POTS… My Unwanted Blessing

That title. How can blessing and POTS even coexist in the same sentence?

Well, my journey started in 2000 when I began noticing strange things happening in my body: intense fatigue, racing heart, tunnel vision, etc. I became anxious because I felt like I was dying. There were many doctor visits and ER visits with no answers or solutions except for diagnoses of depression and anxiety. The truth was I did become incredibly depressed because I no longer could do the things I was once able to do and no one would believe me. Fast forward fourteen plus years to my second horrible postpartum extended hospital stay.  I was diagnosed with POTS and cried something fierce. The doctor asked me what was wrong, and I told him I knew about POTS, and to me, it was the worst diagnosis. I know some feel better with a diagnosis, but I wanted to keep believing it was all in my head, because if it was then maybe I had a chance of getting better.

POTS has taken every dream or vision I had of my future and just straight up kicked them to the curb.

To survive the darkness that seeks to take over my mind with chronic illness I’ve had to begin letting go of what I had planned and train my mind to focus on the good.  I began to choose gratitude. And let me stop right there. I could not do this on my own. I am a Christian and I believe in a God whose love is more powerful than all this world can give. I know every person with dysautonomia has their own journey and there are many different faith systems within our community, but this is mine and I can’t not talk about it. I don’t know how anyone can survive this syndrome without God. Stuck in bed, unable to stand, unable to do any normal activities of daily life – how could anyone possibly think positive? I believe God empowers me by his grace to discover the good in my suffering if I choose to look for it, good that would have otherwise never happened if not for the suffering. During this recent flare and all the humility that came with it, my perspective began to change.  I began to see what was most important.  Before POTs I was filling up my time, my every moment with things that meant nothing in the long run. It was just busyness and an attempt to keep up with the American lifestyle which is more, more, more.
These past 48 days of being forced to be still and listen to my body, I was able to notice the flowers, the blue sky, friends and their struggles. I had the time to read writings that deeply inspired me. I’ve taken time to read to my kids and just watch them play.  People have surrounded me and loved me, causing me to realize all of humanity is not lost.  I have learned so much in this humbling experience brought through suffering, so much I can’t list it all.

There is much beauty to be found in brokenness, purpose even in pain.

What I want anyone reading this to get is that it’s possible to find good in your suffering.  I implore you to start looking for it so the misery that can come with chronic illness doesn’t define you. Yes, even with POTS there is more to this life. We are more than our diagnosis. We won’t always be here, so while we are let’s make it count. #wegotdys

About the Author: Amber is a wife to an amazing husband and a mom to two awesome kids.  A marriage and family therapist by degree and a stay-at-home mom because of POTs. She kind of likes being a stay at home mom though so thanks POTs. She spends her days searching for the good in this life of chronic illness and likes to take pictures and document it on her Instagram page @ambersummers31.

 


Check out our partners, the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation!

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