I have always been a full-time athlete. I played four sports competitively, focusing on basketball and swimming the most. By seventh grade, I took on swimming as my main sport and had practice almost every day, year-round. However, because I was working so hard in swimming, my early POTS symptoms were overlooked.
I became symptomatic in the summer of 2008, right before I started eighth grade. Throughout the year, my symptoms such as orthostatic intolerance, blacking out, and vertigo-like dizziness became worse, but I brushed it off as being tired from swimming so much. However, we realized it was much worse at the last meet I swam in, when after three consecutive events, I got out of the pool and collapsed.
My doctors diagnosed me with vasomotor instability after that meet, but continued to send me to other doctors because vasomotor instability did not cover all of my symptoms. I continued to get worse as my team of doctors attempted to figure out what was wrong with me. In February of my sophomore year of high school, my mother took me to Riley Children’s Hospital inIndianapolis, where Dr. Timothy Cordez realized that I had the form of dysautonomia known as POTS.
A month later, as my mother and I were trying to find out more about POTS, we stumbled across DYNA. I’m thankful I found DYNA so quickly after my diagnosis because they made my illness much easier to handle. With DYNA, I learned more about my condition, got advice and tips from the other members, and best of all, I received a family who understands what I go through on a daily basis and encourages me every step of the way.
Four years after I developed the illness and nearly a year after my diagnosis, I’m on a strong path to recovery and hoping to make a full return to sports. I don’t think I would be recovering as fast without DYNA. They push me to push myself and give me the support I need to recover, and I’m so thankful for every one of them.