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My POTS diagnosis, like most, was not the first diagnosis I received.  POTS isn’t all that common, but its symptoms are.  So doctors don’t immediately think POTS when presented with my symptoms.  Here’s my story of how they finally figured it out. 🙂

February 8th, 2009:

It was Sunday and I was at a 2-day dance convention with my dance company.  Dance conventions are just like business conventions- they’re held at hotels and consist of workshops and classes.  I hadn’t had very much to eat or drink that day because (a) I felt a bit nauseous- these conventions are very intimidating! and (b) the convention ballroom didn’t supply enough water.  There was a small water cooler in the corner of the ballroom, and that was it.  I brought a reusable water bottle to the hotel, but couldn’t find a water fountain to fill it up after I’d finished it.  Both of these factors probably contributed to what happened next, but neither I nor anyone knew that at the time.  During one of the convention classes, we learned a very cool contemporary dance.  I remember feeling so good and free while I did the dance- I wish I could remember it now.  Suddenly I felt a strange sensation– the room began to tilt back and forth, and it was tinted blue.  I felt like I was underwater!  I stopped dancing and ran to the heavy metal doors of the ballroom.  I pushed the door open.  That’s all I remember.

Apparently I fell to the ground and began trembling uncontrollably.  It lasted a few minutes, then I lay unconscious for a few minutes, then I woke up.  Parents of other dancers, as well as my dance teachers, noticed and immediately called an ambulance.  The dance convention didn’t have an emergency plan or anything- none of the supervisors knew what to do.  I won’t say the name of the convention on this blog, but if you’re a dancer and want to know the name of it so you can be warned, please email me and tell you.  I was taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital.

My parents were an hour away- they were actually in a movie theater seeing Slumdog Millionaire when they received a call that I was in the hospital.  Obviously, they left the theater and drove to the hospital.  I remember being in the ambulance and asking a paramedic what had happened.  He told me I had a seizure and I started to cry.  Seizures happen to old and sick people, not ME!  I was terrified, but I faded in and out of consciousness so I don’t remember much.

At the hospital, I was hooked up to an IV bag (probably glucose or saline) and given something to eat.  I know people make fun of hospital food, but this wasn’t so bad.  I had a turkey sandwich and graham crackers.  For some reason, they tasted delicious.  One of the best meals I’ve ever had, haha.  The doctors assessed me and all, and concluded that my seizure was an isolated event, probably due to low blood sugar.  They scheduled an EEG (monitors brain waves) to make sure nothing was seriously wrong with my brain, and I was able to leave the hospital a few hours after arriving.  I even went to school and ran the next day.

Part 2 coming soon…