Let’s talk about exercise…or not?

Before I developed POTS I was not a big fan of working out. I was a fan of eating whatever the hell I wanted, not lifting a finger and not gaining any weight…well, after I hit about 27 those days were over! I needed to start paying more attention to what I was putting into my body. Then, two babies and a chronic illness later…here we are.

…and I still am not a fan of working out! But, in the spirit of regaining my feisty “let’s kick POTS in the ass” self, I’m diving head first into a workout routine. When your cousin (and my biggest cheerleader in life) is a fitness guru and owns a CrossFit gym, there really isn’t an excuse to sit around! The number one recommended treatment for POTS (excluding medications) is exercise.

I completed my first training session today. Amy (said Guru), my mom, and my daughter all took part. We reviewed the basic movements that I’ll need to know for future workouts, and we completed a workout in the gym. Assault bike (and YES, that bike does assault you!), push press, and Russian twists were on the menu today.

It wasn’t pleasant, but I did it…it made me feel strong, and empowered. A little more than 1/2 way through the workout the exercise intolerance kicked in…and before you say, “well, that’s what you get for being out of shape!” exercise intolerance is a real thing, and it can be debilitating for a person with dysautonomia. It can cause your body to physically shut down. Since our hearts and autonomic systems can’t handle regular, normal movements, adding exercise and strain to our bodies can be debilitating. Check it out:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4336603/  I began to feel like I was going to throw up, or pass out, or even cuter…BOTH! I finished a round on the bike and I felt it setting in. I downed some water and sat down on the floor. The room was spinning and I was thinking death might be sweet relief 😉 But, it passed, I slowed it down, and I finished my workout. That’s the triumph. I finished!


I think it’s easy to lose sight of how much this syndrome impacts your life…until you start fighting back. Then it kicks you down again. My plan is to keep fighting and getting back up. Amy is going to personalize a plan for me so I can keep working with the equipment I have at home, and I’ll report to her as I go…she even said I could yell at her on facetime…I told you she was pretty awesome! 😉

It will get easier over time…right?!


Keep it movin’ Samantha…


It’s been a long time since I’ve had time to sit down and write a blog. So, on this sunny Sunday afternoon, while one child is at a birthday party, and one child is snuggled up to my side watching Disney Jr, I thought I’d carve out the time and just DO IT ALREADY! I’ve found that this has been a recurring theme in my life lately…just stop making excuses and do it! To say I’ve been stuck in a rut is the understatement of the century! More like stuck in the Grand Canyon!

It’s such a strange way to go through life, this whole ‘living with a chronic illness’ thing. It’s a roller coaster that just never stops. It’s full of good days and bad days, and flare-ups and glimmers of your old self. It’s happy and it’s frighteningly dark and lonely. As I am rapidly approaching the (gulp) three-year anniversary of receiving my diagnosis, so much has changed, but so much has stayed the same. I’m better than I was, but I still have Dysautonomia. I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come, and I’m disappointed in myself for losing the steam to keep fighting. It just feels so exhausting at times. For the first year or so I was so motived to get my life back, that it was all I could focus on. Granted I spent months bedridden, so I had a lot of time on my hands 😉 I pulled myself out of bed and worked out every single morning…hard. I saw many, many doctors and tried many, many different medications. I fought with insurance companies for the right to see specialists. I raised awareness. I traveled to DC to connect with other POTS patients and to lobby Congress. I lived and breathed my health and well-being, and raising awareness of POTS. So, where is that person?! I need her back…

I could easily list a hundred reasons why other things have taken over priority in my life. My job is busy, my kids are busy, my life is just busy…but you know what? People who live with a chronic illness don’t get the luxury of using those excuses. It’s just not an option. While I’ve placed so much pressure on myself to be successful in other areas, I’ve forgotten the most important piece to the puzzle. My health. Without that, the rest of it doesn’t matter anyway. Lately, I’ve been fatigued…like ‘fall asleep while sitting at a red light’ fatigued, been battling daily migraines, fighting brain fog, spinning through bouts of dizziness, and overall just having far more bad days than good. Something’s gotta give!


