I thought it was the dish that ran away with the spoons?

Well, in the nursery rhyme it is but for me it's POTS!

Click this for an explanation of POTS

And this for an explanation of SPOONS

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The Story of The Dress

I've just been talking with a friend on facebook about the dress I will be wearing to the school reunion IF* I go.

It reminded me of the great lengths I went to to get this dress. I was telling her about this and as I was writing it, it sounded to me like a made up story, something you'd expect to read perhaps in a chick lit novel, hyperbole for the sake of adding humour, but I swear it is all true.

The villain of the piece is BRAIN FOG.

I suppose it was my own fault for agreeing to go shopping 2 days after New Years Eve. I felt 'better' but 'better' was compared to the previous day during which I was hungover, and all my POTS symptoms and fatigue were exacerbated.**

So my poor brain had obviously not recovered from the depletion of brain cells and oxygen, and quite obviously, carrying a bag with a lovely new dress in it that I didn't have previously was just one extra thing too many for it to have to consider. So naturally, when I put the bag down to try on a coat, it was a case of 'out of hand, out of mind...'

Imagine, 5 minutes later, racing back to the shop as fast as one possibly can with tachycardia, and the panic on top of that of realising that due to your own frustrating stupidity, you've lost The Dress that you fell in love with and were so excited about wearing...
The shop assistants haven't seen it
It's not under the coats you tried on
Maybe it got kicked along under some others
Or maybe... maybe I left it by the gloves when I tried one on to see if it would be nice for Lee! (he always gets cold hands, bless him)
Oh dear, it's not here... but can I be sure I left it here? Shit, I might have left it in that other shop...
The lady says she didn't see me carrying a bag when I walked in, and it's not here... better try that other outdoor pursuits shop... not here, not here... oh god, what if I didn't look properly in the first one?
Another frantic search round, ignoring the 'looks' from other shoppers- getting down close to the ground and sticking your nose into racks of coats... nothing but the empty floor underneath, damn damn damn!
Asking again- in case someone handed it in while you were gone... but no... yet there's hope- check security... but they haven't had anything handed in either- someone must have taken it, your lovely new dress that you've not even had the chance to wear, save in the dressing room where it looked so beautiful and made you feel so good.

Back to the shop to see if they have one left but no... they don't.
Then it's time for the tears, not just mourning the loss of the dress because it's much more than that- it's more much even that mourning the loss of the dreams of wearing that dress and dancing in it, feeling so good... it is mourning the loss of being able to trust yourself, rely on yourself, to do simple things like remember to pick up a carrier bag when you've put it down... they are tears at the fear of not knowing what stupid thing you're going to end up doing next... like forgetting to turn the gas off and leaving heaters on when you've left the house... the quiet, cold dread of a fear that seeps into your psyche, reminding you of your Grandmother with Alzheimers and how she'd do things just like that... reminding you that, if you can't even trust yourself, how the hell can you expect to do anything 'normal', when your brain keeps betraying you?

Then you're so depressed that you think sod the damn money, I want that dress. So it's back home and on to the internet to search for it on the online store and YES, YES they have it! But no, oh no, not in your size...

So you start frantically ringing round other shops and finally track it down somewhere nearby, you get a lift with your very kind Mum (who obviously feels sorry for you despite not being able to understand what it's like to have a sieve for a brain) to the shop and when you get there... there's a fire engine outside and everyone has been evacuated!

So you do a little food shopping at a nearby store and come back. The shop looks like it's about to be closed up! Your Mum shouts under the half down barrier to an assistant, both assistants come to the doorway- she explains about the dress that you'd phoned and reserved to order- hands over the cash and yes, at last- The Dress is finally yours.

This time you clutch the bag tight and don't put it down, not even for a moment.

Because that's all it takes, just one moment, and your brain can be lost and you can be lost and your life, yourself, can be lost.

If you can find it again in the beauty of a black and white dress with black orchids and tiny, glittery sequins on, then you will. You'll wear that dress and remember- it's not easy living with this, any of it- but you do your best and you don't give in and you dance when you can and feel beautiful, because no matter what, no matter how frustrating it gets, life is beautiful.

So you have The Dress and you Never Forget.

*That's a big IF because I have committed myself to a Big Night Out the night before with Margit, she is having surgery on her ankle soon and will be housebound so going out with her now, while we can, is of the most importance socially. I don't know if I can do two nights in a row. The one and only time I tried it, I had to go home because I started feeling like I was about to throw up. Looking back now, this seems like I had a bad Potsy episode, I came close to fainting, I thought I was having a panic attack, I felt hot, dizzy and sick, I got back to my friends uni hall and lay in her bed and felt okay, aside from the residual effects of the dizziness, once I was horizontal.
I also REALLY want to see my boyfriend, now we are in the 'honeymoon phase' (lol) I don't want to skip a weekend that I could be seeing him. If it wasn't for POTS then I'd go out Friday night, Saturday night AND drive over to my boyfriends after the reunion party. But I don't know how I'm going to feel and if I can do that. I HAVE been feeling better lately, but 'better' is not 'normal' and this is so unpredictable so I'm just 'going with the flow' and will just have to see.

** I only recently started getting drunk- I tried it once when I was 17, thought 'oh that was funny, but not again' (I always had emetophobia so that was a big deterrant and I've never made myself THAT drunk) and from then on, would only ever drink a glass or two of wine on holiday, and one or two alcopops when out clubbing- most of my time was spent on the dancefloor, where drinks aren't allowed!
Because of this, I am still learning my limits and it was the second time in the last few months I'd gotten myself drunk enough to really regret it thanks to making everything worse for myself POTS wise. But also, because I missed out on a lot of fun and going out due to other problems, sometimes I disregard the consequences of my actions and decide to just 'suck it up' the next day. And boy oh boy, did I have to!

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