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Pacing, Illness and HSD

Updated: Jul 18, 2021

As a general rule, I don't refer to my disabling conditions (HSD, POTS etc) as being ill or being sick.

Why - when they can make me feel so very ill? Because if I see my normal as 'ill' then when I get a common illness (cold, stomach bug etc) I find it harder to have sensible strategies for dealing with it. For example: I currently have a cold - with all the standard symptoms. But in addition, when my body is fighting an infection my POTS is worsened too and I get a racing heart and horribly dizzy every time I cough. And the fatigue makes joint control and hypermobility management more difficult - everything kind of plays of everything else. Unfortunately this means that mild infections that many average people could 'take some meds and power through' really knock me down. My normal pacing rules are for 'healthy me'. I have different rules for 'sick me'. So right now I'm operating on sickness rules. This includes: blankets. TV, Kids DVDs, or 'pride and prejudice'), naps, lots and lots of tea, carefully chosen meds, that don't mess with my heart (no standard cold meds with phenylephedrine!) and time off work. Because experience says this helps me get over it and back to 'healthy me' quicker. And as a result I don't worry that my POTS and EDS are worsening - I can have a sulky moment about having a cold and feeling rubbish, safe in the knowledge that it will pass, and I will start to feel better again soon - and at that point I will switch back to 'healthy me' pacing. Ok, so I'm writing this which is technically work. But this is all I intend to do today. Because I'm ill. And taking time off work when I'm ill is a very constructive thing to do. [Note: This works for me, with my combination of conditions. It won't work for everyone.] [First published Fri 28th Dec 2018

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