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15. Thats how old I was when my world came to a halt.

To some people, it may not sound that

major but to me, it was huge. When you're 15 you shouldnt have to worry about your health. All
you should worry about is your grades and spending time with your friends. Well, I wish that that
was the only things that I had to worry about.
When youre a freshman playing on varsity, it can be very nerve racking. You know that all the
upperclassmen are judging you and the girl's spot that you took, shes waiting on the bench for
you to make a mistake. Well that feeling is 10 times worse when you play Kearney. It was our
3rd game of normal season.(We had 3 invitational games before hand.) I was starting in the
middle of the defense, which is what I dont play. However, I was not about to tell Brantley, my
coach, that I dont feel comfortable playing there. When the referee blew that first whistle, I then
realised how hard this game was going to be. Kearny had kick off and they utilized it. They
marched down our half of the field and took a shot. The girl I was marking a girl that I played
with on club. This girl, Annie, knew that I didnt like her and she was just waiting to get me. And
she did just that. She didnt push me over or anything because shes not as strong as me. She
elbowed me in the throat, hard.When she first did it, I was taken back by it. I honestly didnt
think that she had it nerve to do it to me. After she did it, I was gasped for air the whole rest of
the half. The referee blew the final whistle of the half and I trotted over to the bench to get water.
I dont remember what the score was, all I know was that it wasnt good. One of the
seniors,Chloe, noticed that I looked upset so she came over and talked to me and told me that I
was doing fine. Second half started. I was running behind the ball to guard it so our goalie,
Faith, could pick it up. As soon as I stopped running it hit me. The dizziness was very extreme. I
stood still for a second but, had to start running again. Well, every time I would stop running I
would get dizzy. I played though. I played until I couldnt stand without almost falling over. Little
did I know that this first sign would be just one domino in my decline of good health.
The next day at practice we had to run a lot since we lost so bad. That whole day I was drinking
a ton of water so I could practice that day. This day was a bit warmer too. So we get out there
and I start running but I didnt feel that great. But since I wanted to show that I was dedicated, I
played through it. All was fine until the last half hour. We had to do this big running drill. The
running drill was called zone running. They set up cones all around the outside of the soccer
field. We had to run around the field until they shouted out a number. Whatever number they
shouted out, thats how many zones we had to sprint. Well I thought it wouldn't be that bad. Well
that wasnt the case.Your jog around the field had to be pretty fast. I didnt get 5 minutes into it
until I puked the first time. Since Im a stubborn child, I went back to running. This happened 2
more times until I almost passed out. I still however, tried to get up and go back to running. A
few of the girls saw me and said I should just sit down. Well, practice was over and the team
was meeting in the middle of the field. I caught up and was holding on the the set of bleachers
that were next to me. The coaches saw me and yelled at me to sit down. I couldnt argue with
them, so I just sat back down. That was my last practice until the end of the season.
After that, my parents and I thought I was just protein deprived. So I would drink a protein drink
every morning for breakfast and then a protein bar before practice. My lunches would be healthy
so I wouldnt pass out at practice. This new diet worked for a day. I once again got dizzy at

practice and tried to run through it. Once me and my family realized that this wasnt any easy fix
we decided to call the doctors.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I had several doctors appointments.They did an
ultrasound of my heart, just to make sure nothing was structurally wrong with it. Next they did a
stress test. I lasted 8 minutes. I didnt even get to the running part of the test yet. They called for
one more test, a tilt table test. With this, you're strapped to a table with iv fluids in your arm, just
incase you pass out. You start out lying down and then they bring you up to an upright position.
They do this to see your heart rate or something, Im not really sure. I never passed out but, I
failed the test. Because of me failing, they were able to figure out whats wrong with me. The
doctors told me and my family that I had Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS
for short. The doctors used really big words when they explained it but basically, my heart and
brain dont talk. Weve never heard of this before and now I have it. To treat it you take
Fludrocortisone. Im not really sure what this does but, it helps me. Within a few days, I was
back to normal. I returned to soccer and I went 5 months healthy. Everything went fine until
September 20th.
September 20th was a Sunday night. I was playing a soccer game. I played the whole first half
and everything was going well. Then with about 10 minutes left in the game, it hit me. A rush of
dizziness came over me. I tried to stand still but it wouldnt pass. I raised my hand for my coach
to take me out but, he wouldnt do it. He said that I had to stay in the game. So what did I do? I
just sat down. If he wasnt going to listen to me, then I would make him listen. Hes lucky a
teammate of mine saw me sitting down and kicked the ball out otherwise, they might have
scored. When I went over to the bench, I told him what was wrong. Needless to say, he wasnt
happy about it. I knew right there that I had a relapse.
That week I didnt go to school at all. We went to our primary care doctor and she said that she
didnt know what was happening. The next week is when things started to get really bad. I
started to get really bad headaches. They were so bad in fact that we had to go to the
emergency room. There we learned that I had high blood pressure. So when you have high
blood pressure in the emergency room, they keep the blood pressure cuff on your arm and
every 10 to 15 minutes, it takes your blood pressure. And when it's high, it does a horrible
beeping sound. So, it beeped the whole time. I went to the emergency room 3 more times
before we saw a neurologist.
I thought the neurologist would be just me talking to them about what's happening and then get
some medications. I was 50% right. After we talked for a while and they told me all the new
medications that I was going to be on, they told me that I was going to get nerve blockers. Little
did I know, it was 4 needles shoved into certain trigger points on my head. They didnt hurt to
me but, Ive learned that I have a high pain tolerance. Within a month or so with the nerve
blockers and all the new medications, I was back to school. On December 1st, I went back to

I made it through the whole month of December with no issues. I even went to Mexico without
one issue. Shocker, I had another relapse. This time it was January 4th. I again, went to the
neurologists and got nerve injections. This time I got 14. Ya, that was fun. Those didnt work this
time around. Since that didnt work, they went bigger. I now got to get drugs pumped into me.
Its called a DHE infusion. You get 4 different types of drugs pumped into you to try and help get
rid of your headache. Zofran, compazine, benadryl, and DHE. I did this for 2 days until
something bad happened to me. Tuesday night I had an allergic reaction to the drug compazine.
I dont know how to describe but it looked like a cerebral palsy. I had this for about 3 hours. This
put so much stress on my body that the DHE didnt work. We then found out that my body
doesnt like that many medications in it at once so I can only talk one at a time and that's my
POTS medicine. So now I have to try alternative methods. Im now doing acupuncture every
week for six weeks and massages.
Ive been doing this for 3 weeks now. I go to school part time. But if Im being honest, it doesn't
seem to be helping all that much. So I basically just do what Im told and hope for the best.