So, I guess this blog serves as a “new year’s resolution” of sorts. I know what I need to do…so it’s time to refocus myself and do it! In an effort to get the boxer back in the ring, I’ve registered for the Dysautonomia International Conference in D.C. this summer…and I will be joined by my husband, mother, and father! We’ll connect with other POTSIES and world-renowned doctors, and we’ll learn about recent advances in treatments. How awesome is that?! I’ve registered for the POTS 5k in Massachesuettes in May—which I plan to RUN…well, jog…let’s not get ahead of ourselves… 😉 And I plan to ask my support network (yes, all of YOU) to keep giving me some pushes…I really need it! What can you do?! I’m so glad you asked…

*Don’t be afraid to talk to me about POTS or Dysautonomia…I’ve been pushing it under the rug, and guess what? It’s still there…so let’s talk about it! If you have questions, ask!

*Let’s go for a walk…or a jog…or something active…I may lag behind…but I need to get back out there!

*Remind me that priority #1 is my health…my kids need me to focus on this again! They deserve a mommy who isn’t dragging ass at 4pm!

*Don’t judge me if I simply have to say, “no”. Part of this illness requires that I really slow down when I need to…it’s how I don’t burn out totally.

*Continue to love and support me like you already do…I couldn’t do it without you! ❤






Santa’s Little Helpers…

As a child, Christmas was my favorite time of year. I loved the excitement, the music, the lights, the movies and the time with family. It felt like magic came to life. Now that I’m an adult and especially since I’ve developed this chronic illness, Christmas has taken on a life of its own at our house. Our tree is huge, the lights are ablaze and the music is always blasting. I’m proud to say that both of my kids have made “Elf” references this Christmas season and both of them can sing carols so loudly that my ears bleed. 😉  I want my children to experience the magic that I loved so much, and they do! I want them to feel the warmth of the holidays, and I want them to think of others in need.


One of our traditions with Colby (our 7-year-old) is taking a trip to Boston Children’s Hospital to deliver toys to children who will be spending Christmas in the hospital. This is always such a humbling and amazing experience. Colby has been dedicated to this cause for three years, and his commitment amazes me. Colby lost one of his best friends, Olive, while she underwent a heart surgery at Boston Children’s. Every year he saves his money, purchases and collects donated toys for “Christmas for Olive.” Each trip has been an adventure, and he takes something different away from the experience each time. This year, I think because he’s matured so much, he really seems to have taken it all in. When we came home all he wanted to do was cuddle. When I was tucking him in a few nights later he said, “mama, I think Olive is so happy that we go to Boston…and I think those kids need lot’s of presents, more than Sophie and I do.” My heart melted…and then he said, “I know your heart feels sick sometimes and it’s good that you go to Boston to feel better…they are cool!” I was blown away with his maturity, and I was so proud to have the honor of being his mom. My illness used to scare him, and now I think it has helped mold him into the young man he’s becoming.

The next day I was exhausted…fatigue had set in, I was livin’ the POTS life…aka laying in bed! I could hear my kids whispering in the hallway…Colby was leading the charge on something. The next thing I knew they came in with their blankets and curled up beside me. “Let’s watch a Christmas movie mama, we’ll lay with you when you’re sick,” Sophie said.  I laid there with a kid on each side of me feeling so blessed and happy. My children are kind, (They are also wild, sassy, bossy, funny, and typical siblings…) but in their hearts they are kind. In a weird way, I have my POTS diagnosis to thank for this. Because of this illness, it forced us to slow down, and to refocus on what’s important…and this is it.

Merry Christmas!


Time to get back on track!

