I have this thing called POTS. I know, the name is lame. Actually I read that cool dude John Lurie was diagnosed with POTS, and categorically refused to have it, because the name was so dumb. It stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. There’s a doctor in Texas, studying POTS, who proposes that we change the name to “Grinch Syndrome.” Because our hearts are “two sizes too small.” I don’t know, mine hasn’t been measured… I prefer the name “Astronaut sickness” because people with POTS don’t do gravity all that well. But that’s just my opinion.
What it means in practical terms is that I get dizzy when I stand up, or if I stand up too long, and I need to ingest ridiculous levels of salt and fluids to keep myself functioning. If you want to know more about POTS, this site has a thorough overview: www.dinet.org.
The other thing I have is migraine syndrome. For me, all things lead to dizziness and this is no exception. There are a lot of migraine triggers I have to deal with. Some of them are not in my control, like weather and hormones. Others are within my control, like food. That means that it’s pretty hard for me to eat out or eat at other people’s houses. It can be a real pain. But after doing it for a full year, I’ve gotten the hang of it. Also I’ve been taking Cymbalta as a treatment for both– re-regulating the autonomic nervous system (by making my brain generally work better) and taking my sensitivity down a peg, so every passing cloud doesn’t set off an attack.
I’m muddling through, and doing okay. If you’re interested in reading more about my POTS/migraine experience, browse around in blog entries beginning June 2009 to the present. It’s been a long, strange trip.