Brain Fog

I probably should apologize now if this whole blog post sounds jumbled and has tons of errors in it.  Normally I try to be meticulous with that kind of stuff, but my brain feels so ..foggy right now.

I had a fun day today.  I went to a football game and talked with old friends whom lately I have been too exhausted to keep in touch with.  I also went shopping with my two best friends.  It’s no wonder that with such a full day that I am completely and utterly exhausted now.

I haven’t been feeling my POTs symptoms recently, but tonight they hit me once again.  As I was standing cheering on my friend as he was being crowned homecoming king, I got dizzy, weak, and nauseous.  I had to excuse myself to the bathroom and hold on to the sink for a little while.  I also think I’m starting to get a symptom I hear a lot of POTsies call “brain fog”?  I’m not really sure exactly what this entails, but I have been feeling kind of foggy, spacey, and forgetful lately.

I have an allergy test this week to help figure out what caused my Chronic Sinusitis.  I’m a tad bit nervous, but I figure it can’t be too bad!  Before I have the allergy test, I have to stop taking a lot of my medications that might interfere with the test.  I stopped taking my Cingulair and Allegra everyday.  These two medications are extremely helpful with my allergies, fatigue, and migraines.  I think today, the effects of not taking these medications hit me.  My head is killing me right now.  I can’t even think straight.

So much for feeling well…

-Jenna

P.S.  If anyone could tell me what brain fog exactly is, or how it affects them specifically, please comment and let me know below!

That Sparkle is Coming Back!

Last week was stressful.

I am pretty much caught up in school now, but between schoolwork, studying for SATS, and my attempt to have a social life; I couldn’t help but feel slightly overwhelmed.

But last week is over, and I was rewarded with a very fun filled weekend. 🙂 I finally am starting to feel somewhat better POTs-wise.. I’m crossing my fingers that this lasts! Over the weekend I was able to get out and do a ton of things without feeling too exhausted! My mom and I spent time together, I went to the gym, and I caught up with some of my friends! Then on Saturday, my boyfriend took me out to see The Bachelorette, get frozen yogurt, and go for a night-walk. By the end of the night, my cheeks were hurting from smiling so much. That night was much needed.

I feel so happy lately… like everything is just falling into place.

I remember last year, one of my teachers used to always tell me that she could tell when I wasn’t feeling well because I didn’t have that “sparkle” in my eyes that I usually have.

My mom says that sparkle is coming back… 🙂

Hope everyone is doing well.

Xoxo,

Jenna

Quick Update

I had quite a day today.  I got into my ENT doctor to check out that mass I had.  

He took a camera and put it up my nose after numbing it.  This was not the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be when he pulled the camera out.  

 

 He checked my scans and symptoms and ended up diagnosing me with Chronic Sinusitis.  

Great.  Another chronic illness.

The good news is that it’s really not dangerous per say.  The bad news is that it really affects me physically.  I’m extremely fatigued, (even more so than with POTs alone), I have migraines stemming from the pressure in my head, and my throat is always sore now.  I’ve gone through so many medications for this, and I’m currently on some that he says should be helping me.  The bad news is that the only way to really make me feel better (since I’m medicine-resistant), is to have sinus surgery.  

I’ve never had surgery before, but I have watched some.  And that’s how I prefer it to be: me watching a surgery on someone else.  Not vice versa.  I really am opposed to the idea of surgery, but if there really is no other way to fix this, I may have to consider doing it this summer.  It would help immensely.  My doctor says he would prefer to wait until then because of all the radiation I have been exposed to due to my POTs.  I am no stranger to CT scans, that’s for sure, and in order to have the surgery, I will need another CT scan first.    

The fact that he’d be poking around so close to my eyes and brain makes me uncomfortable.  But he was kind, and obviously experienced in this sort of thing.  

Next week I have to have an allergy skin prick test, which I hope won’t be too uncomfortable.  My ENT says that this is necessary to find out what caused all of this in the first place. My anxiety is kicking in with all this going on.  

I just want to feel well again.

Hope everyone is doing well!

 

Jenna

“When I grow up, I wanna be…”

This is a sentence that came out of my mouth a lot as I grew up. When I was five, I wanted to be a teacher. When I was ten, it was a veterinarian. And from about 13 and on, I knew I wanted to be a physician. I had dreams of being a pediatrician and opening up my very own practice. I would be my own boss, I would help kids in need, and I would love every second of it.

These dreams are now sitting in the back of my mind. I can’t help but think about them every night while I lay in bed. So much so tonight that I decided to blog about it.

I can’t help but think that it would be impossible for me to be a doctor if my health is the same as it is now. I mean, a chronically ill doctor? What kind of oxymoron is that?