Welcome back readers! It’s been seven months since I last published a blog entry…so much has happened I’ll give you the basic run down…

  1. I graduated and earned my master’s degree…if you have been following my journey you know that this degree had been the cause of many tears–both happy and sad! I didn’t know if it would be possible for me to finish since I became sick and received my POTS diagnosis right in the middle of my program…but, I’m so happy (and proud!) to report that I did it!13230335_10103016562461499_4456928795486197737_n
  2. Along with my masters I accepted a new job, and I am now an assistant principal of a high school…I know what you’re thinking…”what?! is she crazy?!” the answer to this is just simply, yes. Yes, I am. But, I do love it, and I absolutely refuse to let my illness keep me from realizing my dreams…#potscansuckit! 13939418_10103212792664599_2801525538302671462_n
  3. We relocated our family. This is also something that I’ve written about time and time again. We now live where my commute to work is three miles. You read that right, THREE miles. My doctors office is in the same town, and it doesn’t take us an hour to get in and out of town. The potsie in me is SO happy with this change. I feel safer here…everything I need is at my finger tips. This was a very good move for my health…and sanity!
  4. My amazing support team and I participated in the POTS 5K in Massachusetts and it was an experience that changed my life. It was joyous, and scary, and hard, and wonderful all at the same time. Sometimes this illness can make me feel so alone, but this made me feel so supported, and so connected to others. AND we raised a ton of money for Dysautonomia International. A win, win! 13131334_10103005550549459_7963799357294592701_o-1
  5. Our family added a new member…a little French Bulldog named Bruin. He’s the best snuggle buddy and he never leaves my side when I’m not feeling well…I swear he just knows when I need him.15193585_10103464013975079_8712222644147824511_n

Those are the major milestones…so that brings us to today, and why I decided to start down the blogging road again…

I am in a flare, a bad one, and I realized that I’ve stopped putting focus on my recovery…I went through a very long time of feeling okay…never feeling “normal” but feeling like I was managing my symptoms. I fell off track, and it caught up with me. When I first began to get my life back I was on top of my game. I drank a gallon of water everyday,  I ate healthy (with lot’s of added salt…thanks POTS), I was religious about taking my medications, I worked out every. single. day, and I was open, honest and engaging with people about this syndrome. For me, that was the magic recipe, and I need to get that back.

You hear people say it all the time…the first step is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a “problem” and the problem is that I have a chronic illness. Even though I am positive (99% of the time), and I absolutely refuse to let this illness run my life, it’s still there, and pretending that it isn’t is just making me sick(er). I need to remember that there is no shame in this…and blogging helps me to connect to others who are going through the same thing. It also helps the people around me to understand what is going on. My mom reminded me today, it doesn’t make you look weak…it shows your power and strength. So, be ready for some more regular updates…you’ve been warned!

So, what did POTS do to me today? Well, I’m so glad you asked! Today I woke up with a migraine from hell…and I just couldn’t keep it at bay. I had to take my rescue med, which exacerbates my tachycardia and dizziness. I was walking to the stairs to go get my laundry, had a pre-syncope episode, everything went black…and down the stairs I went. The worst part? I was home alone with my 3 year old and I totally scared the crap out of her. That really is the worst feeling…it hurt more than the fall. I wish I could keep my kids sheltered from this shitty illness…but sometimes it takes over our household…and it did today. I’ve been on the couch binge watching netflix, and feeling pretty sorry for myself…but more for my husband and my kids. This just isn’t easy on anyone. images-2

Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m hopeful that I will get back on track soon. I will push through it…I always do! My husband reminded me today that I have a 100% success rate of getting through flares…so I know this can be done. So, tomorrow marks day 1 of the old program. Water, healthy living, exercise, medication, extra sleep, and more transparency about what’s going on.

Take that, POTS!

some up and some down…

Just passed the 4 week post surgery mark! Things are a little more settled in some ways, and a little more unsettled in others. First and foremost, I have to note that I am 10 days midodrine free! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, my blood pressure has been stabilized and the dizziness is under control, on my own, without the assistance of a medication…can I get an amen?! This is HUGE. I’m trying not to get too exited about it…it feels like if I say it out loud then the universe will come back and knock me down a peg…so everyone, please, knock on wood for me! Midodrine is a great med because I can take it as I need it, so if I relapse a bit, I can hop back on the  med and find some relief. But, for now, 1 POTS med is going unused!


