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.

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