So recently on Instagram, I posted this picture. I’m lying in bed with my feet up the wall. To anyone without chronic illness, I probably just look silly. But, people with chronic illness know exactly why I am doing this!
It’s not to sit dramatically or to increase the chances of me dropping my phone on my face while watching Netflix (although this position 100% does that). It’s to get my blood out of my feet and back to where it needs to be!
WATCH THIS SHORT EXPLANATION OF POT SYNDROME FROM DYSAUTINOMIA INTERNATIONAL:
When you have POT Syndrome, your blood vessels in your legs don’t constrict like they are supposed to, thus causing blood pooling, thus causing 100+ different symptoms like passing out, dizziness, nausea, like literally everything.
Think of it like being allergic to gravity!
So, sitting with your feet up a wall (my friends on instagram use the hashtag #feetupclub), sends my blood back out of my feet, slightly relieving some of my symptoms.
It may look silly to you, but it is a daily chronic illness habit that helps in some small way.
This actually isn’t the only chronic illness habit that makes us look crazy by far! I asked my Instagram community some of their chronic illness habits that may look crazy but helps them get through the day! If you also have a chronic illness, I’m sure you can relate to at least one of these!
1. @invisibblyillfox said:
“Before I was diagnosed, I always would put my legs up on the back of the couch while laying on the sofa or sit crossed-legged in a chair instead of having my feet down. Now I know why and I do it even more! Also sitting or laying down anywhere in public gets people confused.”
I find it so interesting that our bodies communicate to us like this! She didn’t know at first why she was even doing it, but just knew it made her feel better!
Also, I have 100% sat down or even lied down in store isles, sidewalks, sitting rooms, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and more! I will take the funny looks over passing out!
2. @theothersideofthecurtain said:
“Sitting down in the shower”
Showering seems like the simplest task that most people do daily, but it’s actually one of the hardest things to do for people with chronic illness. I literally have to schedule my showers into my days so I know I will have enough energy to take them, and enough time to lie down afterwards to recover! Even when I do that though, I still have to sit down in the shower, or even get out of the shower to avoid passing out!
I used to have hair that went down to my hips, but cut it off a few years back because it was making showers more difficult.
3. @bifidabroadwaybaby said:
“Crouching in the subway when there are no seats left!”
So I do not live in the city, but can’t imagine how nerve wracking taking the subway would be with chronic illness! It’s noisy and over stimulating, and there is a good chance you won’t get a seat. Most people won’t just give up their seat for you either because many people live with invisible illnesses. That means we can look 100% healthy on the outside, while our bodies are constantly destroying us from the inside.
This totally means crouching when no seats are left! People may give a funny look, but it’s so much better then passing out in public!
If you can relate to any of these, comment down below! Also, go follow all of my friends on Instagram! I absolutely love the community that is being built there and all the support I am giving and receiving from new friends!