die within two months. So I’ve just decided to stick with my trusty old bomber headphones. They’re candy apple red, and have somehow lasted me 2 1/2 years. Best 40 dollars of my life. If you have earbuds that don’t somehow spontaneously combust, have at them.

What everyone has been raving about for years, are smartphone apps. So I am clearly not exactly on the cutting edge here. But, since I’ve only been rejoicing for a few grand months, these are my favorites thus far.

A. Facebook: needs no explanation

Music_by_Lay_Cat

B. Pandora: lets you listen to your custom stations for free while using other applications. I listen to my account probably more often then I listen to my jam-packed iTunes library.

C. Kindle: Yes, it’s a tiny screen. But the font isn’t that difficult to read and it downloads books honestly faster than my actual kindle does. Plus you can disguise those embarrassing romance novels.

Hercules23

D. My Ancient Greek app: I’ve been lugging about my textbook for months now, and I feel so guilty every time I don’t read it. My Greek class is the highlight of my university curriculum, and I miss it dearly. Unfortunately, as with any language, it’s easy to forget. Especially dead languages since you don’t speak them. Ever really. This app is cool, because it’s rather like being quizzed with multiple choice flashcards. It has about ten vocabulary words per level that it cycles through in different formats. It has 110 levels!!!! I think I’m on level 5… just to give you an idea. Anyways, I’m not saying you should all learn ancient Greek, but it’s really nice to reassure yourself that your brain hasn’t completely gone to mush with some sort of stimulus.

buffy the vampire slayer

E. Netflix: I can stream a movie or two a month on my allotted gigabyte usage and there are some days where you just need a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode.

Ok, I’m majorly out of inspiration. In the end, waiting rooms are the epitome of uninteresting. So, basically, how do you make your waiting count? Because if I have to play another game of I Spy with Pie I might growl at a little old lady. Yeah, you heard me. I hope you don’t have any appointments today and feel energetic and joyful!

