My name is Jaimie Gomes. I have decided to start this page to begin fundraising for myself to get to a treatment center to help me get back on my feet again. I am 19 years old. I am a college student currently on medical leave.
Back in October I was at school, taking 18 credits, running almost everyday, enjoying my new surroundings- I transferred my sophomore year to Syracuse University. I came down with mono, and came home on the weekends to try and manage the illness and my course load. Unfortunately on November 4th, I was at the mall, and almost passed out. I was rushed to the ER. I saw 3 other ERs that month and since then, my life has basically remained in the confines of my bedroom.
I did a lot of research about my symptoms, especially my racing heart, which does not allow me to stand or walk for very long. I eventually discovered a syndrome called POTS syndrome, which stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. When lying down, my heart beats at about 65-75 beats a minute. When I sit up, it increases to about 90 beats per minute. Upon standing, my heart rate can vary from 100-130 beats per minute. This syndrome is a result of a malfunctioning autonomic nervous system. I experience daily symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, tachycardia (fast heart rate), sometimes nausea, abdominal pain, as well as plummeting blood pressure the longer I am standing. It is extremely difficult to live life like this- especially a semi-normal life. I am home from college now. I really don't walk around much, although I do try to push myself.
There is no cure, but medication and exercise among other things are supposed to relieve symptoms. I began cardiac rehab at a facility in my city. I am still very debilitated. This condition is substantially unknown in the medical community and I was told by several doctors the past 5 months that it was just mono, or just anxiety.
I knew something was wrong. And I knew it wasn't "in my head". Now that I know what is going on, I am hoping to get myself to Dallas, Texas to attend a two week rehabilitation clinic designed specifically for POTS patients. I have done tons of research on my condition and the top places in the country for treatment of POTS. I have decided I want to commit myself to this one. The website for the center is potstreatmentcenter.com if you would like to read more or hear the amazing transformations of so many young women, and men, like me. They focus on a combination of treatments: biofeedback, exercise and nutrition, relaxation of the autonomic nervous system, physiological stress management, and regulation of heart rate. The clinic is $5,000 uncovered by medical insurance. My mother is a high school French teacher whose position is being phased out. My father has a decent job, but this is a lot of money for our family.
Any bit of assistance would be absolutely invaluable to me and my family. I want my life back. I want to help others, and I need my health back to move on and achieve this. This illness has seriously tried my faith and confidence in my own self. Everyday is a struggle. I now know true suffering and I am eager to get better, and to help others suffering, in a way I never would have been able to had I not become ill.
Thank you for your time and any contribution you may choose to make. The goal is to get me walking again. Let's do it!