"POTS Is an Illness Causing Fatigue, Rapid Heartbeat, and Nausea --Here's What It's Like to Live With It" - by Rita Maureen Thompson
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If you live with chronic illness, doctors appointments have very high stakes. Waiting for doctor’s appointments over long span of time causes stress. When the appointment finally comes, emotions run high because there is a lot to cover and there is an intense need to be heard and leave with understanding and a plan. Symptoms may have changed/progressed and we have a real fear of not being taken seriously (even more so for those with invisible disabilities).
Going into an appointment, you might feel nervousness, stress, or desperation that result in a high-pitched voice, shortness of breath, or an inability to receive information.
All of those reactions will certainly lessen the integrity with how we communicate and dilute the sense of self- advocacywe all want to have during an appointment.
How we speak matters just as much as the words themselves. Give the following a whirl at your next appointment to literally strengthen your voice:
You might be a working professional, managing chronic health issues (a full-time job), or trying to balance a slew of other demands life brings. How do you avoid the dreaded burnout? Burnout looks like accentuated health problems, emotional fatigue, and an overall sense of depletion.
One way to avoid burnout is to take a look at how you schedule your time. Do you over book yourself? Do you say “yes” to too many things? Do you disregard the need for downtime?
Think of yourself as your own secretary. If you hired a secretary that created your schedule as it is now, would you give them a bonus or fire them? If you have a secretary that is setting you down a path to burnout, fire them.
Sometimes we are hesitant to say “no” to an opportunity or schedule in rest time because we think that equates to a step back from “success”. You need to have stamina to fulfill your dreams, right? If you can be selective about where you put your energy, a focused spotlight will shine on what is most important to you, and lead you to your goals.
Find a way to schedule your time and energy that allows you to work smart, not hard.
As always, life is an experiment. It might take a few tries until you find out what guidelines your secretary (you) uses to make the most of your time, without prompting burnout.
You’ve got this!
Would you ever consider keeping a classroom of 2nd graders in school for 6 hours without recess? No! They’d cut each other’s hair, steal crayons, and pull alphabet letters off the wall. Think of yourself as an old 2nd grader. It is non-negotiable that you have time for fun.
In the age of extreme productivity and a spiraling culture of comparison, it can be challenging to just play without calling it a “waste of time”. Play is not the opposite of productive. Play is an investment in our overall stamina. It energizes us, gives us more focus when we need to get work done, and brings joy into our lives. If you don’t make time to have fun, there will be consequences (burnout, isolation, loss of gratitude, maybe stealing crayons).
Think of it this way, would you ever look back on a day and think, “Man, I wish I didn’t have so much fun today”? No way, friends.
I use the term “recess” because it is planned fun time. It’s part of the schedule, not just a fluke. Whether it’s a bike ride, art project, or an in-home dance party, it’s an appointment you’ve made with yourself.
How will you spend your recess today? You’ve got this!
Original content by Rita of Rita Maureen Wellness.