2013.

Hi guys!  I know, I know… It’s been a while.  Too long, perhaps.  But here I am, I’m back!  🙂  

I did it, everyone…  I graduated high school!  I never thought I would see the day where I could finally toss my cap in the air and run to my friends with open arms adorned in what could possibly be the most unflattering outfits ever, but it happened.  I made it through high school..barely.  😉  

And now that it’s all over, I can honestly say that every moment was entirely worth it- From the frustrating nights where I was buried in make up work due to my POTs induced absences, to the cheerful moments where I would feel great and invincible.  

My high school experience was completely unique compared to the average student’s.  While most teenagers were worrying about finding a ride to the party on saturday night, or if Jane was mad at them, I was faced with the struggle of hoping that I wouldn’t pass out when there was a fire drill, or worrying that at any moment I would lose feeling in my limbs or throw up.  But no matter the circumstances I went through, I made it.  I succeeded despite the obstacles thrown in my path, and because of my “unique high school experience”, I believe that I am even prouder of myself than I would have been if I hadn’t overcome such difficulties.  

I’ve grown so much these last four years -physically, emotionally, academically, and mentally- and it’s safe to say that I have grown for the better.  Looking back to where I was just a year ago makes me realize how much better of a place I am in right now.  And boy am I thankful for that.  

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Goodbye High School, Hello Future!

 

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 

The more heat that comes on where I live, the worse I feel. It’s going to be close to 90 degrees this weekend, and today I was dragging my feet walking to class.

For the past 2 weeks I have missed a ton of class and I’ve been waking up to the world spinning around me.

I have to admit it’s not all my POTs’ fault though.. I am to blame for some of it as well.

I’m extremely sensitive to my anxiety medication. Even an increment of 10mgs of it hits me hard. So me being stupid decided to stop taking it for a week. For that whole week I moped around the house feeling depressed and off. It wasn’t until I started having my panic attacks again that I decided that maybe, just maybe, I should go back on my medicine. (Duh, Jenna…).

I went back on it. But instead of slowly going back on, I immediately took the 100mgs that had taken me over a month to adapt to before. The next day I felt like everything was in slow motion and I was dizzy and nauseous.

It wasn’t until a few days ago that all of those symptoms subsided.

So if you can imagine my normal POTs symptoms, mixed with this.. Well let’s just say I was not a happy camper!

Anyway, I never ever drive when my symptoms come on. Especially when the double vision takes over. So my mom has been driving me to school and home. It makes me feel bad when I don’t feel well enough to drive and she has to take time out of her day to drive me.

In other news, I took the SATS on Saturday. I chose a different school this time to test at and thankfully it didn’t require me to stand in line for nearly as long! Afterwards I felt mentally and physically exhausted. I’m still feeling it, actually. Let’s cross our fingers that this is the last time I have to take it! I find out my scores in 2 weeks.

I also find out in two weeks if I made it into the college that I want so badly to get into. I’m afraid that all the days absent I’ve had because of my POTs has affected my grades in a way that they would reject me…

I guess I’ll just hope for the best!

Btw, do you guys feel worse in the morning or at another time of the day? I’m starting to dread waking up just to feel like I’m floating!

Love you all,
Jenna 🙂

Things I need to quit.

With POTs comes many challenges, (obviously).  There’s lists upon lists of do’s and dont’s.  Things to make you better and things that could exsaberate your symptoms.  There are things I try and do to alleviate my symptoms- eating salty foods, drinking more water, leg exercises, etc.  But there are also a ton of things I do, that I really shouldn’t.  Things I do that probably pisses my POTs off to no other, and weighs me down.  It’s bad of me to complain about my symptoms when I’m not really taking every single precaution to avoid them.  

So here are a list of things I need to quit.  Not only to relieve my POTs symptoms, but also to help myself become a better person.  Mentally and physically.

  • Soda.  Not only does it provide zero benefits nutritionally, it also makes me feel horrible. My heart races after I drink it.  Caffeine is no good for POTsies.
  • Staying up too late.  I think I need more sleep, the less sleep I get, the more nauseous and dizzy I feel in the mornings.
  • Stress.  Unfortunately, this isn’t something I can just “quit” per say.  BUT I can do things to avoid being overly stressed out.  Such as completing things ahead of time as opposed to procrastinating.  As the saying goes, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.  
  • Eating complete crap.
  • Exercising irregularly.  I really need to get on a daily schedule.  This is one of my absolute main goals.
  • Being on my phone constantly.  I feel like staring at the screen and looking down makes my dizziness worse.  

So there is my list for now.  I’m sure there are many more things I could work on to better myself and my health.  Wish my luck on accomplishing these things!

-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

Today was awful. I felt completely fine at school, and was having a great day, until I was forced to spend my entire lunch period in the school bathroom throwing up. I began to see double and now I feel so incredibly dizzy that I’m having trouble even lifting my head..

What is going on?

This weekend I must’ve slept for 24+ hours. And I still feel tired.

Ugh

Today is not a good day.

Hello World!

I’ve been rather MIA lately. I apologize for not being consistent in this.

I have actually missed blogging and communicating with my followers quite a bit. This blog really provides an outlet to vent my frustrations, share my excitement, and to find comfort.

It’s good to be back. 🙂

Anyway, the past few months have been hectic (to say the least). I would love to write what has happened, but that would take far too long and I’m already dozing.

My POTs has been behaving itself fairly well. No horrible flare ups as of recently.

It really gets in the way sometimes, though. I had club pictures for my senior year book the other day and we have to stand and wait in line for a long time, before we have to stand on the risers for even longer… I knew I would pass out if I went, so I didn’t go, and now I don’t get to be in the pictures >:(..

Does POTs ever get in the way of things you really want to do for you guys? Please let me know, because I’m feeling rather bummed tonight..

On another note; it’s 2013, guys! Congrats to everyone, we survived the “end of the world”! 😉 I welcomed in the new year with a big smile on my face.

Here’s to another fantastic year!

What did you do to celebrate New Years/ Celebrate the world not ending?

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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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