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I saw this on Facebook...where else. I think of it often these days. A lot of times when I'm driving and there is a good song on, I think of it. Or when Meghan has had a good day. Or all is right in the world with her brother and sister. I always hated when someone said you need the bad to appreciate the good. I guess it's true, although it would be nice to try and appreciate things without the bad or difficult times and see. After the last 2 1/2 years, it's easier to see things as better. Not easier but better. Things could defintely be much worse - and I know that it applies in some fashion to everyone.

Meghan loves her swimming. It is so hard on her. But also so good for her. Physical and mental stress and anxiety are huge triggers for Meghan's symptoms and how they affect her. We are working on finding the right relaxation techniques and balance to help us through the continued rough spots. A great article called "The Surprising Benefits of Going Through Hard Times" by Scott Barry Kaufman, talks about post traumatic-growth and how some people rebuild in hard times. Here are a few great passages:

The “rebuilding” process looks something like this: After a traumatic event, such as a serious illness or loss of a loved one, individuals intensely process the event—they’re constantly thinking about what happened, and usually with strong emotional reactions.

It’s important to note that sadness, grief, anger, and anxiety, of course, are common responses to trauma, and growth generally occurs alongside these challenging emotions—not in place of them. The process of growth can be seen as a way to adapt to extremely adverse circumstances and to gain an understanding of both the trauma and its negative psychological impact.

Rebuilding can be an incredibly challenging process. The work of growth requires detaching from and releasing deep-seated goals, identities, and assumptions, while also building up new goals, schemas, and meanings. It can be grueling, excruciating, and exhausting. But it can open the door to a new life. The trauma survivor begins to see herself as a thriver and revises her self-definition to accommodate her new strength and wisdom. She may reconstruct herself in a way that feels more authentic and true to her inner self and to her own unique path in life.

I think Meghan and I have both gone through a challenging and traumatic last few years. Not knowing if she would swim again - the thing she loved most, or if she could continue going to school as symptoms got worse, or if things would continue to progress to a point of needing a wheelchair when we went places. And the doubters and even the doctors who dismissed us. I think tough times will continue, but we have also grown.

We are both stronger and have a drive that doesn't allow us to give up - maybe brief moments of defeat, but not complete despair. Usually something happens - meeting someone else with POTS, or a new research article, or a new event to promote awareness happens. And we are both renewed. Or at least I am. She has her swimming that keeps her going. Her IVIG treatments, that thankfully we found after a relentless year and a half search, renew her each month and give her a day that is much more manageable than just a short time ago. We are thankful for her understanding coaches and the support they provide. And for understanding family and friends that have continued to help us through. We deal daily with POTS and its symptoms but we also have moments of enjoyment now, which just a short time ago seemed like we had lost in the shuffle of searching for hope. Today was a good day as Meghan looks forward to a weekend of competing...


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