Oct 11, 2010

Irony and Balance

In reference to my last entry on Type-A personalities being prone to POTS, isn't it ironic how people who once prided themselves on being in control can't even control their own bodies as a result of dysautonomia? How intellectually astute individuals develop an illness that causes brain fog and thus inhibits their ability to think clearly? How former dancers lose the feeling in their feet due to neuropathy? I am one of those people who have lost the things I once defined myself by. All these things ripped out from underneath me leave me feeling completely vulnerable and a little bit lost in life. Although I try my best not to, I find myself clinging to the past when I achieved things almost effortlessly. Now, each day can feel like an uphill struggle. In the words of my wise EP, "EVERYTHING is way out of whack." Well that's for sure. My body is incapable of functioning in the same capacity it was before and I just have to get used to it. It is a strange sensation to not feel my own feet, but I suppose something I will just have to live with. I used to be a perfectionist, so it is hard to accept not feeling my feet or the fact that there may not be a remedy for the problem. All these strange maladies caused by POTS leave me wondering: what's next? Dry eyes, numb feet, dizzy spells, tummy aches, sleepless nights--what's next?

Isn't it ironic how the things a person loves and uses to validate and define oneself can be snatched away in a heartbeat...I am immediately reminded of the Alanis hit from the '90's.

I suppose it's time to find a new niche for myself, one which accommodates these strange and incapacitating ailments...it is difficult to thrive in society when it is hard some days to even leave the house. The unpredictability of symptoms is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of dealing with chronic illness. I am tired of not being able to make plans with people, or plans to do anything for that matter because I don't want to be perceived as unreliable, flaky, or incompetent. Needless to say I am a bit worried that I won't be able to cut the mustard at a new job when I can barely remain conscious for a 45 minute job interview. My resume, cover letter and applications are immaculate and usually sufficient enough to land decent interviews, but after the interviews I am sure the employers wonder why I was so fidgety and couldn't sit still for long. Of course they are not aware of what's going on inside my body. And sometimes I wonder if maybe I am doing myself and a potential employer an injustice by even trying to work again when my symptoms can strike at anytime. I figure, I will never know if I can handle it unless I give it one more shot. I know I have some valuable skills to offer someone out there, but the conventional 9 to 5, be-on-time-and-ready-to-work thing doesn't sound too feasible for me at this point in time.

In the meantime, I will continue to ride my recumbent bike, strengthen my legs and arms on weights, do some pilates, get in the best shape possible, and hope that someday soon my body will regain the strength, stability and stamina to be a productive and successful employee somewhere. My life lacks any sense of real balance right now. I spend a disproportionate amount of time at appointments that just leave me exhausted and full of more unanswered questions. I am striving to achieve some tangible balance in my life right now. I am making it a goal to accomplish at least one significant task each day, even on the bad days, and even if it takes me all day to do so. In my downtime I will be continuing to work on my personal fitness, nutrition, and of course, sleep.


  1. I love your blog! Its so well written and says the things that are locked in my once well spoken head. I understand completely how you feel. I feel that everything i once identified myself as is gone. So what is my purpose now? What am I supposed to do? Its such a difficult journey! Thanks for blog!

  2. Thanks, Cyndi that means a lot! :) I am struggling with that whole finding a new purpose thing too...but when the time is right I guess something will work out. I came across a bunch of old home movies this weekend and it was strange to watch myself dancing ballet, skiing, singing in choir, etc. I hardly resemble the same person anymore. So for now it is all about discovering a new sense of self, finding something that gives our lives some meaning and direction. It is out there somewhere, just a matter of uncovering it.