For a few, POTS can be a progressive disease that gets seriously worse over time. For most, POTS can wane and wax, although one’s baseline health may be pretty rough. For me, I am hoping to see continued improvement over time and am working and praying toward that.
If you have a chronic illness, you might want to jot down a few notes of daily life every few months or so. I try to write down what I do for a few days, maybe notes on eating or sleeping, and a summary of symptoms. This helps me look back over time to see whether I’ve improved, stayed the same, or gotten worse. Some of these observations may be subjective, so a few objective measurements may be helpful. For example, I like to wear a pedometer now and then to track the number of steps I’ve taken. (Thanks to my sister for giving me this one for Christmas several years ago.)
I have no records of steps taken from Spring 2013, when I was at my worst with POTS. However, I have records from Fall 2013 (about 2,600 steps/day), Spring 2014 (about 2,100 steps/day), and Fall 2014 (about 2,600 steps/day). Some weeks are worse than others, so that may explain my low numbers this spring; I am glad to see I have currently increased my steps about 500/day since then.
The chart below shows how many steps per day are recommended for the healthy American (10,000) along with averages for most American men and women (info from this 2010 New York Times article)… and me . (Note: Amish men take about 18,000 steps/day!)
Health experts generally consider 5,000 steps per day to be in the sedentary category, so I am glad I am at least halfway to sedentary, considering my difficulties with POTS. Although I can’t string too many steps together yet, I do like to try to take 50 here, 50 there, and hope to continue to add more in coming months. Hey, maybe I’ll reach sedentary one day! (Pre-POTS, I was a huge walker and would love to know how many I took back then!)
I had to laugh when Luke (8 yrs old) wanted to try the pedometer after school one day and logged almost my entire daily amount in about one hour.
Have you ever worn a pedometer or one of the new Wifi-enabled tracking devices?
P.S. Many are still praying with me that I’ll be able to REALLY walk one day— thank you!