Disclaimer – The following post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or sickness. Please use caution if any parts apply to your specific situation and contact a health care professional for further advice.
Hey hey hey, thanks for tuning back in for another blog post. What a wild ride it has been. The feedback I got from the last post was really cool. It continues to remind me that even if some people think me posting these is annoying, at least a handful of you find it helpful. Or at least entertaining haha. I am going to try and write more as it helps me get lots of my chest. As always, if you want alerts when new posts are published, sign up with your email in the follow section!
Hope ya’ll enjoy this extra special DudeWithPOTS interview with none of the than my best friend and life partner, Rachel Gunning. I have been begging her since I started this blog to do her own guest post on spending a life with someone with a chronic illness. She finally agreed to this exclusive interview.
The following interview was done at an undisclosed location. Social distancing may or may not have been practiced.
Interview with RACHEL GUNNING (ERICKSON) –
Me – Hey
Rachel – Hey.
ME – This should be fun.
Rachel – Agreed. The baby is down and I just put the cookies in the oven so they should be done by the time we are done.
ME – Yesssss. Sounds like a wild night. Ok I didn’t prewrite these questions so they could be random. You ready?
Rachel – Yep!
Question #1 – What is the most challenging aspect of being with someone with a chronic illness?
Rachel – Feeling helpless. Like there is nothing I can do to help your situation. You do a really good job of pressing through so fortunately we don’t miss out on much.
Me – Thanks I try really hard to do everything like I wasn’t hurting.
Question #2 – What is a piece of advice you would give someone just starting a relationship with someone suffering from POTS are a similar condition/situation?
Rachel – Sometimes all you can do to help is to listen and be supportive. Be a safe place for them to land.
Me – Safe place for them to land? Is that a POTS joke? Because we faint?
Rachel – Yes haha I meant that both literally and figuratively. You have to be prepared to be there for them. Even if that means listening to the same thing over and over again. Be flexible. Remind them of things that help, like staying hydrated and eating salty food if they have POTS. Ask them if the packed their medication when traveling. It’s not much, but it’s all I can do since I can’t take the pain away for you.
Question #3 – I started this journey with POTS back in January of 2016. We were engaged then. What has been the most frustrating moment you can remember being with me? BECAUSE of POTS not because I forgot to do the dishes last night ha ha.
Rachel – I would say honestly this most recent relapse of yours. You think you are dying. I know I’m not the one in pain, but I can see you and know this is just your POTS flaring up. I know you want to go to all the doctors and get all the scans again. But you don’t need them.
Me – So not the time in the very beginning when you were super mad at me and told me there was nothing wrong with me?
Rachel – haha yeah that was frustrating too. Don’t put that in here though. I didn’t know you had POTS. And all the tests were coming back normal.
Me – OKKKKK, I won’t….
Question #4 – Which of my POTS symptoms has been the strangest to you?
Me – *Instantly regrets asking that question*
Me – *Knows the answer to this question*
Me – “Actually no, I’m not putting this in here”
Rachel – Why not??? Come on!! The people need to know! It could help someone.
Me – Because I have coworkers that read this sometimes.
Rachel – Ok but I still think you should.
Me – Noooooope my blog my rules.
Me – knowing wife always wins. *Let’s just say it was a side effect of a medication (pyridostigmine) I took and it made it feel like I had worms…*
Question #5 – What is one thing about living with someone dealing with a condition like POTS that most people might not know?
Rachel – Just because you look strong and healthy doesn’t mean you are. So stop judging that lady at grocery store who uses the handicap parking spot but looks just fine.
Question #6 – What is the most powerful lesson you have learned during our POTS journey?
Rachel – As it pertains to health, the healthcare system, or POTS?
Me – Well I guess answer that however you feel called to.
Rachel – Doctors aren’t perfect. They don’t always have all the answers. Generally speaking they are trying to do what is best for you. That being said, it is absolutely ok to get 2nd, 3rd, 4th, even 5th opinions. You just have to realize that sometimes doctors can’t fix what is wrong with you. They don’t have a magic wand. Find someone who will listen and help you “trial and error” through your health journey. Also, God is the ultimate healer. No one can know your body better than He who created it. And in our story the pursuit of faith and spirituality lead to healing.
Me – Well said. Ok, now time for some fun Q’s!
Question #7 – If you had to describe 2020 in one word, what would it be and why?
Rachel – Bittersweet. My first word was going to be dumpsterfire, but I thought no, so much good as come from quarantining with my little family and getting to see my son every day.
Question #8 – If I say the word “politics” what emotion do you feel?
Rachel – Tense
Question #9 – What is your current favorite TV show you are binge watching?
Rachel – Jane the virgin
Question #10 – Who would win in a 40 yard dash, you or me?
Rachel – You.
Me – Ya better believe it.
Rachel – *annoyed face*
Me – Ok last sentence. You can tell my readers anything you want.
Rachel – Oh man don’t give me that. I hate open ended stuff. But fine. MAKE SURE TO VOTE!!
Thanks for reading! Please contact me for any specific topics, questions you want answered, or reviews you want!
Jarod Gunning – Dude with POTS.