Kathleen, age 71, Rhode Island
I have been a geriatric nurse for 30 years. Over the last two years I began having episodes of rapid heart beat, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, and feeling like I was going to pass out. The episodes were so severe that I was sent by ambulance from work to the hospital. My primary care physician, along with several other physicians, began to do multiple tests. After 11 months, I was diagnosed with POTS. I have many days of severe fatigue and multiple episodes of being undependable on my feet. I have just changed my diet to fish, chicken, vegetable, fruits, nuts. I am trying to hydrate regularly with water and Gatorade. I am hoping the diet and pushing fluids will reduce my episodes.
I now realize, after putting a few pieces together; that I have had POTS episodes for a few years. As you have probably guessed, nurses tend to ignore or make small their own health issues. I've always been a no nonsense back-to-work type of person. When these episodes started to take me out of work, I felt that I was losing my mind. My sweet doctor stood by my side and said that she truly believed me and promised to get to the bottom of the problem.