Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!  Holidays always have me waking up feeling excited for the day that follows.  🙂

I usually go down to the town lake with a group of friends for the fireworks and festival they hold every year, but it just wasn’t happening for me this year.  I’m okay with that though.  I didn’t want the same events as the past years to play out this year, so I decided to take it easy and relax instead.

I remember 2 years ago (prior to my diagnosis), I went to the town lake with my friends and walked around the outdoor concert and food stands.  I felt that heat beating down on me and I chugged water down in an attempt to feel better.  We laid out on a blanket in the grass, and I remember everything being wavy and my head feeling light.  My friends thought I might need to eat a bit, so we went to wait in the insanely long lines.  I stood in that line for about 15 minutes, and right when I was the next one up to order, my stomach started churning and I ran to the side behind a boulder and threw up and dry heaved.  I collapsed to the ground, and my friends came running over to me and called my parents.  I had to go home before the fireworks even started.

Looking back on it, these are all my symptoms of a “POTs attack”.  I didn’t know it at the time, and I remember feeling incredibly frustrated.

Last year was similar, so I decided to lay low this 4th.  My wonderful friends and cousin came by the condo I’m staying at currently and we made bracelets and watched some fireworks for a few minutes from the balcony.  Then we watched “How I Met Your Mother” and gave each other life advice and shared some laughs.

Don’t worry, I still had some USA spirit!  I wore red, white, and blue from head to toe.  🙂

Hope everyone is doing alright and had an exciting and safe 4th of July!

XOXO,

Jenna

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Inspiring Blogger Award! :)

A little while ago I experienced the honor of being nominated for the “Inspiring Blogger Award” by “belowtheradar002“.  I’m am so so grateful to even be considered amongst the list of great bloggers mentioned.  I can not express enough gratitude to Amanda and Katie for brightening my week!  Thanks girls!

The Official Rules of Acceptance are as follows:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your website.
  • Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award.
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

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7 Interesting Things about me:

1. I’m only 4’11”, (AND 3/4 for your information!), and I’m 100% done growing.  This used to get to me since all my friends are basically model height.  I think I’m coming to terms with being the tiny one in my group.  😉

2. I’m half Chinese. I don’t look like it, but I love the fact that I have it mixed into me.  I grew up with the culture around me, yummy food included!  

3. I have two birds.  One is a parrotlet, whom I’ve had since I was 14.  Her name is Lulu and she loves to spend every second on my shoulder, day and night.  She’s a feisty one and she hates males… all my guy friends are terrified of her.  She has shown some amazing talents, and as corny as it sounds, has helped me get through this journey of mine.  I recall one particular night where I was sad and curled up in bed with tears streaming down my face.  I heard a rattling around in Lulu’s cage and was amazed when I felt her fly towards me.  She had managed to open her cage, swing the door open using her body weight, and fly to my bed where she waddled up to me and snuggled against my neck.  I’m not sure if she sensed my sadness or if she just wanted to play.  I like to think the first option went through her little birdy brain.  😉  This is what parrotlets look like, just to convey to you guys how cute they are…

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My second bird, Tiki, is a sun conure.  She is a recent addition to my family.  I “adopted” her off of craigslist a few months ago with my Christmas money.  I don’t think her previous owners took the best care of her, as she is still a bit finicky and scared of everything.  Since I’ve owned her, she has quit plucking her feathers out in distress, and is starting to allow me to remove her from her cage.  She’s currently a baby, but when she’s grown her adult plumage, she’ll look like this: 

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My friends call me the “bird lady”…

4. I don’t know if this falls under the “interesting” category, but my favorite movie of all time is the original “Grease”.  I remember one summer where I watched it at least 5 times a day.  When I was younger, I had a huuuuuuuuuge crush on John Travolta because of this movie.

5. I love art, especially painting.  I’m currently working on a portfolio to send in at the end of the year to gain an AP Art credit.  It is definitely something that I am passionate about and wish to improve on throughout my life.  One day, I hope to sell my artwork on the side of my profession.