Be well,

Teddy

boredom

Desert-ed

This is a long overdue update, but I wanted to tell you that I survived field school : )
This is Teddy by the way, Pie would never be so foolish as to go and live in a place for 5 weeks where there was no wi fi, limited electricity, AC, water pressure, communication with the outside world. She’s just smart that way. Me? I’m not so smart. That being said, I had the time of my life.
I was about 45 minuted away from Winslow, AZ. And let me tell you about Winslow, it’s in the middle of nowhere. They had a Wallmart and a street dedicated to “Sittin’ On the Corner in Winslow Arizona” from that Eagles song. That was literally it. I lived with about 20 people in an old ranch, stayed in a cabin with 7 people in wooden bunks and excavated for 8-11 hours every day. And that was my life. It was weird, because I never thought I’d be well enough to go. Not in a million years. I researched in in Fall semester for a class assignment, applied last minute, and brought a bouquet of flowers to the professor who wrote a good enough letter to get me in. But none of those things were really holding me back, what was holding me back was my health. For the past 3 years I’ve been sitting, waiting, and aching to be somewhere else. This was one of the first times I got to sit, look around, and realize that while yeah, it’s been a long time coming, I was incredibly blessed.
And the weird part? All my limitations just sort of melted away. I walked for miles in the (literally) blistering sun, painstakingly scanning the ground for artifacts, and there was nothing to see but the sky. And lots of monstrously large centipedes. But I was rescued by my professor thank heavens.
(That’s not me in the picture…did you really think I was a man with a white beard? Hmm? Did you?!?!)  It wasn’t just physically exhausting (there were lots of afternoon pass out sessions the first two weeks) but mentally draining. We had lectures every night after dinner, math homework (I came to the ghastly realization that math is actually useful), and paperwork. Our work was being painstakingly documented, every lithic (remnant of a stone tool), or pottery sherd (commonly known as a shard) was crucial to understanding this people we were studying from the 1200s.
I was useful, I was GOOD at what I was doing, and I got to push myself to the brink every day. I had hours of physical labor, and so many nights spent perched on a fence post watching a herd of bison be drenched with color by the sunset.
Writing about it sounds crazy for a POTS kid. I’m not healthy, but I FELT healthy. The miles I walked in shifting sands made my legs really fit. That, combined with my anti embolism stockings and that fact I drowned myself with gatorade meant the blood got to my head most of the time. We passed out every night at 8-9, woke up at 5. I had a regular sleep pattern my body fell into naturally. It was literally tailor fit for me. I swear I didn’t dream it. The funny thing is, I almost felt like I did. I would have continuous de ja vu moments from the years spent dreaming about adventure and my goals. Every walk, every run, was aimed towards this. Literally, that was sometimes the only thing that kept me from sitting on the ground panting. That drive and desire that I was going to beat this, POTS is curable and I wanted to live. And not just live like I had been doing, in stolen moments from my syndrome, but rather brilliantly and endlessly.
No, it wasn’t the pyramids.
But that wall I discovered? Those features that littered the body of my pit? They are more dear to my heart than all the treasures of Giza and Luxor. I’m not sure when it was, maybe week 3? But I woke up. I remember having a lecture in archaeozoology and writing furious notes late at night. I started jotting down notes in the margin of my pages, to memorize the human skeleton (and have dad help me tell apart separate bones), to keep up with my Greek, to study. And I realized I was looking forward to my future. That I craved more knowledge, how I wanted to work for it! That it was well within my grasp. I could do something to obtain it. That I was in the middle of an adventure.
You see, I had always sort of pictured adventure like a train. Something far off, something I couldn’t have right now. Something where everything good happened. Because in all the books I love, murder, mystery, intrigue, it all happens on a train. It’s the crux. I love trains, the first one I went on was an overnight to London from Glasgow and I couldn’t sleep all night I was so excited. That was a segway: but roller coasters, trains, excavations, they were dream stuff for me.
It was weird, incredibly weird, to realize that I was getting something I had worked for. I value working hard higher than winning or obtaining results. Before I was sick, I didn’t. All that mattered to me were the things I could write on paper. You can’t write walking for 5 minutes a day as your exercise on your resume. I read somewhere it takes something like 4 times the amount of energy for a person with POTS to stand as it does for a healthy one. Four. It’s like we’re broken marionettes.
Broken marionettes that are expected to stand.
I was talking about Pie and SATs yesterday, and talking about my experience sometimes working with no foreseeable benefits. She asked what was the point of killing yourself for a D in Biology when you knew you weren’t improving? And I said, Because I had the satisfaction of knowing I tried my hardest. I dunno. It’s the same answer I gave myself when I did 10 min of walking on the elliptical. Or when I did morning stretches and toe lifts that didn’t seem to get any easier. Because you have to ask yourself that every day, every moment. You have to sort of have faith that someday it will get easier. That you’re working for something. Even if you can’t see it just yet.
But I got to see it. And taste it, and I know that it’s real. You’ll get better. You will live your dreams.
And have awkwardly tan knee caps.
Because sometimes, things like anti embolism stockings leave a mark. I like to think they make you incredibly interesting. I think my favorite remark was, “Oh. I thought you were just the kind of person who wore flamboyant, high socks.” When hearing something like that, all you can do is lean back and laugh. Oh, and no those aren’t my legs. They’re someones else’s, but I was so intrigued that knee tans were such a widespread problem I thought I’d insert it. I didn’t exactly imagine I’d have to do make all these weird additions to my dream like 4 bottles of gatorade a day and wearing boys shirts so we wouldn’t desiccate out in the sun. But ah well, what would be the fun in life if we could plan it?
Anyways, I am happy. And I wanted to make sure you knew that you will be too. Pie and I are being drowned by babysitting opportunities and working at the library, so thats why our posts have been infrequent at best. Fear not, several are in the makings.
Be Well!
-Teddy
PS: Also, I found these on the internet awhile ago. But here are some nerdy archaeology memes.
Heehee, Pie has started to call me India Jones
and the last one is strangely accurate:
PPS: I also read a great book called “The Monsters of Templeton” about an archaeology student and a small town. It’s brilliant. Anyone with an ounce of soul and a spot of humor should read it. That is all.

One Comfy Day, coming up!