In other news, I think I may be pushing myself a bit too hard and my post surgery body is starting to get mad at me. I’m having more bleeding than I should, and according to the doctor, I need to go back to bed and rest. Ha! Easy for her to say! Does she have two little ones home on April vacation?! I didn’t think so! 😉 I did have no choice but to listen to my body yesterday…the morning was great, I was able to take the kids to the playground, and treated them to their first “summer”ice cream cone! When we got home I suddenly began to lose a lot of blood and had a migraine that made it impossible to open my eyes, let alone sit up and watch the kids! The fatigue was unimaginable. I had to send out an SOS to my aunt, and she came to the rescue and  took the kids. It was one of those moments that I felt so thankful to live so close to family, and also so incredibly guilty that my kids have to have a mommy who is chronically ill. Heartbreaking to say the least. Lot’s of tears were shed after they left. It’s not all funny puns and cute memes, being chronically ill is a bitch, and can be so depressing…


Today is a better day, the sun is starting to peek through the clouds, and the kids are giggling and happy. They seem to have already forgotten the drama from yesterday. They are so amazing. Colby (6) woke me up this morning by rubbing my head and asking if it still hurt. Sophie (3) jumped up on the bed and asked if I needed her to make me some pancakes. It was adorable. Sure, they were totally buttering me up because they wanted to have a popsicle at 8am, but the sentiment was there.


The lesson from all of this is something that I’ve talked about before, but I still struggle with it. I need to ask for help when I need it. Maybe even before I need it! My aunt totally saved me yesterday…and she was happy I reached out. Instead of feeling insanely guilty when I need help, I need to just relax and know that the people who love me WANT to help. It’s a work in progress…16ce6d52b29b86ec1f467f85d5c165e1.jpg




1 Week Post-Op

Well that week was a total blur! I’m 1 week out from my surgery, and I’m actually feeling pretty well. (now everyone knock on wood!!) I didn’t talk too much about the surgery (my nerves were so high about it all), so there may actually be people who don’t know what I’m talking about…so let’s back up.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a chronic illness that is very, very complicated and it has many layers to it. POTS effects everything in my body. It’s easy to just explain it away as a “heart condition” but in actuality it is heart, brain, blood pressure, breathing, sleeping, positional, etc etc etc. There is not a system in my body that isn’t impacted by my dysautonomia. So, being a girl (yes…male readers you know where this is going…) and having a large amount of blood loss on a regular basis was really messing with my body. Everything was off and I was unable to recover. People with POTS have been found to have lower amounts of total blood volume anyway…so imagine losing blood on top of not having enough to start with! Luckily for me my team of doctors decided to suggest, and put their stamp of approval on a (dun dun dunnnn) hysterectomy. Now, a lot of people have said “but you’re too young for that!” or “oh you poor thing” but let me just say, please don’t feel sorry for me. I am done having babies, our family is complete, and if you were living in my body from hell (as I so lovingly refer to it), you’d understand. This is the very best thing that I could have have done. This is a HAPPY thing. I am fortunate that they didn’t have to take my ovaries, so no menopause for this girl…not yet anyway! 🙂 They took out everything else…and I mean everything. Did you know that they recommend taking the tubes out now too? Apparently there is a cancer that can pop up there that is really hard to detect and treat in a timely manner…who knew?! So those puppies are gone too.


So, I went in last Thursday morning at 5:30, I was the first surgery of the day…the best time slot to have! Everyone was wonderful. Everyone reviewed my information from Mass General and adjusted my plan accordingly. I was pumped full of extra saline and potassium to keep my POTS at bay. At one point before surgery I heard my team talking about me in the hallway…”she has POTS, but it’s so well managed!” “I wonder how severe it is? She looks good!” That made me feel pretty good. In fact a week before my surgery at my check up at Mass General we talked about backing OFF of some of my meds because I have been doing so well….but, I’m not one to brag! 😉 Anyway…surgery was a success, everything went exactly as it should have, and I woke up a big groggy bundle of fun. From the sounds of it, I “f*ing loooooved” the nurses, I called my dad and tried to talk to him about my vagina being packed with gauze (lord knows my dad must have been HORRIFIED…and trust me, I am now too…) and I went on a rampage to my mom and husband about someone that I clearly find to be distasteful…we’ll just leave it at that! All in all…I kept the recovery area well entertained.

