Laura Kate’s Story

“Dr. Driscoll always brings it back to the science part, which is really reassuring.”

LauraKate came to POTS Care after suffering with her illness for 5 years. Her diagnoses included POTS, EDS, and depression. She also struggled a lot with fatigue, dizziness, and chronic constipation/gastroparesis. She leaves POTS Care with regular bowel movements for the first time in years and answers to her underlying causes of illness.

INTERVIEWER: LauraKate, what would you like to say to the folks considering coming to POTS Care?

PATIENT: You should come! There is no question about it. It is the best place to come, everyone is so welcoming and warm and its life changing.

PATIENT’S MOTHER: I think if you have suffered and have been unable to find any kind of treatment why would you not come here. I mean, I think this is the place where all the answers are that you have been looking for.

INTERVIEWER: Can you guys share a little bit about your illness and what it has been like for you and how it has affected your life?

PATIENT’S MOTHER: As a mom, I guess we have had a five-year diagnosis and we were able to kind of ignore it until our daughter went to college and then the symptoms just became overwhelming. It has been hard to watch your child have such a hard time.

PATIENT: It’s basically just I feel like I am always sick, and my friends will want to go out and do things, and I cannot. I have been told I am lazy and that I just needed to get through it, but I cannot and I sleep all the time. My record is 20 hours of sleep. I sleep and I try to get my school work done, and then I force myself to go to hang out with friends, so I do not miss anything. It is so hard because meanwhile I am trying not to faint or cough up a lung. I am always getting sick and I am always tired. I just feel it is an awful time.

INTERVIEWER: Do you feel that the care you received at POTS Care was different than previous care for other doctors?

PATIENT: Oh yeah! I now have regular bowel movements for the first time in years. I did not feel like you all were laughing at me or doubting me, and I did not feel like it was all my head. I have always been scared to talk about it just because I do not want people to think I was making it up. Here you all are just so warm and I already said that, but you all believe me and you are willing to do whatever it takes to help me get better, which is fantastic.

PATIENT’S MOTHER: Well the thing that I have really noticed is just the level of care that you receive when you come here. Everything is one on one.

PATIENT: It is very personal.

PATIENT’S MOTHER: It is. Dr. Driscoll spends as much time as you need with her and it is definitely a level of care and everybody is pleasant and great, especially Sarah and Michelle. We have not had a lot of experience with a lot of other doctors because we were lucky enough to find POTS Care early, but a few times that I have mentioned LauraKate’s illness to doctors, there is a very definite air of disbelief or, you know, just no validity in the whole thing.

INTERVIEWER: Were we able to identify any underlying problems contributing to your illness that others have missed?

PATIENT: The whole inflammatory problem. Everyone else missed that. Everyone was saying well it is a heart problem or it is a sinus problem or you are allergic to everything or you are mental. Here you almost got straight to it. It was inflammatory and you know like well that is it or that’s not it obviously, but it seemed like it was a pretty simple diagnosis.

PATIENT’S MOTHER: Well, yeah. I mean at POTS Care, they look at everything. They look at the whole body holistically, so it is not just focusing on one thing as specialized doctors tend to do. When they have enough experience with patients that they know quickly the areas to identify and in doing so we are able to find all kinds of things that we were unaware of, in our case mostly stemming from inflammation that has never been mentioned before.

PATIENT: Never crossed people’s minds.

INTERVIEWER: Were we able to stimulate a bowel movement for you?

PATIENT: Yes, you were, it was amazing!

PATIENT: It is very personal.

INTERVIEWER: Oh great! Do you feel like we are using real science here?

PATIENT: Definitely yeah. Dr. Driscoll always brings it back to science, which is really reassuring, so it is not just like some voodoo magic. It is very scientific! It’s simple. Who would have thought starting in the eyes?

PATIENT’S MOTHER: But it is very different. So they start with the eyes and that tells them what the plan is for the rest of the day, so it cannot be predicted until they see the eyeballs of the patient. I think our education is what has been huge, and I felt like I knew a lot coming in because I naturally do research on my own, but it was just so eye opening to hear all of it. I did not know most of it and mostly I feel like now do we have a grasp on how to heal it, but I now have confidence that we can heal it, which we have never had before. We have never had that pretty solid reassurance that it is curable or it is manageable. Everybody says it is just something to live with, happy trails.

INTERVIEWER: Was there anything else you guys want to add?

PATIENT: I am sad to go. Yeah. We are going to miss everything.

PATIENT’S MOTHER: I know, we are sad and we loved our week here, everything about it. We felt very taken care of and very loved.

INTERVIEWER: Good, well thank you for sharing your thoughts.