Jul 24, 2010

POTS on the Beach

Midsummer has arrived, and what better way to spend it than on the beach? For people with dysautonomia, what used to be a simple carefree day at the beach may present some new challenges. For me, it's staying cool and hydrated. I drink plenty of liquids and eat a lot of Lays potato chips, but it is the staying cool part that can often be a problem. If I am able, I will gladly take a dip in the water on really hot days, but not for too long, as prolonged cold, like prolonged heat, is not good for the autonomic nervous system either. I will cool off in the water, then lie flat on top of an inflatable air mattress, then take another dip, then back onto the flotation device, and so on and so forth until I tire of that. I try to not stay in the sun for any longer than 10-15 minutes at a time to avoid getting overheated.

Due to the fact that compression stockings are not exactly beach-friendly attire, I usually become more lightheaded than normal at the beach. The last day I was there, I discovered that laying on the beach the conventional way (feet facing the water) wouldn't suffice to alleviate my lightheadedness. So I layed upside down against the incline of the sand (head closest to water's edge) which created a slight yoga-esque inversion, and I believe pumped a bit more blood back to my heart and brain where it belongs.

Amazing! The key to temporarily relieving my brain fog and wooziness was simply to lay upside down on a beach. For once, I was clearheaded again and not feeling woozy at all. I felt positively normal aside from the fact that the neighbors must have thought I looked ridiculous. If only I could live my life upside down on a sandy beach, life would be easy again. Although impractical, I intend to take advantage of this laying-upside-down-on-the-beach concept while summer's still around. I encourage you all to do the same!

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