Hi everyone! Im 18 years old. I have been suffering from POTS for seven years. First time that I knew something was wrong with me was at my seventh grade birthday party when I collapsed on the floor. Soon I was fainting almost twice a day. I went to a local doctor who did a EKG on my heart. They flipped out and told me to pack my bags and head for a well known hospital in San Francisco. I had hundreds of tests done, but no answers. I went to a weekly appointment at this hospital for three years. MRIs, Tilt Table Tests, etc. Every test they could think of I had to do. Still there was no explanation or diagnosis. The doctors had figured out that I had a abnormal shaped heart and it had an extra "glob" dangling off of it. After realizing that my weird shaped heart was not going to kill me, they focused more on my symptoms. These included every symptom that has ever been reported in a POTS patient. My doctor brought up my symptoms with a board of doctors and they thought maybe I had a very rare type of arrthymia. The only way to find out though was to do a surgery to implant a loop monitor above my heart for a year. So a few months later i lay on the operating table as they inserted my monitor. I was a very athletic girl. I did soccer, basketball, track, and was very social. After having my heart monitor in, all that was taken away from me. Each month I had to go into the hospital and the doctors would download the information from my monitor. After a year of hell, it was removed and there was no Arrythmia. Angry my mom asked my doctor if I could be switched to Neurology because Cardiology was not coming up with anything. After seeing a doctor in that department, he realized that I had symptoms that he could not understand. There was some abnormality in my brain, but nothing that they could figure out. Once again I was told to pack my bags and head for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. After two weeks of testing, I was finally diagnosed with POTS. It had taken five years to get a diagnosis! The doctor told me that there was really nothing that they could do for me. I had tried so many of the medications advised for POTS, but none of them helped. I was so angry to learn that I had to live my life like this. I went into a deep state of depression and was in and out of therapy for a few months. After being put on Prozac, I noticed that my migranes went away. It was nice to have relief from those. So here I am. I just graduated from high school. I tried my hardest to make my teenage years as normal as possible. I have learned to control the fainting by forcing myself to hyperventilate. It kinda works, well it buys me time to sit down before I pass out. I have a large scar on my chest from my surgery that will always remind me of everything that I have been through. I am about ready to go to college. I am terrified and honestly do not know if I can do it. I am going far away and am going to try to be brave. I have a single dorm room which hopefully will help. I cannot tell you how terrified I am. My symptoms are still so terrible and I spend a lot of time sleeping and being at home. I am going to try my hardest to spread my wings and make an effort to go away to college.
I just want everyone to know that I have been dealing with so much emotion about suffering from POTS. I do not want any sympathy I just want to share my story because it has been bottled up inside for so long. I want to be normal and I am going to try to do everything in my power to be normal. Thanks for reading this. It feels really good to get it all out. :)