I shouldn’t let my health set me back, but if I want to achieve these things, and be the best I can be, I’m gonna need to be able to stand up for at least a little while…and that’s only the smallest thing I’d need to be able to do. I may need to rethink my career path. This stresses me out even more, because I need to start seriously deciding soon. This whole ‘being sick all the time’ has really turned my world upside down.

That’s the negative, glass half empty side of me talking.

The positive, “Everything’s gonna work out!”, part of me says differently. This side of me tells me that I can overcome anything if I set my mind to it. That my illness is what I have, not who I am.

But when it’s late at night, and I’m sitting alone in my bed, I can’t help but think about these things…

I feel so lost.

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Another Day, Another Doctor

Hi all! I feel like I say this every time, but I apologize for going MIA once again! I underestimated how busy I would be this year, with college right around the corner.

The past few weeks have been hectic for me, lots of calls to the doctor, a couple appointments, and I’m still not feeling better.

I have a tendency towards sinus infections, which definitely make my POTS symptoms worse. My head has been pounding, I’ve been exhausted, my eyelids feel like they weigh a hundred pounds, and the left side of my face feels so weird. While I’m in class, the only thing I can seem to think about is going home to sleep.

My doctor put me on cefdinr because that has worked in the past. I went on that for a week and I still felt awful. So the next week I went on my second dose and felt mildly better. To knock it out, my doctor put me on prednisone. (Which is a type of steroid.). I was on that for five days, (with horrible side-effects) and the day I went off it, my head felt worse. I tried to let it get better on itself, so I waited a few weeks.

But two days ago on the way to class my head started pounding, my left eye was red, and it hurt down the whole left side of my face. My Mom and I both agreed I needed to see a doctor again.

So I found myself inside my general pediatrician’s office once again on Monday. When I was little, I was one of those weird kids who loved going to the doctor. I would get an overwhelming feeling of excitement upon entering. Everything was just so interesting to me.

It’s the opposite now.

I have the routine down to memorization now, I know most of the medical assistants and staff members, and I also can predict what they are going to say to me.

I sighed as I walked in and sat down in the waiting room in the same spot I always sit in -the corner of the room against a wall. It’s the warmest spot in the whole place.

“Jenna?” called the medical assistant. I got up and completed the mundane routine. “Weight -check. Height- check. Hey that’s weird…they didn’t take my blood pressure today…”, I thought to myself. The lady taking care of me had one of those high pitch fake happy voices that made me irritated. I waited in my room for what felt like forever when finally my doctor came in.
She always wears hello kitty outfits.

I told her my symptoms, she flipped through the computer, and I reminded her of my POTs and how I feel it’s making everything worse. “Your what?” she asked. “POTs. My neurologist diagnosed me with POTs. It’s in the letter he wrote to you.”. (I have to do this every time). “I don’t even know what that is.” She said with a chuckle. “Of course you don’t…”, I thought to myself. She proceeded scanning the letter and then she exclaimed “Oh! Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome! I thought it was something more serious.”. UM WHAT? Obviously she still doesn’t know what it is.

My mom and I were irritated with this statement. That’s when my mom said “No offense to you guys, but we are really sick of coming here. We want to figure out what is wrong.”. My mom always knows how to sum everything up in few words.

That’s when my doctor pushed me over the edge: “Well your throat isn’t red, your glands aren’t swollen, you have no fever…” she said while examining me, “Jenna how have you been feeling… emotionally?

You have got to be kidding me.

“It could be possible that you are depressed” she claimed as she gave me a sympathetic look. “the mind and body work in mysterious ways.”

“I’m not depressed, I’m actually a very happy person. My head just hurts. All the time. And I feel like its my sinuses.”

“Okay… Well I guess we could do a quick X-ray to check.”

Thank you! I didn’t come in there for a psych Eval. I have had a history of depression and anxiety, so I know what it feels like. And I know for a fact that’s not what it was. I’m sick of doctors jumping to the conclusion that I’m crazy or something. When will they ever believe me?

So I had my X-ray, and she called me yesterday with the results. They found a mass behind my left cheekbone in the soft tissue. It is possible that this could be causing all the pain. I have to see an ENT on Friday to find out what it is for sure. I’m a little worried, but I know the chances of it being dangerous are slim. I hope that they can get rid of it, so I can get my energy and sanity back.

I hope that those results made her feel bad for what she said to me. I know she is just trying to do her job, but my
Patience is wearing thin.

I know a lot of you guys have had similar experiences with doctors assuming it was all mental. I’d love to hear about them.

Xoxo
Jenna