I had to stay in the hospital overnight so make sure everything was okay. I had to show them I could walk, and pee…those were the two requirements. I had visitors that I vaguely remember, I was hopped on meds for most of the night. They brought flowers (and my in-laws sent me a beautiful bouquet!) and magazines and little stuffed animals, I’m a lucky lady! I just want to say to my husband, my mom, Heather, Tim, Kylie and Audrey…anything you heard come out of my mouth that night is NEVER to be repeated! 😉 …and Tim, delete that voicemail!

I went home the next morning and have been slowly starting to recover. I am able to be up right more, and move around more comfortably. I’m off the medication and I’m trying to keep myself busy. I can feel my body start to decondition from being in bed for those few days. It’s CRAZY how quickly POTS can sneak back in and take over. My tachycardia has been back, and my blood pressure has been bottoming out making me insanely dizzy. Both of those symptoms had been under control for a long time. To combat this I’m just trying to stay up right and retrain my body to get back in line. It’ll be a battle until I’m recovered enough to start walking and really working out again. Every day it’s a fight, but I know I can do this…I’ve done it before and I can do it now.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include that this has been a terribly scary ordeal for me. Surgery is complicated for someone with POTS, and I’m SO SO SO lucky that I woke up without any issues or major long term damages or set backs. I’m hopeful that this will all be worth it and my quality of life will only continue to improve!

I’m out of work for 6 weeks to recover…so wish me luck on finding ways to keep myself busy for that long…maybe some online shopping?!… 🙂

Until next time ❤


so, it’s like that, life?!

I got home from work, sat down and immediately started writing this blog. I wrote it, and then published it only in the POTS groups and forums that I belong to…then I thought, why wouldn’t I share this with EVERYONE? If this blog is an outlet for me AND an avenue for me to spread awareness…REAL awareness, then why am I sugarcoating the truth when things get bad? Why am I holding back and only sharing with others who have my illness? The more I thought about it the more I realized that it might make me uncomfortable to be so raw, and it might make others uncomfortable to think of me this way…but ya know what? Too bad! Let’s all be raw, real, uncomfortable and HONEST together. It’s the only way to truly share this experience. So, I came back, added this new beginning, and I’m sharing it all with you…it’s not pretty (as chronic illness isn’t), so don’t say I didn’t warn you!


So, this is how it’s going to be, life? I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to deal with an illness that doesn’t ever go away? Okay. I’m okay with that. I can deal with it. But, you know what? My kids can’t…and they shouldn’t have to! They shouldn’t have to have a mommy who loses her sh*t over nothing because she’s in the middle of a flare and just cannot fake it anymore. That’s a pretty crappy mommy to have…and I hate that part of my illness…and that part of myself.