So you need a day in bed. Preferably one with rain hammering on your window so you will be free of guilt not to go outside. You also need some calm, yet lyrically interesting music, a good movie, exciting book, and some tea that is beyond compare. Look no further, I, Teddy, can arrange it all!

It’s Friday (and if anyone sings that song I’ll become a homicidal maniac)! And we’re all spent. Pie and I both have stomach bugs (guess diseases can be passed over the phone now…) and we can’t be the only ones that need a day in bed.

Step 1: Go to bed. Now. This is non-optional. You’ve been upright for a week now and it’s doing you no good. (By the way, did you know POTS people spend 3 times as much energy standing upright as normal people? It’s like we’re jogging in place at all times, except no ones asking us to become swim suit models). But put some pajama pants on first, preferably flannel. There ya go!

Step 2: You forgot to bring your laptop didn’t you. Utter fail on your part. Now, slide under the covers and put on some perfect music for a fall day. My favorite right now are Bon Iver, but my dear friend is getting me hooked on Angus & Julia Stone. They’re also quite good for a lazy day. But my Bon Iver pandora playlist has exceeded all boundaries (40 hour time limit? pshaw) so I’ve been thieving from my friends’ itunes libraries and have developed quite a good playlist full.

Step 3: But you’re probably feeling guilty right now, about being in bed while it’s sunny and the leaves look so appealingly crunchy. So here’s a guilt-free trick to soothe your frazzled nerves, put on Rainymood off of google and your life will be instantly better. It sounds amazing on top of just about every song, so it’s time to experiment!  http://www.rainymood.com/

Isn’t everything better when you look out your window and all you see is this instead?

Side note, now that RainyMood is on, try it with my favorite song by Bon Iver: Woods. It captures a feeling, a piece of longing tied up in joy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_cePGP6lbU

Step 4: Your mind has been blown by supermegafoxyawesomehot music, but now you need something a little more sustaining. I bring you, a book. I can see the shocked looks on your faces quite clearly through my monitor. Most specifically, a series that will keep you excited for quite a while. I give you, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo!

To be clear, this is not a series that should be read by anyone under seventeen. For everyone over that age level, it is mandatory. I know it was super popular a few years ago, but I didn’t read it. It’s stupid, but if everyone tells me to read it I won’t. I feel like it’s probably mass produced garbage *cough twilight cough* So when my dad told me to read it and that it was already downloaded on my kindle, I gave up. It is a detective/thriller novel, but the mysteries aren’t something we can solve. They’re more like tragedies that are exposed to the light by the protagonist (a journalist in Sweden). The other protagonist is a seriously abused girl who kicks butt in the awesome department. I adore her, she’s not someone you would want to be friends with, but rather someone in your school who you just watch, amazed that she inhabits the same planet.  In Steig Larsson’s first novel they are investigating a girl who has been missing for several decades. It takes over a hundred pages before you get into it, due to some necessary background information, but then you can’t stop. Honest. I read them in a week during midterms, and they really opened my mind to some things I had been ignoring. Small warning, there are several graphic rape scenes in these books. The first especially. The working title of the first was “Men Who Hate Women” and violence is the main theme in all of these. This is not my common fare, but it’s something that everyone should be aware of. Plus it is such an enthralling read, please read it for me.

Step 5: You’re too tired to read any longer (and who could blame you? It’s grown dark and you’ve created a fine bed-nest for yourself). But it’s still too early to go to bed just yet. Now, eat whatever mess you have in the fridge. Now thats out the way, slice up some ginger root for tea and make popcorn in the microwave. Apparently ginger tea is super healthy, but it tastes way too good for that to be true. Douse the tea with honey (want a little tea with all that honey? 😛 ) and climb back to bed. That was exhausting. Now, turn off the music, because you’re about to…

Step 6: Watch The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo! The first movie is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s a dead on interpretation. The second isn’t nearly as good, but worth a view if you have time. The third is much better than the second, but definitely a few hairs short of the first. So, if you’ve read the books (or part of them at any rate) watch the movies. They are on instant play on netflix. If you have read them, watch the first and third movies. They’re totally worth it. The second is useful only if you need the plot. Or you’re SUPER sleepy like I was this week. But then again, isn’t that what this post is about?

