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.
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.
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.
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.
Hello bloggers! I have not posted in a very long time, and I apologize. It’s not because I was so out of it I couldn’t type, like had been the case. On the contrary, I have been able to be active in life. I went on a pre-orientation trip where I was able to hike and canoe without any issue. Then I moved into my college dorm and have been going to classes for 3 weeks. I haven’t missed a single class, or felt like I was going to pass out once. I’ve even been able to stay up late hanging out with my new friends. God is so good and is so present working in my life. I thank Him for the blessings of health and friends. Oh, and the focus to study to 😉
To all of you girls out there struggling with POTS, I just want to tell you to lean on God. He is the giver of healing and strength. He will help you through all of the dark times, and carry you on to the light. Also, don’t give up on your dreams. It’s so easy to hear the diagnosis and hear that life is over. When you’re so sick, you miss out on plans with friends and it feels like life is going on without you. BUT don’t give up! Keep on fighting because you are stronger than words on a medical sheet.