May 18, 2010


As an avid fan of musicals and a victim of dysautonomia, I was of course an instant fan of the song 'Defying Gravity' from Wicked. It appealed to me on so many levels. Seeing and hearing it performed live perched atop the balcony at the Paramount Theatre was a cathartic moment in my life. Six months earlier, I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a type of dysautonomia. For those of you unfamiliar with the illness, it involves the malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): the part of our body that is responsible for regulating involuntary functions like heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. In other words, it regulates the things we cannot control. POTS, more specifically, is the body's intolerance to gravity. Upon standing, my heart rate increases dramatically while my blood pressure simultaneously drops causing extreme lightheadedness, fatigue, and rarely, fainting. The simple act of standing or sitting upright throughout the day--something most people take for granted--is a major feat for me. Everyday that I wake up and keep going I am truly defying gravity. And I remember the song, repeating the lyrics silently to myself like a mantra:

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down


  1. I used to be a ballet dancer before I got sick with POTS:( I miss it so much! Hope you are feelig well.

  2. I love WICKED, and that is one of my favorite songs.I too love musicals and all things musical. So glad you started a blog, i need to keep up with mine. Ahh so much to do so little time, and so little energy :P welcome to the blogging world!

  3. Emma! So did I! Had to quit ballet my senior year of college after getting sick. I know how you feel, I still miss it too... :(

    Katie! I think Wicked was my favorite musical so far! :) I look forward to reading your blogs!