Step 7: You probably finished the whole thing didn’t you? It was WAY too good to stop, just like I said. Anyways, shut off your laptop, take your meds, brush your teeth, and go sleep. It’s probably later than you anticipated. Just like this post is longer than I anticipated. So I might head to bed too. *yawn*

Or keep reading. Dunno how you expected to stop in the first place. Guess you have a full night ahead of you, say hi to Micke for me!

Be Well,

Teddy

P.S. g’night!

Just Gonna Paint

Pie: Woah! It’s been forever since we have last had a nice catch up! My apologies, school can be a huge distraction. I’m already half way done with my first quarter! Insanity, actually for a few weeks I thought I was going mad because of the crazy homework load. This has been one of my normal POTS sick days. It’s when I wake up feeling a bit “off” then I proceed with my morning schedule, eating, brushing my teeth getting dressed doing chores etc. When this happens I am normally am about to head out the door  for school and I realize I have no energy to leave my house, let alone drive the small distance of 12 minutes. You know what I am talking about. When you are too sick to even to a simple task because your body is telling you it can’t do it. Well, this is what my morning has felt like. I’ve had this weird little virus all week. I missed two days of school last week and three days this week. But that’s what life is life in the shoes of POTS. That’s why Teddy and I are here. We want to be able to help your bummer chick days (or bummer dude days). So are you going to go and TAKE A NAP?!?! (probably…) Are you going to WATCH TV?!?!? (ummm yes?) ARE YOU GOING TO BE SATISFIED WITH DOING NOTHING ALL DAY?!?!? (well…actually yeah I will because I’m sick.). So get into your most comfy pair of P.J.’s the ones with pooh bear on them and I am going to tell you what I do when I am sick.

Okay so I’ve been painting for a couple summers but not well at all! Teddy thought my strawberries were carrots. I realized why I had a hard time with it finally. In my classes we were always painting still lives or pictures of scenery. When I tried painting a person I realized what I had been missing! I was having a really had week POTS wise and school wise so I started off with painting a Lady Gaga painting. I was really excited about how it turned out. I liked someone’s painting of this particular picture and I changed the color scene. Here’s a picture of my finished product 🙂

I watched a youtuber’s painting video and got completely inspired.

This painter is amazing! She inspired me to paint like her. I’m totally impressed with her talent.

After that painting I painting the album cover of Florence + The Machine. If you haven’t heard of her please look a song up. Trust me, she is worth it! I love her sound and her songs are so interesting (in a good way! They make you listen to every lyric). I painted her album called Lungs. Here is a picture of it all done.

I felt so much better! No kidding! I felt so inspired and I felt like I was doing something worth while for myself. So instead of looking back and feeling sorry for myself I have two beautiful paintings that represent the time I had once lost and the time I had managed to save. With POTS you lose a lot of time. I always feel like time slips through my fingers. Where does it go? It goes into my memory as the days I don’t really remember. Actually that’s a lie, I remember them. But they are all the same. A day on repeat that gets lost in translation. What do you do for fun? (think on that, but it can’t require too much energy sorry babe! You don’t have energy to waste). Do you sew, read, paint, sing, write stories, write poems, draw, write songs, film movies, scrapbook, exercise (beware requires lots of energy), knit, bake, take photographs, garden, make jewelry, cook, or ride horses? Some of the activities on this list require way too much energy for us so my apologies but I thought I would throw them out there anyway ( because I am evil ). I do list rambling lists off don’t I? If you are too sick to do any of the above that’s okay too. Set a goal for yourself, when you feel better make sure to fill your days with something creative or enjoyable that doesn’t necessarily include a TV screen. Don’t get me wrong on my worst days TV is a lifesaver. But when TV is compared to something I love to do like tennis, painting or jewelry its clear that TV doesn’t hold a candle to my other hobbies. So what do you do on your worst days? Teddy and I would love to know if you have any other things to add to our list. Don’t be shy. We aren’t creepers, well I am, but Teddy isn’t.

