Wednesday, February 4, 2015
WORKING WITH POTS
As some of you know, I returned to work a couple of weeks ago. Since I am a full time biology major at a University and my job can be very draining, I am only working two six hour shifts each week.
I'll be honest; a 12-hour paycheck sucks. It's not enough money for the amount of effort it takes to survive those hours. But, on the other hand, I know what I can handle and surviving those 12 hours every week is a huge accomplishment.
I work in the hot foods department of a grocery store, which means I'm on my feet all day in a hot kitchen, moving around a lot, lifting, etc. It's not easy. My first week back, I had horrible palpitations all day, felt absolutely nauseas and horrible, and got lightheaded several times
BUT THERE IS HOPE !!!!
Now, a couple weeks later, I am able to fully go through my shift without any major problems. I still get lightheaded sometimes, but my body is getting more used to staying vertical longer. Going back to work has really helped me learn how to handle the symptoms that go along with this syndrome.
I won't lie and say that everything is easy and perfect. There are days when I feel absolutely horrible and question whether or not I can get through my shift and stay vertical the entire time. And it can be scary. Luckily the people I work with are absolutely amazing and keep a good eye on me.
My work mates are pretty much family at this point and they have been SO supportive. My bosses are amazing. And I cannot imagine that I would have been able to do this if everyone was not so awesome. They have all asked questions about POTS and tried to learn a little bit about it and I feel so blessed to have such a great group of people around me. Of course, they too have their moments and there are times we would like to rip each other's throats out, but I never doubt that they are 100% supportive and understanding.
TIPS TO GET THROUGH WORK:
~ Try to get accommodations (like a chair, if you don't already have one.)
~ Keep water with you at all times (I had to get permission to keep water with me since I work in a kitchen and you're not supposed to have personal food/drinks. So talk to your management.)
~Have something to keep track of pulse and/or blood pressure
~Always keep salt packets on hand (I have a little travelling salt shaker)
~Make sure you take your breaks spaced equally apart. This will make the day easier, trust me.
~Compression stockings, okay?
~EDUCATE YOUR COWORKERS
~Try to take it easier until you get back in the swing of things
~Don't be afraid to tell people when you're feeling sick
~Know your limits
~DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF