I am happy to report that life no longer feels strange. Less than 2 months to adapt from being sick to being a “normal” person again is actually pretty good, as much as I found the process to be stressful at the time. At this point, pretty much everyone who sees me on a somewhat regular basis, in circumstances where I can’t hide my illness, seem to be pretty used to me. Or I’m used to being sick around them. Or something. It’s gotten to the point in Tai Chi, where, if I’m having a bad day, I literally wander off in the middle of class and take a nap on the floor until I recover. My Sifu comes over and checks on me at some point, then gives me some advice and encouragement, and leaves me to work at my own pace. If I’m careful about not pushing too hard, I can usually get up and move around a bit again towards the end of class. On Monday, I made it almost all the way through a fairly high intensity class. That’s the first time I’ve been able to to anything resembling boxing in well over a year. It felt amazing. It’s very difficult not to get excited and over do it, so I wear a watch with a heart rate monitor, and check often. I stop myself at 160-170bpm if we’re doing an intense work out, and I keep it below 140bpm for slower movements that I sometimes struggle with. It means stopping and taking a lot of breaks, but it really keeps me from losing progress by making myself sick. My good days are almost as good as before I got sick, and in some ways better. My bad days are better than my best days were when I was on medical leave.
School is another matter. It’s very hard for me to sit up and pay attention for long periods of time, which makes it hard to keep up. I’m considering starting my days off with a jog to see if that helps. Sometimes I go into Tai Chi, feeling sick in the chronic fatigue sort of way that wears on me throughout the week, and I perk right up once I start working out. If I can get a good consistent schedule going, maybe my energy and concentration will improve.
I’m pretty sure that within a year or two, POTS will no longer affect me on a regular basis if it isn’t gone completely. I just need to keep focused and take meticulous care of myself, and hopefully soon I won’t be so fragile.