Coping in the summer with Neurocardiogenic Syncope.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

I won't lie, summer is the worst time of year for me, I have big flare ups because the heat makes my condition worse, my condition is known as NCS also know as Neurocardiogenic Syncope, it can be a complicated condition as it doesn't affect just one thing it affects many most of the time I'm sleeping or having to rest snuggled on the sofa and it can get very lonely but I make the most of things by playing games I have to review, reading and watching my fav shows or movies but when I'm not doing this we do like to pop out no matter the weather, we want to make the most of the time we have.

To do this I need to think ahead, I can't go anywhere unless I know I will be able to cope and thankfully we are lucky enough to have a car for this. I'm sure most of you who suffer from NCS (neurocardiogenic syncope) are aware of how hard it is to function in the summer, it's the worst time of year for me personally. There are tears, anger and me eventually accepting there is no stopping my condition, I just have to push through it as best as I can, this is just a short guide to how I deal with summer:
  • Keeping hydrated is a must. If you're not hydrated you're going to feel worse then ever. I normally buy myself a drink or carry a drink with me all throughout the year but in the summer I end up needing more fluids than ever, So please don't let yourself get hydrated, keep your fluid intake up! I invested in a large water bottle recently and it was a great idea to do so!
  • Be close to somewhere that has seats/bench. I'm terrible for sitting down all the time people seem to think i'm lazy or being an idiot just because I can't walk up a hill without fainting or down a street without having to cling to a wall. This is my reality, if I don't try and stop myself fainting I may end up seriously hurting myself on the fall down, which I have done many times, so please don't go judging me for having to rest.
  • I know a lot of people as well as myself suffer from blood pooling. I get it badly in the summer. My legs swell up so big which makes them sore and achy, wearing compression stockings are your best bet for this, I know they aren't pretty and don't go with your outfit but they do help. I end up having to keep my legs and feet elevated to help the swelling and my BP.
  • If you wake up feeling dizzy don't even attempt to do anything. Sounds lazy but there is no point making it worse. I would rather be able to have enough energy to eat during the day than having to sleep most of my day away because I pushed myself.
  • Don't stress yourself out over mess, the mess can wait. Your health is more important than that little bit of hoovering that needs to be done. You don't want to start the cleaning only to end up with a bigger mess than when you started do you? Put your feet up, watch some TV or even have a little snooze instead.
  • If you can't get out of bed, don't attempt it! Lay there until you can manage it, grab yourself a snack and some water or get someone to bring it to you. I sometimes end up feeling really sick due to my NCS but when I don't eat properly it doesn't help me one bit.
  • Essentials for out and about and my bag:
  1. Water bottle - again hydration when I'm out is a big need of mine
  2. A snack - when I go faint or I have fainted I need something to help boost me, I often feel very groggy and fatigued after or even before so a snack helps.
  3. Wipes - I sweat a lot due to my condition and wipes are a big help
  4. My Fitbit - I usually wear this but if I'm out on the beach I don't want it to get damaged, it helps me to keep track of my HR, if it rises too fast I know I'm going to faint. 
  5. A change of shoes - again NCS makes me swell I need to wear practical shoes, sometimes boots but only when I have too as they heat up way too fast in boots.
  6. A practical outfit - this goes for all year around, I get very hot very quickly and faint so I need to wear something that can keep me warm when I get chilly but I can also remove quickly. 

This all seems pretty simple but believe me it's not and to be honest it's easier just to stay indoors away from any danger/ working myself up over whether or not I will have somewhere to rest. As I mentioned in this before I use a Fitbit, I actually upgraded mine to a Versa 3 recently which was one of the best choices I've made, I feel like it may be a bit more accurate than my Blaze, wearing my Fitbit always gives me piece of mind that I can keep an eye on my HR. Going out this summer has stopped a little as I have been in a lot of pain due to some issues with my cycles and this has affected my NCS which in turn made me even more depressed, I'm going to try and enjoy the rest of my summer as best as I can.