I’ve been painting and reading The Hunger Games. It is a frickin’ fantastic BOOK! AMAZING! I am so mesmerized by it. When I read it, I leave my sick body and I open my eyes and become Katniss Everdeen. It’s a very powerful book. It is very rare to find a book that mentally challenges you. Reading does make me tired but with a book like this, I believe it is well worth the fatigue. I think Teddy and I could dedicate an entire post on the books brilliance. You never know we might! We have that power!

But I guess my point in this post is that we have power. Power to change what we can in our lives. I want to make my life filled with wonderful memories. I don’t want to pollute my memories with these sick days. So this is a challenge for you too! What makes you happy? What makes your troubles disappear briefly? I’ll let you think about that.  As always thanks for reading. Be well and be happy ❤

Pie

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

Meg Cabot: The Mac to our Cheese

Pie: Teddy? The flies are uh, doing the nasty on your arm.

Teddy: Looks down

Pie: Just kidding. I think they’re playing with each other.

Teddy: death glare

Pie: Teddy, the breeding ground of all flies!

Teddy: It should probably be mentioned that we’re in our horse barn at the moment. Just so our readers don’t think I’m Pig-Pen from the Peanuts.

Pie: swings on swing happily

Teddy: Hey!

Pie: Hay is for horses!

Teddy: But better for cows, yeah, yeah we know. Anyways, we wanted to tell you guys about our favorite author, Meg Cabot!

Pie: So throw off your fuzzy bunny slippers, your bathrobe,

Teddy: I don’t like where this is going.

Pie: Put on your converse and go out to the nearest book store and instantly buy a book by her!

Teddy: But what are they wearing under the bathrobe?

Pie: Doesn’t matter. The point is, we love her.

Teddy: She’s a witty author for teens and young adults.

Pie: Mostly for girls, but that never stopped anyone from reading Twilight.

Teddy: You must not speak its name!

Pie: That’s Voldemort.

Teddy: Not that it makes much of a difference

Pie: Her books are really good for people like me who aren’t big readers. They’re fast paced and easy to read. The best part is that she has a ton of them, and each one is as good as the next.

Teddy: I read constantly, and our parents read often too. We tried to get Pie to like reading, but she didn’t really enjoy it. Everything we threw at her she thought was boring and didn’t finish. Even Artemis Fowl. I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven her for that. Plus, she got sick and was too tired to read. I didn’t understand that until I got sick too. It’s rather draining, and POTS kids want mindless activities to make them feel better.

Pie: But somehow Meg Cabot books are mindless enough to not make me tired, and interesting enough so I’ll still enjoy them. This summer I read twenty of her books, I do like reading but I just can’t all that often. One thing that worked when I was younger was to listen to books on tape. That way I could nap,

Teddy: This was before the Mayo clinic told us that naps were bad for her.

Pie: and still read. That’s how I read the Harry Potter series and A Wrinkle In Time.

Teddy: The first paperback we both enjoyed together was Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series. It is SO much better than the Disney movie I can’t even tell you. The pop culture witticisms are hilarious and the characters have great depth.

Pie: Before I read the series I loved the movies but truthfully they are completely different from the books. I loved The Princess Diaries because everything seemed so real. Meg Cabot made sure it would come across as a REAL diary, and just like a diary some days are more interesting than others. This series has more drama than action which is awesome (if you like drama). The characters are SO LOVEABLE by the end of the series the characters became my friends and I still think of Mia as a real person. Not many books can trick you into thinking the people are real (just like J.K. Rowling does in the Harry Potter series). I still sometimes wonder what trouble Lily Moscovitz is getting into (Princess Mia’s best friend) Or what crazy invention Michael has created and how Mia’s book is selling.

Teddy: Every single Meg Cabot book has the same magic quality to it. It feels like her voice is continuous through all of the books and in some regard I have grown up with her because her books were published throughout my middle school and high school years.

Pie: Now before we get started on the Mediator series I am not going to say I like one more than the other because they are both fabulous and have different concepts. The Mediator series is more action packed it keeps you guessing and you never really know what is going to happen. The main character is more rough and tough and takes some getting used to compared to the lovely adorable Mia. Suze is a mediation (someone who can talk to dead people) she sends them back to the realm of the unliving instead of roaming around on earth. She soon finds that many of the ghosts have unsettled business on earth that Suze has to solve for them.