6. I’m an animal lover and I know for a fact I would be 100 percent content if I were to become some sort of exotic zoo keeper.  (Though I know I would never due to my allergies.)  I have spent hours upon hours researching all the different species and watching youtube videos regarding their behavior.  Might as well delve deeper into my love of animals while I’m at it…  My favorite animal, by far, is the Asian Elephant.  Elephants are beautiful, majestic, and so incredibly intelligent.  Whenever I visit the zoo, I stare in amazement at these creatures.  They possess several human-like emotions, which just blows me away.  I also really like Belugas.  Mostly because they always look like they’re smiling.  And that makes me happy.  On a different note, I’m TERRIFIED of the ocean.  I can only go ankle-deep, and if I feel like something brushed against me, I freak out.  I think this stems from my countless hours of innocent research on the deep seas.  Too many freaky beings out there for my liking…

7. As of recently, I’ve had this crazy obsession with making lists.  Lists of things I love, things I hate, my favorite this, and my favorite that, etc..  This new hobby of mine was inspired by a friend of mine who does something similar.  I now have a good half of my notebook filled with random, mostly pointless lists.  But somehow it makes me feel accomplished and happy.  I actually used this post to make more lists in my notebook ha!  Sometimes an addictive personality can be fun!

Anyway, enough about myself.  Now for the people that this post is really for.  The bloggers who continue to inspire me each and everyday no matter what battle or struggle they face.  These bloggers provide me with creative ideas, motivating words, and helpful advice.  Each and every one of them deserves this award fully.  I can’t thank every. single. one of you enough for creating your blogs for people like me to read, and for…well…for existing!  

1. Life Sucks, So What?!?

2. Bored Sick 

3. Do I Look Sick?

4. Lethargic Smiles

5. Decimawho

6. Musings of a Dysautonomiac

7. Ok, So Far

8. Strength & Saltines

9. The Pillower

10. A Twisted Fantasy

11. Miks Hidden Hearts Alliance 

12. irishdysautonomia 

13. Rocking This Illness

14. My Everlasting Companion

15. Photographing POTs

 

I have some things to tell you all so I will blog again tomorrow!  

Thanks for the love and support.  I truly appreciate you all.

-Jenna 

Update!

Hi Guys!  How has everyone’s February been?  Can you believe it’s slowly coming to a close?  I sure can’t!

I’m gonna give a general update in this post.  On my life, POTs related or not.  I’m not sure if you guys are interested in reading about my life so much.  This blog really is mainly POTs oriented.  So if you guys don’t like reading about my normal life, I apologize in advance.  Just let me know.  😉

Anyway, life has had its ups and downs recently.  I’ve had a lot of stuff happen this past February:

  • Valentine’s Day – This day was actually completely and absolutely perfect.  There isn’t one thing I can think of that went wrong that day.  I love Valentine’s Day.  Even when I didn’t have a boyfriend it was one of my absolute favorite holidays.  I love the feeling of..well love that fills the air!  Everyone at school seems to be in a good mood, giggling, blushing..  All those cute notes pushed under classroom doors from “secret admirers”, and roses left on my friends’ desks.  It especially makes me overjoyed when my friends who were totally dreading the day suddenly have a change of heart when they see that pink rose and teddy bear waiting for them on their desk.  Even though these things aren’t for me, I can’t help but get emotional.  A good friend of mine wrote the sweetest poem for his girlfriend.  I read it to give my opinion, and started bawling my eyes out.  How embarrassing!  I did have a tinge of sadness since by boyfriend is already in college and he doesn’t attend my school.  But after school he showed up at my door all decked out in dress shoes and a tie!  With him he had a beautiful bouquet of a dozen roses and the absolute best chocolates in the world!  (Ferrero Rocher <3) He picked me up and we got Italian food!  (my favorite!)  The beginning of February was rocky, with my Pots symptoms flaring up and all.  Days like this leave me floating on air and take my mind off of little things.. like being dizzy, or randomly vomiting (ew), or being pale.

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    A perfect day with my favorite boy 🙂

  • My brother’s family got into a car accident.  They were hit by a young drunk driver.  This disgusts me…  I’m glad everyone ended up being alright after they were fixed up in the hospital.  But I have zero sympathy for drunk drivers.
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The front of their car post-accident

  • It snowed here in Arizona!  Well…kinda.  It’s the closest thing we’re ever gonna get.  It was slush, mixed with dirt…
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Never thought I’d see my front yard white 🙂

  • I got a new car!  This is my first car that I can actually call my own.  Up until now I’ve been driving my brother’s old truck.  And while it has served my fairly well, I can honestly say I’m extremely excited and grateful for this upgrade!  It is beautiful and perfect in every way.  Happy early graduation to me!  😉
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So excited 🙂 I need a name for her…

