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Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center

My Rules for Living with POTS

Here are some of my rules for living with POTS:

  • Be disciplined. Do not do things you know will make you worse.
  • Make rules to limit gray areas. I find it’s easier not to overextend myself if I remove emotions from my decisions. This makes it easier for me to accept the limitations I have to place on my activities and also helps to limit the number of stupid, impulsive things I chose to do. I follow these rules, no excuses. Some of my rules include:
    • No walking to school when it is over 80 degrees. I will get too hot and ruin my day.
    • Be in bed by 10pm—well at least on week nights.
    • Slow down or stop exercising if my heart rate goes over 135.
    • No alcohol.
  • Allow myself to be sad about POTS when I need to be sad.
  • Limit complaining. It’s unbecoming and everyone has issues they are facing so don’t try to show off how miserable you are.
  • Try not to feel guilty when you are doing something you know will make you feel bad later. I am a normal young person who usually lives my life with extreme discipline because of my POTS. I cannot be perfect about POTS all the time and that will just have to be ok.
  • Never EVER use POTS as an excuse if it’s not the real excuse. If someone discovers you are doing that, even once, they will never believe you again.

This page was last updated July 13, 2012 and is maintained by