In March of 2012, my life fell apart. I was a grad student in computer science by day, and an aspiring martial artist in the evenings. I had been suffering from fatigue and very poor exercise recovery for years. After a work out I would often find myself to weak to stay awake the next day and would pass out for several hours. Once after a heavy work out of Muay Thai, Kali, and Jiu Jitsu, I woke up in a cold bath tub. I had gone to take a bath, and lost consciousness part way through. The next week, I became fatigued, and fell during a work out, breaking my arm.
I decided to train Tai Chi until I recovered. I ended up sticking with my new instructor and training Kung Fu with him. This lasted for about 8 months until March 2012. My fatigue began to intensify. I had to sit out after an hour of working out. Then a half hour. Then one day I made it 15 minutes. I sat on the floor and lost my ability to move or speak. Eventually my body started convulsing and I was driven to the ER.
6 months later, after dropping out school, moving back in with my mom, and spending most of my time in bed, sick, terrified, and sometimes too weak to care for myself beyond getting to the bathroom and back, I got a likely diagnosis of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).
Kung Fu has a philosophy of “health first, fighting second.” My Sifu (Kung Fu teacher) has committed to working with me in finding ways to regain my strength and retrain my nervous system to respond appropriately to an upright posture. This blog is the ongoing story of my illness and recovery.
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