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From the Depths

Kristen, age 26, Pennsylvania

I had a severe reaction to a medication that hospitalized me in 2022. Unbeknownst to me, this trauma was what started my POTS. For months on end I experienced debilitating symptoms like crushing chest pain, high heart rates, migraines and breathing problems.

Nonetheless, I went into work every day during this time and tried my hardest to be “normal”. I went to doctor after doctor. After a year of searching, I had a psychiatrist and physician who believed me enough to get me tested. After numerous blood tests, echocardiograms, stress tests and a tilt table test, I finally had a positive diagnosis. I remember calling my mother on the way out of that appointment sobbing tears of joy, because I WASN’T CRAZY! My symptoms weren’t all in my head!

From there I found multiple support communities online where I listen to others stories, ask questions, and give any helpful insight I can. Are there tough days, weeks, and even months where my body feels like it’s betraying me? Yes. But, I don’t feel the need to panic that I may be dying, because I understand it’s just my POTS. There is a great support system of POTSies online, and I’m happy to know I’m not alone.

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