Is it just me? My Life with: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia), Part 2


It was just a little dizziness.  Or maybe I was just lightheaded.  But it wouldn’t go away.  Maybe it was my ear infection (I’ve had two this year, what’s with that?!), or the medication for the ear infection.  But after a week, I’d had enough.  My doctor was quick to recognize the symptoms… a virus he and the other doctor in the office had both had within the month.  But he was alarmed by my heart rate and concerned about my low blood pressure.

I slept for five minutes, then came the test.  It’s simple, isn’t it?  Blood pressure and pulse while lying down.  Blood pressure and pulse while sitting up.  Blood pressure and pulse while standing.  Not so simple when you collapse onto the nurse and can’t feel your limbs.  Not so simple when you’re blacking out and your ears are ringing.  Beyond not so simple… Nurse Jo called it dreadful.

I was apologetic.  I told her I thought I shouldn’t have come… that it’s just my POTS flaring up.  But now it was her turn to be alarmed.  She didn’t know I had POTS.  She put her hands on my shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and told me I was intelligent for coming.  Then she left me alone.

I fell asleep/passed out.  Can’t remember.  She pulled my doctor from another room and they whispered.  Then I was off to an EKG and to get blood drawn.  Poor phlebotomist.  I was blacking out before I got there.  But I did it.  Then I sat.  For an hour.  Waiting.  Finally I was given two prescriptions and told what I’m always told* when I leave a doctor’s office.  Mom and Juanita took me to lunch.  I don’t remember any of it.

Actually I do.  I remember the dead fish in the fish tank.  So strange… for such a nice restaurant.  I think I ruined the waitress’ day when I pointed it out.  But that has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

Back to the POTS.  And four days forward.

I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep, but my heart-beat was pounding so loud in my ears I couldn’t relax.  I’m pretty sure a foley artist was working on a horror movie… in my head.  I was nearly done with the antiviral medication, and the dizziness had only increased.  And now I had this pounding heart issue.  Definitely worth a call to Nurse Jo.  I should have been feeling better.

Nurse Jo wasn’t in the office yet.  I got up from my chair and began to pace the first-floor.  The operator was talking, but I don’t know what about.  My mouth was doing the constant-spit cycle that inevitabley comes before the “woof your cookies” cycle.  Not good.

“Ma’am.  I need to go.  I’m going to be ill.  I’m sorry.  So sorry.  I will call back.  Sure.  Yeah.  Sorry.  I need to go.”

Awful.  I felt awful.  And then I had to call back.  How embarrassing.

“Don’t feel bad.  Well, you already do.  But it’s okay.  That stunt got you to the top of the list.  She’ll call you as soon as she’s in.”

Four hours later I had an appointment for the next morning.  And 24 hours after that I had a very-concerned doctor, ringing ears, a powerful medication, hope, and a goal.  Finally.

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