My name is Lizzie, I’m sixteen years old and this is my story. I’ve had POTS for quite a while now, about four years, but it’s only been recently that the pieces were put together and I was diagnosed. It began when I was twelve with what we assumed was a common sickness bug or a virus, time past however and it morphed into something more sinister. I was in horrific pain and was vomiting continuously, I just couldn’t keep anything down for a week, I wasn’t sleeping and I was just so dizzy and confused.
Shortly after I was admitted to hospital, several times, and eventually they sent me away with pain killers, they just had no idea what it was, but looking back on it I was displaying obvious signs of POTS. The sickness faded but my appetite was very poor and I just wasn’t right after, it was a general feeling of being unwell and pure exhaustion. I went to the doctors numerous times but nothing came of it ‘It’s just your age and your lifestyle habits’. That was until last June when I started to faint, that got people’s attention, I seem to constantly be at A&E for a while.
This year has probably been the most difficult year of my life and definitely the worst, I struggled through my final year at school and my GCSE’s fainting almost every day. I was a shadow of myself, it made me stronger though and I wouldn’t change it because the fainting finally got doctor thinking, once they ruled out epilepsy we got there in the end.
The realization dawned on them that I wasn’t putting it on and it wasn’t anxiety that was causing me to be violently sick or extremely exhausted or falling on the floor unconscious or all of the above at the same time.
POTS is a very difficult condition and it has made my life a challenge, jeopardising my future, isolating me, put strains on my friendships and family and scaring me on numerous occasions.
It’s getting better though I’m receiving proper care, under doctors who understand. I’m on Fludrocortisone and seem to be improving it’s a slow process and I don’t think that I’ll be back to normal ever again but saying that what is normal?
I’ve accepted it and that’s the best thing I could ever do. There are not many positive aspects to POTS, the difficulties of it make everyday life almost unbearable the majority of the time, it may not be life treating it is however life altering and people just don’t understand that I’ve had to revaluate my life, my future, and my friendships.