I’ve been trying not to accept the fact that I’m in a flare and feeling lousy. I’m exhausted and dizzy and battling a continuous migraine and overall just feeling like complete crap for several days. I can start to feel the depression and the desperation creeping in because let’s face it, going from feeling semi-okay to flaring is enough to make the happiest person feel pretty damn low. I’ve spent my days teaching, forcing the fluids and the meds so I can try and resemble a normal person. I plaster on a smile and keep moving through my day. My BS tolerance level is at an all-time low right now…which in turn has made me tighten the reins in my classroom…instead of having my normal “let’s figure this out” attitude…I’ve had a “cut it out and act like the juniors and seniors that you are!” attitude…yea, I’m probably not winning any popularity contests with them this week!  The bottom line is by 3 pm I’m spent. I’m toast. I can’t handle ONE more thing. I just can’t. So, today when my 6 year old got off the bus and left his gloves in my classroom…I got home and freaked out. Is it a big deal? No. Not at all. It’s just gloves. Did he deserve it? No. Absolutely not. I just couldn’t handle ONE more thing. When my fully potty-trained three year old refused to go to the bathroom without me because she was digging in her heels, I freaked out. Was it a big deal? No. Not at all. She just wanted some time with her mommy. Not a big deal at all. I just couldn’t handle ONE more thing. I just needed a minute to sit down until the dizziness passed. She looked up at me with her huge doe eyes and I totally broke down. I cried and cried and cried. I apologized to them both over and over and over and over. I told them that I was sorry and I was just feeling sick. Is that the truth? Yes. But, do you think they care why I raised my voice at them? Nope. And I’m still heartbroken over it. The illness took over…it won…and that’s just not okay. Even as I write this I feel absolutely horrible and the tears are flowing. My children should not be victims of this illness too…it’s just not fair.



I hate having POTS. I hate everything about it. I hate feeling this sick, I hate having to explain to people why I’m so tired, so pale or so groggy. (and ps…it’s super rude to tell someone who has a chronic illness that they look sick, or tired, or pale, or not themselves!) I’m sick of having to say “well, POTS stands for…no, I’m not talking about marijuana” I hate it. I hate that people seem to forget I’m sick sometimes…sure it’s not something that should be talked about ALL the time…but just because someone has an illness you cannot see doesn’t mean it’s not there. I just hate that. I hate it when people say “you were doing so well, what happened?!” Well…this is the way my illness works…it’s up and it’s down sometimes for no rhyme or reason. It just is…and I hate it. Instead of asking me that…please people, just say “I’m sorry you’re not feeling well, can I help?” By bringing up how well I was doing only makes me feel sad…and makes me feel like I have to rationalize with you why I’m still sick. I just am, and I hate it. POTS and any other chronic illness for that matter, just really, really suck sometimes….and you guessed it, I hate it.


I know the sun will shine again…and all of that other warm and fuzzy stuff that I usually say…I know this is just a flare…and I know that my kids love me and they will be okay. But, for now…for tonight…I’m just sad, defeated, and feeling scared that POTS is starting to take over again…(not going to happen on my watch)…but for tonight, I’m just going to hug my kids…and cry it out.

New Year…(Sort Of) New Samantha

Happy 2016 blog readers!! Seems like 2015 just began, and here we are! Our family rang in the new year as we always do, with matching PJ’s, a gift exchange, a yummy dinner and a trivia game that puts all others to shame. There is no place we’d all rather be than together. Trust me, I know how amazingly blessed I am to come from the family that I do. The way we love each other is just beyond. Okay, enough bragging about my wonderful family! 😉

This new year I am filled with hope, and not just the kind of “fake” hope we all fill ourselves with, with the promise a new year. This is real, genuine hope! At the end of December Dysautonomia International released an abstract regarding a study around the effects of exercise on people with POTS (the Dr. Levine protocol). This was (obviously) a controlled group of POTS patients in a very controlled environment. I want to add in the disclaimer that POTS is a very complicated condition, and no two POTS patients are the same. However, of the patients that complicated the exercise program, in addition to maintaining their medications, there was a 72% cure rate. Yes, CURE rate. These people no longer met the criteria for POTS. They no longer had the 30+ beat per minute heart rate increase upon standing. This. Is. Amazing. Additionally, almost all (the exact number escapes me) of the patients reported having an increase in their quality of life. Also, amazing. Now, before everyone jumps on the “why doesn’t everyone with POTS just do this and make themselves better??” bandwagon, let me explain…people can develop POTS from several different root causes. If the root cause is something that can be cured, then a person has a better chance of a recovery from POTS. For example, a virus. If a virus caused you to develop POTS and the virus is cured, then you stand a better shot at recovery from your POTS symptoms. We are fairly certain that this is my circumstance from my lyme and mono diagnoses. However, if you obtained POTS due to an autoimmune issue or traumatic injury to the body that is non-reversible, you are less likely to see recovery. But, there is ALWAYS hope, for all of us! I am so excited for Dr. Levine to release the specifics of this exercise protocol so I can look at it, and hop aboard! Look for future blogs tracking my journey. It is also important to note that all patients need to be followed by, and monitored by, a doctor if you take on this exercise program. Luckily for me I have a cardiologist who is super supportive, and a cousin who owns a gym…they’ll make sure I don’t fall on my face…and if I do fall, they’ll laugh, and pick me up again. If you are interested, here is the link of the abstract:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26690066

