Rachel’s Story

“If I would have gone to see her earlier, I could have saved myself from 7 months of treatment with my other doctor that only seemed to make my symptoms worse.  I am so thrilled to say that I have seen a huge improvement in my POTS symptoms.”

 

Rachel, age 22, came to POTS Care after suffering for a few years with symptoms sufficient enough that she had to quit attending college. Traditional treatment for POTS, including salt and exercise was NO help. Six months after coming to POTS Care Rachel sent this email.

 

Update 10/2018: Y’all are so amazing. Anyways, I have been working a full-time job (5 days a week, 8 hours a day) for about a month and a half thus far and I have to say, it’s been going amazingly well. This is coming from the girl who used to literally be stuck in bed all day, every day, and who had to take medical leaves from college due to POTS. I now have plenty of energy to get through the day, I’m enjoying being more active, and I no longer have that dreaded sense of exhaustion that used to follow me around daily. I don’t worry about fainting every time I stand up or feeling so nauseous that I have to lay down just to function.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve seen Dr. Driscoll and my life has continued to get better and better as the months have gone on. I’m able to keep up with (and enjoy) my workout routine. There has been NO fainting, hardly any more dizziness upon standing, and I’m getting stronger and stronger with each workout. I finally feel like my old self again. My heart doesn’t feel like it’s about to come out of my chest anymore. I am no longer suffering from extreme heat intolerance. Thank goodness for all of that. Thank you all again for everything you have done for me. The time spent at POTS Care and with Dr. Driscoll has given me a much better quality of life, better than I ever could have imagined.

Again, to those who are wondering whether or not they should visit Dr. Driscoll: do it. Do it now, because traditional POTS treatment just isn’t cutting it anymore for more and more patients. I’ve had doctors laugh at me whenever I told them that I saw Dr. Driscoll for POTS treatment because they didn’t understand the unconventional approach. They told me that the only way to treat POTS was to exercise, increase salt and water intake, do saline infusions, wear compression socks, etc. I invite anyone who is skeptical of the treatment at POTS Care to actually give it a try because it legitimately works. I’m living proof of the successful treatment that Dr. Driscoll has discovered. I’m not a paid spokesperson. I get nothing out of writing this update, other than the hope that I will help out someone who is suffering like I was. This isn’t some gimmicky fraud or treatment that only works for a little while and then fails. Dr. Driscoll is the real deal. The science is there. The proof is there. The research is there. Give it a try and stop wasting your life away as a slave to POTS. It’s time you win, and Dr. Driscoll can help you do just that.

Update(8/2018): I am so excited because I just got a new job! I literally could not have done it without your help. Honest to God. I am doing phenomenally better. I haven’t fainted since fall of last year. Absolutely amazing. I’ve also been working with a personal trainer two times a week at the gym. She’s amazing and has really helped me increase my stamina safely. I’ve also been able to begin jogging again, which was a major goal of mine. Yay for progress!! I haven’t finished college yet, BUT the plan is to work, save up money, and hopefully finish college via online classes. 

(12/2017): I wanted to brag about my amazing doctor, Dr. Driscoll, and her team at POTS Care. They are legitimately the nicest, most compassionate, and caring team of medical professionals that I have ever met and have truly given me my life back. I went to see Dr. Driscoll last fall after suffering from POTS for about four or five years. I was turned away from doctor after doctor, all of whom claimed that the only thing that was wrong with me was anxiety. I was constantly told that my symptoms weren’t real and that my high heart rate was simply due to “white coat syndrome.” Once the doctors found out that I suffered from mental illness, that was all that they were focused on. None of the doctors took me seriously. As a young adult in college, that was really disappointing. I had been in therapy for several mental illnesses and Autism for many years, so I knew what my anxiety felt like. I knew that I was not experiencing anxiety, but the doctors didn’t care. 

