• My Experience

    Having a Flare

    I recently had a flare of my POTS. I chose not to wear compression and didn’t drink nearly enough water. The end result was intense dizziness and a killer headache. I brought up a lot of fear for me initially. Recently, my allergies have really taken a toll on me. My skin breaks out in rashes without warning. I’m itchy and Crush alerts a few times a day now. The more I thought about how close my illness is to being out of control again, the more discouraged I felt. I sat in that for a couple hours. Now, I’m trying to reframe. I think I can border toxic positivity…

  • Helpful Hints,  My Experience

    My Response to Service Dog Questions

    Every time I go out, I get questions about Crush. People ask entirely inappropriate questions. Luckily, the company that gave me Crush prepared me to answer these. I had no idea how I would respond initially. Even now, every question and person gets a variation of the same answer. Sometimes these questions leave me laughing, crying, or somewhere in between. So here are some of my pre-programmed responses to the question: Why do you have him/ What’s wrong with you? I have a disability I like this because it’s short and sweet. It also addresses how. Inappropriate it is to ask without shaming the person for asking. I like that…

  • My Experience

    Our Flight to Nowhere

    Recently Crush and I went on an expedition. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. In reality, we went through more training. This training was particularly exciting. It was preparation for being able to travel together. I think most people get overwhelmed when flying. I typically fly alone and have adapted to that well. Now I have Crush and we have to learn how to travel together. I am so grateful to Can Do Canines for the opportunity to go through this “class.” So how do you prepare to travel with a service dog? We went to the airport and did a dry run. Hence the “flight to nowhere.” Can Do…

  • My Experience

    An Update on My Day Without Crush

    A couple weeks ago, I talked about how I was going to go out without Crush. I had to get an MRI. I go to my appointments alone, I didn’t want to leave the technicians in charge of watching him while I was in the machine. The scans take at least an hour. This is already stressful for me because I’m very claustrophobic. Having to worry about Crush on top of that was not an option. So I went out alone. When I left, I felt extremely nervous. I had anticipation anxiety through the roof. When I finally got to Mayo Clinic, I took a deep breath and gave myself…

  • Helpful Hints,  My Experience

    Eye Therapy?

    Recently, I went to the ophthalmologist to get contacts. It was supposed to be a relatively easy process. With my glasses constantly fogging due to my mask, I figured it was time. I would try out contacts to see how they went. I got more than I bargained for. The ophthalmologist was concerned to find out that I’ve never seen 20/20. This isn’t rare for me. I often struggle on the refraction test because letters change. Years before I discovered my neurological problems, I was told to see a neurologist. I shrugged it off and joked about how ridiculous that was. I didn’t have any real problems. The joke was…

  • Helpful Hints

    Five Things I Do Because of POTS

    There are some things I do in my daily life that people give me weird looks for. What a lot of people don’t know is most of these things are because of my chronic illness. Most of the time, if I’m doing something out of the ordinary it’s because of Dysautonomia or POTS. Now, I leave some room for error. I am somewhat weird sometimes. I can’t blame all of my odd habits on POTs but I will blame most things on chronic illness. So here’s a list of five things I do because of POTs: Pick Stuff Up With My Feet This is probably the weirdest. People make fun…

  • My Experience

    Going Out Without Crush

    Today is a scary day for me. There are a lot of factors that make it intimidating. By far the most bothersome is leaving Crush at home. Today I have my MRI. Now, I dislike MRI’s. I’m very claustrophobic. Tight spaces and I don’t get along. That would be enough to put me on edge and  make me anxious. On top of this, I have to leave Crush at home. Unfortunately, since my mom moved, I go to all of my appointments alone. I don’t mind this, I love that I have the ability to go to appointments alone. However, I haven’t been without a companion and completely on my…

  • My Experience

    Why I Chose Critical Disability Studies

    I am applying to a graduate program for critical disability studies. Why did I choose this field? To many, it’s an obscure and odd choice. Personally, I didn’t know that field existed prior to stumbling upon it randomly. When I found it, I knew. It was like a bolt of lightning struck. I got chills. This was exactly what I was looking for. So what is it? The field of critical disability studies is an interdisciplinary field. It involves everything from healthcare, sociology, psychology, and more. It’s looking at all aspects of disability. How those with disabilities are treated within culture and society. How the system often fails those with…

  • My Experience

    Why I’m Getting A Job

    I’ve been adamant throughout the pandemic that I didn’t want to get a job. With my health, it seemed foolish to put myself in a direct line of fire. The reality is, I can survive without a job. I have the luxury of family support and student loans, but that only gets me so far. Dreaming of graduate school has put life into perspective for me. I will have to get a job. I will have to navigate working life and school. I’d rather work out the kinks of that when I have a soft place to land rather than when I’m away from home. I have a lot of…

  • Helpful Hints

    Five Must Haves for POTs Patients

    There are a lot of things I have specifically for my medical condition. I wanted to outline a few things that I have that are for my POTs. These were helpful for both before and after I was diagnosed. If you’re new to the diagnosis or you think you might have it, considering investing in these tools. Here are five must haves for POTs patients. Pulse Ox I got my pulse Ox monitor only recently. I was relying on my apple watch to tell me my heart rate. 99% of the time my watch is accurate. The oxygen saturation component is particularly helpful and not offered on my watch. When…