Additionally, I’ve made some pretty big decisions about my professional life that I’m very excited about! Before Christmas break I was in a funk…a big one…a major one…a massive one. I was down right miserable. I was so unhappy that there were days I actually seriously considered handing in my resignation. I started so many drafts of the letter I could fill a whole notebook. Those of you who know me personally know this is NOT in my nature, and I have a major love affair with my career. Being a teacher is part of who I am in my soul, it felt so terrible to be in that negative place in my mind. It wasn’t just one thing, it was everything…and I couldn’t get on top of it. I really think that I let the fatigue from my POTS creep into my head and it totally reeked havoc. I needed this break to refocus, re-energize, and really think about what I want…stay tuned for a new year of changes in this arena too! Big things are coming…POTS be damned!


Other than that, I’m just ready to take on 2016 with an open mind ready for health and changes. As I reflect on how I feel today versus how I felt a year ago…I’m not even the same person. I have made so many strides forward. I have WAY more good days than bad…and isn’t that the ultimate goal?! I’m proud of myself for 2015, and I’m ready to tackle 2016 with the same open heart and mind.


Happy New Year!!



Santa, Sugar Plum Fairies and Surgery?!

Ho Ho Ho! Merry…Surgery!? Yes, that’s right, I had the surgery, and I referred to it as merry…it went very, very well! The procedure itself was less than an hour and it was virtually painless. I won’t know anything for about a week regarding if it actually worked (solved the issue), or the results from the samples they sent out…but for now, I’m calling it a success!


If you ready my previous blog, you know how stressed I felt about going under anesthesia. I was nervous that my POTS would cause complications and things wouldn’t go smoothly. I am so happy to report that everything went fine…and above and beyond that, every single person I talked to in the surgical unit KNEW what POTS was. The nurse who checked me in and monitored me, the medical assistant, the anesthesiologist and (of course) my doctor. Not only did they know, they appeared confident in their ability to handle the complexity of my case. My husband kept saying “wow, it seemed like he/she knew what POTS actually was…” It blew our minds. The nurse actually made more comments about how to pull off a hair net than POTS. Hopefully it means that the word is spreading!


I drifted peacefully off to sleep and the next thing I knew, I was groggy, but awake (!!!) in recovery. Rumor has it I told my husband that he looked like my children (phew! 😉 ) and that I wanted a puppy. I hung out in recovery for a few hours while I got my feet under me and they tried to manage my pain. My heart rate and blood pressure were stable the entire time…THIS WAS HUGE! My body actually behaved itself!


By the time I was discharged I was very sore, and very very tired…but also VERY VERY excited! It just so happened that two of our best friends were in the hospital that same day…delivering TWINS. I can honestly say that any bit of soreness and pain just melted away when I put those newborns in my arms. Holding them gave me such hope for the future. It sounds cliche but it really made me feel like everything was right in the world. It was one of those rare moments in life when the world stops for a second and you fall in love instantly. Thank you Nicki and Marc for bringing such amazing little people into this world. 🙂 They gave me a feeling of hope for the future.

So, for all my potsie readers…do your research, surround yourself with a good medical team, find a doctor you trust, and know that surgeries can be okay. I think a little bit of fear in this situation is good, because it means you will cover your bases…but I hope this blog will serve as a little ray of hope. Everything I read beforehand were horror stories…but that’s not always the outcome!

Merry Christmas to you all, and thanks for reading and supporting me as I make my way through this journey.