Teddy: One thing I like about all of her books is the heroines love interests captivate you as much as the heroine. They are irresistibly brave and witty young men and handsome to boot. My favorite is Michael Moscovitz.

Pie: I really loved Jesse from the Mediator series.

Teddy: Now on to Avalon High. PRETEND THE MOVIE DOESN’T EXSIST!

Pie: I couldn’t even endure 5 minutes of the movie.

Teddy: After watching the trailer I didn’t even try to watch the movie. It’s about King Arthurs courts that’s been transplanted into a modern day high school.

Pie: WHICH IS WEIRD! (but the book is ah-mazing)

Teddy: And once again the main character is completely loveable. She has the funniest hobbies like floating in her backyard pool and going on hour long runs with her nerdy dad.

Pie: Funny enough she actually enjoys running she inspired me to even go on a run amazingly enough…..I almost went. This isn’t a series but doesn’t leave anything hanging which is really nice. I hate when books don’t resolve all the problems that’s one thing you will never have to worry about with Meg Cabot.

Teddy: Plus there is always a love story…and they always get together….which I enjoy ❤

Pie: Same here ❤ Teen Idol is another non-series but non-awful and awesome! It’s about a girl who writes anonymously for her school paper as Dear Annie. She helps solve everyone else’s problems. She becomes friends with a teen pop star who she is forced to lead around the school and they become weird little friends.

Teddy: This story really wasn’t stereotypical at all. She is a much more down-to-earth-character because she doesn’t care whether he is rich or famous. She actually dislikes those parts about him. She is just an average girl who babysits, stays out of trouble, and is in show choir.

Pie: It’s a simple story that is perfect for a fast, summer read. I loved reading it and I definitely recommend it.

Teddy: Captain Obvious, your ship has sailed. We’re recommending all of her books!

Pie: Yeah well, I’m just going to cry myself to sleep now…

Teddy: Remember, no naps.

Pie: Rawr. Bite me. Anyways, whats our next book?

Teddy: Meg Cabot wrote several teen romance novels set in Victorian Era England. The first is “Victoria and the Rogue” and the second is “Nicola and the Viscount”. I adored them because I’m an anglophile.

Pie: Which apparently means someone who likes English stuff. She’s not a pedophile, I swear.

Teddy: It’s a common term! Anyways, they’re both about young girls fresh on the marriage market who have their hearts set on a wealthy match. But, like with most of Cabot’s headstrong heroines, things never go according to plan. They’re filled with gorgeous descriptions of gowns, narrow escapes, and dashing gentlemen.

Pie: The spats between the heroines and their true loves are hilarious, it’s nice to have so many witty characters in one story.

(cover reads: It’s what’s outside that matters)

Teddy: Our next series up for review is the Airhead series.

Pie: A GREAT series. Except for the ending.

(Back of cover reads: No one cares what’s inside) ( I am not telling you what it says because I think you are blind…I am telling you because I know you are illiterate 🙂 )

Teddy: Correction, the first book is probably one of the best Meg Cabot has ever penned. The second book was good, but the third was terrible.

Pie: The story is extraordinarily captivating. To put this book down actually was painful. It is so interesting and I felt like I was the main character. I experienced what she experienced. Even though the ending isn’t as spectacular as Teddy and I would have liked, the series is still marvelous. Don’t get me wrong the ending isn’t awful! It just wasn’t my favorite ending.

Teddy: It’s about a girl who wakes up in the body of a supermodel. While it sounds like a Disney series it’s actually more complex. We feel incredibly sorry for the character because she is forced to live out the models contract in exchange for being kept alive in the models body. This includes having all of her friends and family think she’s dead, even her best friend who she’s in love with.

Pie: Umm….no more spoilers okay Teddy bear?

Teddy: *grumble grumble

Pie: RUMBLEROAR…he’s a lion who can talk!

Teddy: Haha. This concludes the Meg Cabot books Pie and I have read TOGETHER.

Pie: You make it sounds like I can’t read! YOU DO NOT READ ME STORIES.

Teddy: The remainder of the books are either adult fiction or romance novels. The last four are much more crude than the others and I do not recommend them to anyone who dislikes reading books with mature scenes. I rated them out of five stars

Boy Next Door ☆☆☆☆☆ Adorable New York romance.

