The Anti-Catastrophizer

I went to the doctor yesterday to make sure I hadn’t caught Emma’s strep. Since my throat almost always hurts, I never know when I have strep. It has gone to my kidneys in the past because I didn’t notice a difference. Luckily, I don’t have it!

I also talked to my doctor about my experience at Mayo Clinic and how I’d been consuming so much salt and not seeing my blood pressure increase. If the top number of my blood pressure gets below 100, I get very dizzy. Lately, I am lucky for a top number of 103. We are trying a drug the doctors at Mayo Clinic recommended to raise my blood pressure, Midodrine. We are starting with just 5mg a day and working our way up to 3 times a day and as much as 10mg per dose. My doctor has asked me to log my blood pressure and pulse once a day and e-mail her the log once a week. What an awesome doctor, right? 🙂

I am hopeful because I’ve seen a lot of success stories with Midodrine. It won’t be a cure, but it can help with the symptoms low blood pressure is causing. So far, it hasn’t made a significant change in my blood pressure or how I am feeling. My lower number has increased (from the 50s to the 70s), but my top number has been between 101 and 106 all day. I also am feeling pretty sick from my flu shot since fighting infection isn’t really my body’s thing, but it is much better than getting the flu!

I was flattered because my doctor said she is surprised with how well I handle my illness with how much it has changed my life and impacts my day to day life. She said sometimes she will see on a patient’s psych exam that the psychologist says the patient catastrophizes their illness. She said I am the opposite, an “anti-catastrophizer”. Haha! I figure most people understand how awful my having POTS is, especially since I blog about it now. I don’t need to make it an even bigger deal than it already is or the focus of everything in my “real” life. I still have lots of awesome stuff in my life, POTS just isn’t one of them!

10 thoughts on “The Anti-Catastrophizer

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  1. Haha. Awesome. As a catastrophizer, having an anti-catastrophizer around is probably good for me, because I’m making a pretty big deal about this. lol. It’s interesting that you figure people know how awful it is. I tend to figure the opposite. Maybe I’ll be less dramatic when I get a “real” life back. ❤

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    1. Its alright :-). I have my days where I am extremely angry about being sick. I don’t assume when I say “POTS”, they just know. However, I do assume if I explain once what it feels like, how it impacts me day to day, and how I have needed to modify my life, anyone who knows me will know how awful it is. I’ve never been one to sit still or not want to be working.

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  2. THAT’S OUR JACKIE!!! Life gave her a BIG lemon and she makes a big batch of lemonade. You have always been a fighter, and you will get through this. Love you bunches baby.
    Aunt Mabel

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  3. I feel so much better reading your post, because I got my flu shot on Friday (it’s Monday), and I still feel lousy. But you’re right…it’s better than the flu 🙂

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  4. My throat is constantly hurting and due to my immune system being suppressed I am in constant fear of strep. Turns out its related to reflux and prilosec is helping. Its amazing how those of us with chronic illness just kind of deal with it…roll with the punches…adapt to the changes. I like the “anticatastrophize” term. I talk to my friends who are healthy and mention that I take chemo and they freak “I don’t know how you can do that, I would freak out”. Well, I don’t have a choice. Thanks for sharing your story..

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    1. It definitely makes it easier to just roll with the punches when you don’t have a choice! It’s got to be hard having your immune system suppressed on top of already being sick. You’re a strong lady! That’s great that you figured out you have reflux. The doctor mentioned a dormant virus could be living in my lymph nodes… The throat and armpit ones swell up at the same time — weird!

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