Dear Healthy People

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for." -Unknown

Greetings to all the healthy people of the world.
My name is Anastasia. I am fifteen years old, and I'm just like you, except for one thing: I have POTS.

You probably don't know what POTS is, because it's rarely diagnosed. POTS- postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome- is a subset of dysautonomia. Because it is such a complex illness, I cannot very easily tell you what it is. However, the hallmark symptom (and the criteria for getting a diagnosis) is that your heart rate speeds up at least 30 bpm on standing up.

POTS causes a slew of other problems along with the tachycardia, such as fainting, GI issues, pain, lightheadedness, fatigue, brain fog, headaches/migraines, blood pooling, heat intolerance, cold hands and feet, loss of appetite, muscle aches and pains, and more. Life is very tough when it seems that your body is committing treason...

I look at you, and remember what it was like to be healthy. I remember all that I used to do, and I am reminded of how different life is for me right now. I think about all the things I'm going to do when I'm healthy again.

And I'll admit it. Sometimes it hurts to see everyone else doing the things I wanted to do. Especially when you take it for granted. When you do something halfheartedly that I only wish I could do full out.

I know that you cannot fully understand, because I used to do the same thing. I didn't think anything of being healthy, because (other than an occasional cold) it was all I had ever really known. It was just... normal. And I know that's what it's like for you.

But I feel like it's my duty to put this out there- health is a gift. While you take it for granted, someone else is praying for it. Someone else would do almost anything to get it. I know that you can't understand, but please try. Try to imagine what it would be like to lose control of your own body. Put yourself in my shoes as best you can.

Don't get me wrong- I would never wish POTS (or any other chronic illness) on anyone. I am so glad that you aren't going through this too, because I know how hard it is.

Just... As you go about your day, try to remember how blessed you are. When things aren't going your way, think about the many gifts you've been given. Family, friends, health... little things like chocolate. Whatever it may be for you.

Maybe the world would be just a tiny bit better if we all tried harder to recognize how much we really have...


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