The Fight

I read something recently that said “do not confuse my bad days with weakness; those are the days I’m actually fighting the hardest.” This statement is so true of my battle with POTS. Over the last 7 months or so, my POTS has been at its worst since I have been in college. I am counting my calories to make sure I take in enough, tracking my water, increasing salt intake, taking meds to raise my blood pressure, trying to get sleep at night, and everything else I can think of to help. Still, though, I have been passing out and missing classes at least once a week it seems like. I have had to cancel plans on my friends and my fiancé. I have had to get extensions from professors because the brain fog was too intense to complete the assignment.

Thankfully, those around me are very understanding. My friends do their best to help me out. My fiancé is a saint and does everything he can for me. My family support me and care for me. My professors are amazing and are more concerned about my health than the assignments. They personally catch me up when I need them to.

Still, I can’t help but feel guilty. I feel guilty for canceling plans and for making people work around me. I feel guilty for making people take care of me. I am a strong-willed 20 year old woman. I should be taking care of myself and I want to be taking care of others. It is a hard pill to swallow when I have to ask for help. I constantly say I’m sorry, which my mom and fiancé get so annoyed by. My mom told me that I can’t say “I’m sorry” because it implies that I can control the situation and am not doing something, when she knows I can’t control it and am in fact doing everything I can to stop it.

It is hard to fight your own body. I try to be strong and to push through, but my body is weakened and works against me. There are so many things I want to do, but some days switching from one set of pjs to another is an accomplishment. Those are the worst ones. I love the sun and walking outside. I love being with people and doing things that involve leaving the 4 walls of my room.

Being stuck inside worsens the fight because it chips away at my sanity and pushes me deeper and deeper into my own mind. The questions start pouring in: what if it is like this forever? What if I cannot finish school? What if I cannot work? What if I pass out on my wedding day? What if I cannot take care of my own kids someday? All of my fears engulf my mind.

I fight this off with prayer and with positive thoughts- focusing on the little victories of each day. I know that God has a plan for me and is with me always. That keeps me going and keeps me fighting. Still, it often feels like there is no end to the war– even when I win one battle (like getting to go to one party with my friends), there is always another one looming. I’m left to just keep fighting.


2017 in Review

I stopped writing on this blog for a while because sometimes I try to run from my POTS identity. It is so much easier to be a normal college student participating in everything than a chronically ill person that has to follow a strict regime. I was still following my rules (diet, sleep schedule, water intake), but trying to not show how different my life is. However, around June of this year, everything started apinning out of control. It started slowly. I began having more spells than normal. I had an emotionally and physically intense job, so I wrote it off as a response to that and figured that it would get better at the end of the summer. When the job was over and classes started back up, the spells didnt just go away, though. Every time I came up with new excuses: the crazy weather, stressful events, all of the upcoming changes. I just kept thinking that I could push my way through it and be fine again. My fiancé was worried and wanted me to get help. He kept coming and taking care of me, as well as our new puppy. When it got to the point that I missed a whole week of classes because I physically couldn’t get out of bed, though, I finally saw reason. My doctor put me on medication three times a day to raise my blood pressure. I had to set alarms on my phone because it is easy to forget to take the pills, but I definitely feel it when they wear off. Even with the meds, my blood pressure isn’t getting over about 110/74, and it only gets that high when something is going on. The medication is helping, though nothing takes POTS away.

My new puppy, Phoebe 😍

In many ways, I feel like I am back where I was 3 years ago after receiving my POTS diagnosis for the first time. I am on multiple medications. I slat load, drink a gallon of water a day, and constrict my diet, yet I still keep ending up back on medication. 

I am struggling to get my energy back. When you are confined to a bed for so long, your body doesn’t know what to do when you can get up. POTS causes so much fatigue, and the effects are lasting. Currently, I am trying to ease back into activity and shed the pounds gained from being stuck in bed. 

I am worried about what it means for the future. In May, I will graduate college. In June, I will get married. In August, I plan on starting graduate school. These part few months I have been plagued with questions: will I be able to keep up with my classes and graduate? Will I be able to walk down the aisle and stand at the front of the church? Will I be able to partake in grad school? These questions and their impact on my future haunt me. I know I need to give it all to God and that His will is best. It is hard, though, to just step back when you can’t even stand. My faith in God has never wavered, but I have asked Him so many questions.

A pic from one of my frequent bad days this past year

I do not want this post to make it sound like I am miserable. Truly, this year has been amazing because of the people I have spent it with. My fiancé and family and friends are tremendous blessings, which is just made even more evident in the hard times like these. Overall, I am happier than I have ever been because I am with the man that God made for me and He has truly been blessing our path. When I am at my lowest, my fiancé literally picks me up off of the ground. Most people would not stick around and soldier through everything that he has, especially not with such a humble and caring heart. I do not know what I did to deserve him. This next year will be even better, I know, because in 6 months and a day I get to marry my best friend. No matter if I can walk or if I have to wheel up there, it will be amazing and I know he will be at my side. 

My sweet family of three– those two both help me when I am down, and celebrate with me when I am up!

I am looking forward to this next year and all that it will bring, and carrying the hope that it will bring a stronger (less potsy) me.

A Prince for a Princess

Warning: This post may sound sappy.

