After having POTS for over 30+ years you somewhat just live and learn. Many times I learned the hard way but here are some tips to help make your life easier.
Here are some of the tips I can suggest---
#1 Getting out of bed--Flex your ankles as if you were pumping the brakes in a car. Now sit up slowly, dangle your legs over the side of the bed. Another thing that is helpful---make fists and pump them as if you were ready to box. (This pumps blood to your heart.) Sit for several minutes before standing up. When you are ready stand up and proceed with your business as usual.
#2 Household Chores--Drink a glass of water anytime before doing any kind of activity. It increases your blood volume and helps with the dizziness. Keep a stool or chair nearby in the kitchen or laundry room whereever you are so that you can sit when you feel lightheaded. Sit when you need to or go lay down if it just get s to be too much.
#3 Exercise--On a good day IF you can get in some exercise make sure you get in a full glass or two of water,Propel or Gatorade and a salty snack before trying to attempt anything. By doing this you will increase your volume and it will increase your blood pressure for a short duration.
#4 Sick--DRINK GATORADE,PPROPEL,anything , just DRINK DRINK. It is extremely important to not lose blood volume with POTS. By volume, I mean urinating, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sweating etc...All of these things will cause you to lose blood volume and make you become dizzy and faint.
Eat snacks that are high in sodium such as: Chips,Olives,Popcorn,Soups,Pickle (a dill pickle has 1400mg of sodium) **Even a couple of cucumber slices with salt on them can do the trick.
#5 Feeling Faint--Plop yourself down wherever you are and elevate your feet. This is how it should look (See picture on the left). Once you begin to recover then lower your legs and just lay there or try to sit up slowly if you can. If someone is there with you have them get you a glass of either Gatorade or water and a salty snack to help raise your volume. A cold cloth on your face or forehead will help too. Have someone place it on your forehead or around the base of your neck. You will be shaky for some time but doing these things should help you to recover from this episode.
If you listen to your body you may have "close calls" but you may be able to stop the actual fainting spell. My daughter and I have avoided many fainting episode in our house by listening to our symptoms.
I wanted to mention a really good tip that "Potsy Girl" on Facebook wrote on her FB page. I think it's worth mentioning. She said,"Don't lock the bathroom door so that someone can get in if you should faint".
#6 Listen To Your Body--You know your body better than anyone does. If you listen to your body and your intuition, it will tell you when enough is enough. Listen and when you feel sick, sit down.
#7 Stay Out Of Hot Water, Hot Tubs etc...--Speaking from experience please follow this advice. You will get sick. POTS patients will get sick,weak and possibly faint. If you are teh stubborn type and should get in one, make sure you drink,drink,drink. If you get sick have someone lay you flat and put your legs up so that they are above your heart until you recover.
#8 Amusement Rides and POTS--My advice is stay away from them. Unfortunately, amusement rides and POTS are not something that goes in the same sentence. When I was a kid, I used to go to Hershey Park every summer with my parents and sisters but about 7 years ago I went on a carnival ride for the first time with my own daughter it completely wiped me out for an entire day,night and the next day. I had to lie in my car in the parking lot of the carnival until I could get myself to the point where I could drive home. It weakened me so badly I could barely lift my head. I was spinning ,nauseaous, and was trying to black out. My heart raced and raced as if it were going to jump from my chest. I felt as if I were a wet limp dishrag.
#9 Shopping Tips--Go when you are feeling your best. Sometimes that will be when the weather is the coolest. Therefore, before you go make sure you are well hydrated. Do not be afraid to use the scooter or a wheelchair. Many stores have them and they are there for the customer's use.
#10 Families--Sometimes our families don't get it. Be patient with them. After 30 years, I too realize that my parents sacrificed allot to help me find out what was wrong with me. My siblings had to sacrifice time away from my parents during my 3 months in the hospital.It's hard on everyone and even if you think they don't care it may be that they feel heloless and at a lost for words. Some people don't know how to help.
#11 Eat smaller meals---Some P.O.T.S. patients get worse after they eat a heavy meal. This is very common,unfortunately when a person eats, blood flow increases to the stomach and thus it steals it away from everywhere else in the body. So,it is better to eat smaller meals,say six a day instead of three big meals.(Stay away from high carb meals.)
#12 Take Medication on time--It is very important to take meds on time and as directed. For those who are having difficulty paying for medications I found two websites that offer assistance. Click on th elinks for more information.
Things To Avoid
There are certain that POTSie's should avoid. Here are some of the things I avoid to keep from fainting or becoming symptomatic--
EXTREME HEAT OR TEMPERATURE CHANGES
LACK OF SLEEP
HOT BATHS OR HOT TUBS
EATING A BIG MEAL OR OVEREATING
PLAYING VIDEO GAMES OR SPENDING TOO LONG ON THE COMPUTER
EXERCISING TOO VIGOROUSLY
ENERGY DRINKS,COFFEE ,SODA AND OTHER THINGS WITH CAFFIENE IN IT
ANYTHING THAT WILL CAUSE MOTION SICKNESS
(I will add more as I think of them... If you have any please send me an email on the contact page)