Aaron: My Experience with PoTS
Late 2012, when I was 11 years old, I started getting a series of reoccurring migraines, which would last a short period of time. I thought nothing of it, thinking it’s a normal thing that happens to people. So I did not concern anyone about them.
Until one day in late November when my migraine caused me to black out which took place in a physics classroom. Although it only lasted for 5 minutes, I was taken to the health centre for a check up. When I got there the Doctor told us it was normal for people to get migraines especially in a hot environment but I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was uncertain about what caused the black out. So she just advised to drink plenty of water and to have 9 hours of sleep. So I followed her advice went home and done exactly that and was fine until the following week when it happened in exactly the same way. Once again we had to go to the GP and get examined again but this time my dad accompanied me to the doctor to speak to her. He questioned the doctor and the doctor again repeated her prognosis from last time. Since neither mom nor dad understood the condition, they put it down to me being at it. I was frustrated.
After several more blackouts including one that happened in the house that convinced them that I was not actually, “At it,” and really was ill. My mum and dad took the problem forward and asked to get an appointment with a cardiologist at St John hospital Livingston. After 6 months of waiting, which by this time these strange reoccurring blackouts were escalating to point where they were happening daily we finally got to see a cardiologist. After a full examination he came back with the condition vasovagal with component of PoTS.
This condition has made me house bound for a while as well as being isolated from the main stream school. Unfortunately unable to attend out of school activities and take part in events. Isolating myself from the rest of the crowd, which can be seen as a disadvantage since I have not been really mixing with others, but it also has advantages as not mixing with people in my year and instead with adults has had an impact on my maturity.
As stress is a dominant factor, it has been very difficult to overcome. Especially during periods of examinations although I have found that exercise reduces stress, stress is a natural everyday factor of life. This effects our emotion and everyone sadly has to deal with it. Exercise has helped to relax and feel better mentally. Also to uplift my emotions, we got a new addition to the family. Gino the cavapoo (king Charles x poodle) puppy who has not just had an effect on me but also the whole family.
Many situations have risen due to PoTS causing fainting as well as low blood pressure. Some situation can be viewed as funny for instance once I was at a golf course had one of my episodes, which, by the way, was painful at the time, they decided to phone for an ambulance. When the ambulance or should I say ambulances came they decided to go over the fairway as fast as they possibly could, destroying the fairway, which once was a beautiful fairway became a mud pit. I never went back again due to not only the embarrassment but also as a precaution just in case they would give me a surprise bill. Also worth mentioning is the time when I keeled over in my physics class at the end period when everyone rushing out the door to go home and physics teacher who did not notice that one of his pupils were lying on the ground at the front row of the desks. If I remember correctly I remained unnoticed until one of my friends spotted me as they were leaving the classroom and grabbed the teacher’s attention.
Now, after 4 years, I was finally cleared of PoTS although the doctor says I may still experience components of PoTS. I now have the luxury of being free to do whatever I want. Being back in school full time, being able to go out with friends, take the dog long walks and even travel by myself has made a massive difference to my life.