1/2 In September 2008, I was a seemingly normal, healthy college student. I was active, I had friends, I’d done well in all my classes, and I was just starting my sophomore year. Then, one day, I was walking home from the dining hall and collapsed. In October 2008, I was unable to get to class because I couldn’t stand up without collapsing. The next few years I fought to stay in college (against medical advice) and to find a diagnosis for why I kept collapsing, having seizures, and experiencing tachycardia along with numerous other symptoms.
After fighting tooth and nail to prove something was going on and it wasn’t all in my head, I was diagnosed with an autonomic disorder called POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). However, I was also basically told to walk it off and stop letting my delicate lady brain invent problems. I received minimal medical support for several years thereafter and often left appointments in tears, humiliated, or utterly hopeless. Without the ACA, it would have ended there.
Because of the ACA I was able to see other specialists while staying on my parent’s insurance plan. I was able to see a POTS specialist who knew Victorian hysteria was not the cause. I was able to see a mast cell specialist and get diagnosed with MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome). I was able to see a new primary care physician who specialized in thyroid disorders and who finally diagnosed me after over a year of my hair failing out, my energy failing me, and weight gain when I had been underweight my whole life, all of which male doctors had dismissed out of hand. I was able to start treating these conditions, which were contributing to my POTS symptoms and overall poor health.
#dysautonomia #hypothyroidism #spoonie #pots #posturalorthostatictachycardiasyndrome #seizures
#mcas #mastcellactivationsyndrome #chronicillness