Monday, October 22, 2012

Dallas Day 1

Howdy! We made it to our hotel last night at 6:30. It was still 86 degrees out. Holy moley, this ain't Chicago! Anyway, as we're checking in, my mom casually mentions we're in town for a medical treatment. The nice woman behind the desk, Brandy, says, "Oh my word! Well let me just get you set up with our medical rate then." Bam, saved $20 a night. Score! Brandy, you're a fine girl. Thank you for making the 16 hour drive end on a high note.

Once I got in my room and lay down, I realized how completely exhausted I was from the past 48 hours. Having a seizure at my aunt and uncle's church should've been a clue. Slept like a rock and got up early for my 9 am appointment with Dr. K this morning.

Katie (the nurse) took my stats at sitting down, supine, and standing, and then hooked me up to two computers measuring my HR, outer body temperature, and something else. I don't remember much because at some point I had a weird episode of very shallow breathing. Opening my eyes was hard. Hot. Foggy. Felt like I was going to pass out. Small seizure too? Katie put ice on the back of my neck. Dr. K instructed me to breathe from my diaphragm. They gave me some vitamin powder + water to drink. Eventually felt better. Kinda felt bad that my appointment lasted an hour longer than scheduled, but these things happen. I'm sure their office is used to being flexible with us weird POTSy people.

Dr. Kyprianou seems great. She is obviously a woman of faith, which I really love in anybody, especially a doctor I'm putting my faith in. She asked extensively about my POTS history and symptoms, and then she asked what my biggest fear was. I said being very dependent on my parents and my family for a long time. She smiled and said I have no need to worry about that. (Me, inside: WOO-HOO!) Dr. K is very optimistic about her patients's improvement, but guarded about making any sweeping "everybody gets 100% better" kind of statements.

Later on we met with the other new out-of-town patients on the same 2-week rotation as me. So much for this being a teenage girl thing. A female nurse from Lousiana, maybe 30, got POTS a month ago out of nowhere, and spent 3 weeks in the hospital. A man from Nevada, about 45?, has had POTS (undiagnosed) for 4 or 5 years. We were so hungry to hear each other's stories and are determined to get better together. The Center has a support group that meets on Thursdays. I'll see these two again --and others-- then.

Dr. K's method is all about training the brain to get out of the Sympathetic (fight-or-flight) response. POTS patients' systems are stuck there! Instead, we will learn to activate the Parasympathetic response (rest-and-digest). I'll explain the exercises and machines as the week goes on.

As a special treat, I got a preview of the hydraulic(?) massage table. Just 5 minutes on it really helped my circulation! Looking forward to using it again.

We decided not to bring our wonderful dog Jelly on the trip, but other people at the hotel have their pups here! Tonight I met a Doberman named Lily and a Boxer named Champ. I looooove dogs. They are so therapeutic.

Presidential Debate Time!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Emma,

    I appreciate your ability to tell your story and to maintain hope. I am glad to hear you felt good about your new doc. May God bless you through her expertise. My prayers are with you Emma, you are an inspiration to a lot of folks here at Christ UMC.

    God bless you,

    Pastor Brian