I saw a total of 6 doctors from various specialties (including a cardiologist who didn’t even test for POTS) before seeing my other POTS doctor, one of the leading dysautonomia doctors in the nation. He did an entire battery of autonomic tests in addition to the standard tilt table test, which was, of course, positive. I was diagnosed with POTS by him and had begun treatment. However, after about 7 months of doctor’s appointments almost every single week, which lasted 4-5 hours at a time, and very little progress with traditional POTS treatment (salt, fluids, exercise, compression socks, IV saline, and finally, medication), my family and I decided that I needed a new doctor. My original POTS doctor came to the conclusion that my POTS was idiopathic and that was that. It was extremely frustrating because he was only treating the POTS symptoms, not the underlying cause of my POTS and he pretty much just gave up on me. He never seemed to actually care about my well-being. I felt just like another patient when I was with him. I had to rely on my walker to get around for the majority of the time, I was continuously fainting, I had to take THREE medical leaves/withdraws from college, the brain fog was sooooo bad, and I was utterly exhausted all of the time. 

When I went to POTS Care, I could instantly tell that it was an environment of love and understanding. Dr. Driscoll herself had POTS and so did her children, so she really understands how awful of a condition it is. She looked for causes of POTS that no other doctor had even tried to look for, and she found a lot of underlying medical problems that I had no idea were going on. She was the only doctor to look at my ENTIRE medical history and viewed at it as a whole, rather than just looking at the POTS symptoms. She actually spent hours and hours personally meeting with me, discussing my case, and answering all of the questions that my dad and I had for over the span of four days. By the third day, I fell asleep in a recliner because my POTS was so bad and I was utterly exhausted. (P.S. Recliners in a doctor’s office? Yes, please!!) By the last day, I fell asleep on the floor in Dr. Driscoll’s office while my parents were talking with her. But, Dr. Driscoll completely understood and didn’t make me feel bad about falling asleep on her. She even got a pillow for me. Now that is quality care. 

Her whole office is catered towards POTS patients, from the recliners and blankets to calming music to complimentary water bottles and more. She knows how draining POTS is and strives to make her office an accessible place for everybody. As a patient, I really appreciated that. Her staff is absolutely amazing and I’m seriously impressed not only with their level of professionalism but with their genuine compassion for the patients. It’s obvious that the staff enjoys working with Dr. Driscoll and helping POTS patients. They took an interest in me and talked to me as a friend rather than as a random patient. I’ve never experienced that kind of generosity from a medical team before. Because I am local, I did not have to travel to see Dr. Driscoll. However, I do definitely think that it is worth traveling to see her. If I would have gone to see her earlier, I could have saved myself from 7 months of treatment with my other doctor that only seemed to make my symptoms worse. 

I am so thrilled to say that I have seen a huge improvement in my POTS symptoms. The improvements started quickly after seeing Dr. Driscoll and have continuously gotten even better over the months. I haven’t fainted in about six months, I can finally think clearly, the numbness and tingling that I had constantly before is finally gone, my heart rate is a lot more stable overall, I can bend up and down without becoming super disoriented, I don’t feel constantly dehydrated despite drinking 2+ liters of water a day, I can take a walk without feeling dizzy, and so much more. Of course, I still have bad days and my POTS is not completely gone. Dr. Driscoll has always said that recovery is a process and that I need to take it easy. So no, I am not in school right now, but I am able to work 2-3 days a week for 4 hours at a time. That is a huge accomplishment for me considering I used to be stuck in bed all day! I am working back towards being able to return to college, but right now, I’m taking it easy and am building up my stamina. I finally feel at peace with my decision to just go with the flow and see where life takes me. I used to feel so pressured to finish college in the spring of 2018 when I was originally supposed to graduate, but I don’t feel that way anymore. 

My illness had its grasp around me and I felt like I would never be able to beat it. But now, I have hope. I’ve seen the incredible amount of progress that I’ve made in just a few months and I’m so excited to see what the future holds. My illness no longer has control over me, all thanks to Dr. Driscoll. I haven’t had to use my walker in about six months. I have been able to discontinue my heart medication, which is something that I never thought I would be able to do. I am actually able to exercise without becoming completely winded. Now THAT is what I call improvement. If anyone is out there with POTS and has been told that their case is idiopathic or that there is nothing else to be done, definitely see Dr. Driscoll and her medical team. You won’t be disappointed.