Fading away

10 Jun


In the picture above, I hardly look like I’m fading away. In fact I was having a great time at a party in Invermere BC last weekend. But standing up in my wheelchair is not easy for me.

I am trying to stand for a total of 1 hour per day, and many days I struggle to meet that goal. Why? Because I cannot stay conscious while standing for more than a couple of minutes at a time. It is particularly difficult in the morning and early afternoon, but sometimes will get easier in the late evening just before I go to bed. The short explanation for this is that I suffer from orthostatic hypotension.

That fancy name means that my blood pressure is related to my posture. When I lie down my blood pressure is higher, and when I stand up it slower. That is the same for everyone to a certain extent, but in those of us with a spinal cord injury this behavior is exacerbated. If you want to know more about the medical reasons for that,Read this article.

Some days I am able to stand for up to 2 hours or more, but today I struggled to reach 30 minutes. Each time I stood up I would feel lightheaded within a few minutes. Most of the time, I had enough warning in order to lower myself to a sitting position, but once this evening I drifted off to lala land for a few seconds before I could lower the chair
a fellow resident called the staff member, who came and lowered my chair and was then able to rouse me.

I don’t give up easily though, so I will keep trying to stand as often and as long as I can. Why don’t you all just f-f-f fade away!

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