Fast forward to 2020. In January, I had to face the reality that my dysautonomia was definitely manifesting like POTS, and was definitely a problem. I couldn’t go up the stairs without coming close to passing out, and certainly having my heart rate very high. But my resting heart rate was getting lower and lower. I saw a specialist to work on medicinal ways to cope with my POTS, but I couldn’t handle the side effects, coupled with my resting heart rate being so low (50s, with occasional PVCs bringing my overall rate as low as 35). Coupling that, with my POTS meant that I could go from a HR in the 40s to a HR in the 160s just by standing up and climbing a flight of stairs.
Cutting alcohol out of my life turned into a necessity. While I had used it for pain management of all of my other issues, it was making my POTS worse. I quit drinking altogether in February 2020, once I figured out that *part of one alcoholic drink* was making my heart a bit erratic for *days*. I have to give massive credit to my new OBGYN for taking me seriously on my desire to quit alcohol when I wasn’t sure I could do it, for the endometriosis pain, and she worked with me to find an option that would work as well.
When my temperature regulation gets out of whack (especially summer outdoors), I haven’t yet found anything that moderates my heart like Gatorade. (I definitely wish it didn’t have to be high calorie, but I don’t appreciate artificial sweeteners). In the winter, I have a slightly easier time dealing with my temperature regulation. The best thing I did for my life, in late 2020, was buying a shower stool. After getting to where I was only showering every few days, or washing my hair once a week at most, just because showers were the most difficult thing for me to accomplish, a shower stool changed everything. I had forgotten how pleasant it could be to take a shower or enjoy warm water, because the act of standing itself was extreme cardio.
Accepting that I needed to cut out alcohol, and accepting that I needed a shower stool, were the two big acts in 2020 that allowed me to start reclaiming MY life.