The film starts with Susanna (Winona Ryder) trying to explain her suicide attempt to her doctor. it appears like he is only half listening to her and he questions her about illegal drug use. This struck a nerve with me as I have been frequently accused of being a drug addict, when I'm not, by doctors which has hindered my access to proper treatment in the past. Maybe it was appropriate in the 60's, but not today.
This month marks my four-year anniversary with POTS. I recently sat down and considered my time with chronic illness with regards to numbers. Here's what I came up with:
Last year, I set myself two goals: one personal and one professional and I managed to achieve them both. These days, I find that less is more when coming to setting goals for myself and I have found that I am much happier achieving two things per year than failing to get five things done in a month.
The holidays can be difficult to navigate when you have a chronic illness. Food, family and traveling can easily throw you into a flare-up.
Like many people with a chronic illness, I had to wait many years to start treatment. I naively thought that medication would solve all my problems as that is what my doctors led me to believe. The medication that I took initially did not solve all my problems as they were designed to treat my symptoms and not the underlying cause of my illness.
POTS is a form of dysautonomia (a dysfunction of the nervous system) and is usually diagnosed using a tilt table test, but it can also be diagnosed with an active stand test. The average diagnosis time for POTS is 5-6 years, but can be diagnosed within 6 months of the first onset of symptoms.
When I first got sick, I lost everything: my income, my degree course and my social life. I struggled to stand up for more than two minutes and I was unable to leave the house by myself. I could not think or speak coherently. I couldn’t even read a book. I slept most of my days away. It was 2015, I was 22 and I was told that I was a medical mystery.