Over a year ago, I met a guy named Marcus. As I soon as I saw him, I was hooked. I prayed and prayed about it, but the way the situation laid out we could not be together. For 8 months, he became my best friend. Eventually, I talked to him about most everything, and he sought my advice about many topics. There came a point, after a lot of prayer, where I had to tell him how I felt. As it turned out, he felt the same way about me. We prayed together and haven’t turned back since. This past weekend, Marcus asked me to marry him. My answer, obviously, was yes.

Marcus proposed to me at his aunt’s wedding, so the wedding photographers captured the moment for us.

There are so many things that I love about him (his love for the Lord, his passion for learning, his dimples), but I will say that one of the biggest things I love about him is how he takes care of me. As anyone with POTS (or any chronic medical condition) knows, people freak out when you have medical issues.

While we were still just friends, he saw me pass out. Passing out is scary for many reasons, but when it happens in a big group one of the biggest reasons for me is the vulnerability. I can’t put on a strong façade when I am lying unconscious on the floor. However, Marcus did not run. He did freak out, but out of concern for me, not because he felt uncomfortable. He offered to carry me back to my dorm, but some girls helped me walk back. The next day he checked on me, clearly still worried about how I was doing. But once I said I was fine, he did not keep treating me like I was broken.


Since being together, he has continued to take care of me. Just weeks into being in a relationship, he sat at my bedside for a couple of days after I had my gallbladder out, just holding my hand and getting me whatever I needed.

This was after my gallbladder surgery

I would like to say that I never have POTS spells anymore, but that would be a lie. As I type this, I should be in class but could not make it because of my weak body. Anytime I have spells, though, he is at my side taking care of me, even to the point of doing my grocery shopping for me and carrying me to a more comfortable place if I pass out on the floor.

Then, once I am better, he treats me normally (besides making sure I have enough water at all times).

I thank God every day for giving this POTS Princess her Prince Charming.

I love this one because you can see how purely happy we are. I am so proud to call the man of my dreams my fiancé.

Roomie Appreciation

Having a good roommate is always an important factor to college life, but especially in the life of someone with POTS. When my POTS is acting up, I can hide out in my room from the rest of the world, but my roommate is still there. She has to be able to deal with my POTS too, and help me if I need it. God has blessed me immensely with my roommate.

My current roommate was not my first roommate, but we did meet move-in day last semester. After both of our first rooming situations were not working out as well as we would have liked, we decided to room together. That was one of the best decisions I have made in college thus far. The first time I had a bad spell in front of her was a few weeks ago. Thankfully I was able to make it to my bed before the shaking got too intense and I passed out. She was sitting on her bed. I could tell she was totally freaked out, but she acted so calm. She asked me if I needed anything and just stayed there in the room with me until she had to go to class. Later we were talking and she said I really scared her. But things went back to normal after that. When she looks at me she doesn’t just she me being sick.

Roomie and me at Qdoba before Christmas Break


As many of you probably know, college can be a very stressful time. There are so many things happening and so much you have to do. It can be very overwhelming, especially for the perfectionist planner that I have a tendency to be. Last weekend roomie and I spent the whole weekend taking a “mental health break”by crafting with paint and canvases. We watched old musicals and Disney movies and just relaxed and had fun together. Then last night I was on the verge of a mental break down, half laughing and half crying while sitting on the floor in front of our door. Instead of telling me to get up or saying I was weird, she just sat down on the floor and hugged me until I was ready to get up.

Canvases roomie and I made for the room- she made the peach one and I made the navy one.



I am so thankful to be able to room with someone who can handle me, not just my POTS, but all of my quirks. But more than that I am so thankful to have a best friend like my roomie! Academics are definitely important in college, but friendships and times spent laughing and dancing to High School Musical movies while covered in paint and glitter are what you remember, and what help get you through the intensity of collegiate academics.

Roomie and me all dressed up 🙂


I have not posted on the blog in a long time. It is not because of a lack of words to say, but the issue of not wanting to accept the words I have to say. When I last posted, I genuinely believed my POTS wasn’t going to be a big problem anymore. I thought that I wouldn’t have to tell people, that I would be able to just be “normal.” That is, until I passed out in front of a lot of people before I was going to assist in leading music for a student-led ministry. It smacked me in the face about the time that the floor did that I couldn’t escape POTS. Instead of accepting that and dealing with it, though, I reverted to the old potsie stand by–avoidance. That mentality of “maybe if I don’t acknowledge it, it will go away.” Anyone that has tried that before knows you can’t keep it up for long, at least without consequences. I started hiding in my room more and being overly paranoid– if I even felt a little off I wouldn’t go do things I wanted to because I was so afraid of passing out in front of people again.

Thankfully I found a group of wonderful girls that encouraged me to be social and get out of my comfort zone. They invested in me-they cared. Some of them knew about my POTS and some did not. Even those that knew, though, didn’t know the full extent. But they saw me for me and help me rediscover the version of myself the POTS paranoia was drowning. This semester I was blessed to officially join their sisterhood- I found where I belong. With their help, and of course a lot of prayer, I have been able to face this semester head on. I am balancing a social life, school work, and  job, but I’m not afraid of it anymore. Spells still happen, that’s something I need to expect could quite possibly last the rest of my life, but I don’t hide from it anymore.


It is so easy when you have a chronic illness to try to ignore the problem and avoid dealing with it. However, while you’re sickness is a legitimate part of you, there is so much more to you than just your sickness. Don’t do what I did and let it control your whole life- even more than it tries to demand.