Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is definitely not an easy disease to live with. You know, the heart rate and all. Oh and those pointless discussions if it’s a disease or a syndrome or none of the above. Living with POTS is hard. Sharing pots and pans with someone who has POTS can be too, but loved-ones can actually do things to make it all easier for everybody. Here’s how.
Provide emotional support
Start by being a good listener and becoming a supporting advocate. From our experience, people with POTS are often quite sensitive.
Giving emotional support is what lovers do, with or without POTS. Do it.
You care. And because you do, asking questions is not “intruding” or “bothering;” you simply want to know, and that’s appreciated. And it’s a million times better than telling them all the things you apparently already know. You don’t.
Be patient with the patient
Say that it’s okay they didnt’t get anything done today. Say it’s okay—because trust me, your partner has enough self-doubt over their POTS. No need for us to add insult to injury.
Take them as a full person
Your partner may express pain, disappointment and anger and feel as though they’re no longer the person they used to be. People should never be treated differently, due to their illnesses, because that will only confirm that silly idea that they’re someone else all of a sudden.
Make the outside world available
When people find doors closed (and, quite literally in the case of POTS, can’t find the strength to open them), he or she who acts as a door opener wins the day. Open windows and let the sun tickle their cheeks for a little bit. Enable them to feel and experience the things every human being craves, especially when bedridden.
Your partner still has a desire to achieve and create things. They will have good moments when small things are possible again, such as making a drawing, or playing a game. If you can help finding and pursuing the things that make your partner happy, you’re a true winner.
Give praise where praise is due. “You made it up the stairs all by yourself,” can, in some cases, be a sincere compliment. If you forget to point out achievements and progress, your loved-one might think what they just did is nothing worth mentioning and lose motivation to keep getting better.
The best support you can ever give is to demonstrate that you love your partner, and that no POTS and no other problem has the power to change that. You know that they would do the same for you.
What else can a good care partner do for his or her loved-one? Let us know!