Every Boys Got One ☆☆☆☆ Think Boy Next Door in Italy. It’s adorable and scenic.

The Heather Wells Mystery Series ☆☆☆☆☆ FANTASTIC SERIES! A college RA who used to be a popstar before she gained weight solves mysteries in the dorms. It’s hilarious, honest and very relatable.

Insatiable ☆☆ Vampire crap that pretends to not be. That being said, it’s well written vampire crap. And she used the names from Dracula. So it is slightly commendable.

Ransome My Heart by Mia Thermopolis (Mia Thermopolis is the heroine of the Princess Diaries)☆☆☆☆ Lovely Regency romance with a main character that is a bit of a tomboy.

Educating Caroline ☆☆☆☆☆ Another Regency romance novel with a very alluring lead guy. Seriously attractive. I was quite in love with him by the end of it.

The Lady of Skye ☆☆☆☆☆ Brilliantly done, one of my favorite romance novels of all time. I can’t even give a simple synopsis. Read it if you can deal with the occasional sex scene.

Pie: See now all of your reasons to NOT read are invalid…ha ha ha just kidding. We all have bad days, and Meg Cabot can save you from them! SO put on those bunny slippers and!

Teddy: Oh not this again…..

Pie: AND GO OUT AND BUY A MEG CABOT BOOK!!!

Teddy&Pie: That is all for this week! We are going to start posting a lot more since we are both out of school (Finally!). Teddy is going to post every Tuesday (tuesdays with Teddy not Morrie). If you ever need any book recommendations ask us since Teddy is a bookaholic and Pie will tell you if the books are actually good. This normally depends if Pie could actually get through the book. Have a great week filled with laughter and health and maybe even a book. Enjoy!

Love,

tEdDy & pIe

P.S. We actually do kinda look like that. Beautiful job Gimparasi!

P.P.S. And a HUGE thanks to Meg Cabot for writing such fantastic books! And for making out lives, a little more adventurous.

Wrapped Up In Books

Good day! This is Teddy speaking. How are you guys? At the moment (we POTS people tend to have to look at it that way don’t we?) I’m feeling alright.  I did something rather stupid, I took my medicines on an empty stomach. This resulted in more time spent in my room than I would have liked. But, it got me caught up in a new book, a favorite activity. That, coincidentally, is what I would like to talk about today! Reading.

Now, before I lose you utterly, stay with me for a moment. I completely understand reading is one of the hardest activities for a POTS patient. Last year I could barely read at all. The computer is a much simpler diversion (don’t ask why, it makes no sense to me). But to actually read a book with brain fog is simply daunting. Or, if you had forced yourself to read a textbook a good portion of the day you need brain fluff. Not brain fodder. (Food for thought, get it? No? Ah well…)

But I was looking at the past posts Pie and I have written, and it has mostly been about media like youtube, movie, music etc. Pie and I really do other things besides mess about on the computer. To prove this, I wanted to talk about my favorite genre of books, mysteries. I love Scooby doo,  adore clues and all matters of deduction. So, I wanted to share my love with you. I think it is a dying craft, there are so very few good modern mysteries. Well, good by my standards. *sheepish grin*

Not Sherlock Holmes though. His author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was an admitted forerunner in his field, but Holmes is a psychic. He’s not a detective. I’m sorry, you can’t look at a footprint in Edinburgh and know a murder was committed in Utah by Mormons. It’s simply unfeasible. I prefer another forerunner in the mystery department, Dame Agatha Christie.

She is simply amazing. I’ve read nearly all of her stories. They’re short, each only about 100 pages. In each one you are thrust into a world of tea parties and murders, where no one is as they seem. Her basic theme is that anyone can commit a murder, depending on the circumstance and the type of crime. She deals in stereotypes: he meddlesome old lady, the obnoxious retired Colonel, the petulant spoiled daughter. And lovers, she has a soft spot for adding a little chaste Victorian romance in each one.

There is something rather enthralling about reading about a party where one of the guests falls down dead. It has to be one of the guests, so it is left up to the narrator to deduce through logical processes who the villain is. Her principle narrators are Monsieur Poirot and Miss Marple.