  • Last week in my school parking lot, this guy backed into my new car… 😦  It isn’t bad, though!  Hopefully his insurance will cover it!  I was so so upset when it happened.  I started tearing up.  UGH I hate being so emotional.  My car is still beautiful and perfect in every way <3.
  • I got accepted to all the universities I’ve applied too!  Well, almost.  I’m still waiting on one more letter…  Plus I’ve gotten nearly full ride scholarships to all of them.  I’m so thankful, relieved, and most of all blessed ❤

Finally, one of the main reasons I think Feb. has been so great is because I’ve been sleeping SO much.  Whenever I get a ton of sleep, my POTs symptoms seem to be relieved!  It’s an amazing feeling.

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Oops! Sometimes I sleep when I’m not supposed to. 😉

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Lazy Days 🙂

I’ve been feeling pretty well POTs wise!  I’ve got a cold right now.  So I can’t tell if my symptoms are from POTs or from that.  I’m super stuffy and congested and my throat hurts!  Blaaaaah.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Xoxo,

Jenna

My Jumbled Thoughts

Today I woke up and felt like I was floating. I’m so dizzy today, the rest of the world doesn’t even feel real. School is difficult now with a chronic illness.. I hate having to force myself to go to school when I don’t feel well, I hate waking up early, walking up stairs, and having to explain to people why I haven’t been at school.

I feel like nobody really believes me when I say I don’t feel well. I know this is a common complaint among the “invisible illness” group, but I feel like people think I’m just trying to get out of doing work. Trust me, if I could sit and focus for hours without my head feeling like it’s going to explode, I would. Every time I tell my friends I’m not going to be at school, their response is passive. “Okay Jenna, have fun on your day off..”. As if. I don’t know why I’m complaining so much today. This is not to say that all of my friends are like that, because they’re not. I definitely have some completely supportive friends who have always and will always be there for me. But no matter how hard I try, sometimes it’s hard to think of these people and think positively. The negative thoughts overpower the positive ones, and the negative comments seem to blare through a megaphone to me.

I would say the social aspect of high school is the part that most people have trouble with. I’m lucky to not be one of those students who sits alone at lunch, who gets bullied, or who struggles in school. Days like this, I need to remember that. But instead I focus on the fact that I have trouble making friends and keeping them. I feel like an outcast and I think I’m a weird person. Not really a bad weird, just a weird that makes me quite different from all the other kids at my school. For one, I’m not interested in drinking, partying, drugs, or hookups. This excludes me from about 50% of the population at my school, already. I also can’t really play any sports, I’m too nervous to pass out. I wanted to play lacrosse… But who knows.

Also, how am I supposed to tell people I have a chronic illness? Whenever I tell people, they really don’t know what to say and I feel like I just made the situation awkward. I mean, what can they say? I don’t want them to feel like I’m looking for sympathy or pity, but I also want people to try to somewhat understand why I don’t feel well sometimes… How do I even explain what I have? There’s not really one specific symptom…it affects literally every part of my body…

This post is really going on a tangent. I’m not too sure what I was aiming at in writing this, but I feel like it is making me feel better… I feel crazy right now. I’m sitting in my library at school by myself, typing furiously on my phone. It must be quite a funny site.

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Here’s proof for you guys…I am actually sitting in the library by myself.

Hope everyone is doing well as always.

Signing off,
Jenna

Arizona

Arizona please don’t do this.

It’s only February.

Before my POTs, I loved the fact that I live in a state that is sunny year round. I would welcome the 60 degree winters with wide-open arms, and bask in the warmth of 100+ degree summers. Never having to worry about snow, winter clothes, or “goulashes” has always been a wonderful thing. (Had to throw that in there. I recently learned that that’s what people call rain boots in other states?!). I never minded the fact that my nail polish would literally melt off my fingers in the sun, nor did I mind burning my fingers on the metal seatbelt buckles.

But now I despise this heat. It’s February, Arizona. I’ve been loving and loyal to you for 17 years now, and you repay me by taking away the pleasant weather that’s been making me feel so well?

It’s February 6. And everyone was sweating bullets today. I’m dreading the upcoming weeks as it gets hotter and hotter. Bring on the dizziness and double vision, Arizona. It’s on.

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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!

“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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