Hercule Poirot is a charming little Belgian detective with an egg head and an enormous moustache. The only thing larger than his facial hair is his ego. He solves crimes mostly in his head. He’s frightfully clever and is always right. Christie’s other narrator is Miss Marple.

Miss Marple is my favorite of Agatha Christie’s detectives. She is a little old spinster who is as perceptive as she is kind. She confounds the police by solving every murder that comes her way based on psychology and human nature. I think I like her so much because I’d like to be her one day. That little old grandma in the corner who is smarter than anyone gives her credit for. Plus, her cases are solvable. If you analyze the crime well enough (the nature of the crime and victim, etc.) you can generally get a pretty good idea. My favorite compilations by Agatha Christie are, “Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories”, “Hercule Poirot’s Casebook”, and “Masterpieces in Miniatures: The Detectives”. If you want to read an actual novel and not a short story, read “Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” It’s very ironic and clever.

Onwards to more mysteries! Sharon Kay Penman is a favorite of mine. She has a phD in history specializing in England’s War of the Roses. The woman can write. Write so terribly beautifully you have to savor every word. Her most famous novels do not just put you in a character’s shoes, they tell you everything about them. On the battlefield she will tell you who you know and why, where they are stationed, and how they die. It is incredible. But, they are very long reads. If you need a book to last you a while, pick up “The Sunne in Splendour” or the “Devil’s Brood” series. Most of the time though, I don’t have quite enough energy to read thousands of pages (a warning, they can be that long), so I read her much shorter detective series. This is much easier to read, it is about a fictional character, Justin de Quincy. He takes you through Wales and London with equal aplomb and adventure. He is the hero in almost any book that has “Dragons” in the title. Like the one pictured above. So, you should check it out!

So, you’re sick, tired, and oh so bored. Wouldn’t you rather be somewhere fantastic changing the world? Place yourself in nineteenth century Egypt as an archaeologist. Your name is Amelia Peabody and you are invincible. You are married to a loving but somewhat irascible husband and are discovering some of the biggest finds in all of Egypt. You are English to every degree and are as quick witted as Agatha Christie. You are practical and endlessly creative. You are compassionate but can be sharp with those who are a little dull. You are my favorite character.

The series called the Amelia Peabody books are written by Elizabeth Peters. She is an Egyptologist with a phD, and has won many awards for her series. I love every book she has published. The first is called “Crocodile on the Sandbank” it is the most strictly English and a little dull by her standards. There are usually chases across the Nile and crooks that are daring and inventive.

As outrageous as it all sounds, her archaeological facts are quite sound. My archaeology professor is a fellow reader and has actually used similar phrases in class. Especially when she is describing looters. There is nothing an archaeologist hates more than a stolen artifact. Except perhaps a purposefully damaged one. Anyways, if you long for adventure and scientific discoveries, join Amelia Peabody on her many digs! I’m reading one now, it’s called “He Shall Thunder in the Sky” and its rather marvelous. I want to marry her son Ramses (if Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t up for grabs).

Now, I have to explain something, I was having far too much fun in the widget section of WordPress and made the “subscription” button be called “Follow the POTS!” I realize that it has a rather vague meaning. Basically, if you want to receive nifty little emails (if you don’t have a blog this is how you will be contacted) that basically say “The Misses Pots have a new post” click the button. It will keep you up to date so we can tell you about the happy things in our lives more regularly. There’s no pressure to do this, I just wanted to give you guys the option. It’s a WordPress thing, my own mother subscribes. We don’t use your email addresses for anything (I always go paranoid about this, and I’m probably not the only one) we don’t sell them, bother you with excess emails or any rubbish like that. Pie and I update about once a week, that is about how regularly you can expect an email. Well, now that I’ve exhausted the subject, subscribe and hang out on our site more often! I promise it will make you smile : )

Also, we have had over one thousand views on our blog! This may seem paltry to more experienced bloggers, but it means (including spam views) at least 500 people have looked at our posts. And maybe, just maybe, it made one of them smile. So for that, thank you. Thanks for spending a part of your day with us!

Be well,

Teddy